November 30, 2010

Gallatin Police Department Finally Identify the Names of the Officers Involved in Taser-Death of Jeffry Woodward

Soulclap to the Gallatin News Examiner for getting their hands on the 199-page internal police investigation report into the taser-death of Jeffry Woodward. [SOURCE]

Villagers may recall that Woodward was killed in October 2009 by three unidentified Gallatin police officers.   It always amazes me that the police officers involved in these weekly taser-killings around the nation are so rarely identified in the initial press conferences and news articles.   In this case, the names remained unknown to the public for over a year.

According to the internal report, the Gallatin Police Department officers involved in the incident were Sgt. Chris Shockley, Officer Mark Hill, Officer Kris Ford and Officer James Perry.

The report backs up the department’s claim that Woodward was combative with officers, who used shackles, a K-9 dog and Tasers to bring him under control, even after he was handcuffed. Officers said Woodward exhibited “superhuman” strength while struggling, which was attributed to methamphetamine use.  The police figure that his death was tragic ... but, it didn't violate any police department policies or procedures.

The Woodward family disagrees.  Woodward’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Sumner County Circuit Court on October 26 — nearly one year to the date of the 33-year-old’s death — and the suit was moved to the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee on November 9.

The victim’s mother, Sandra Rutter and the victim’s widow, Andrea Woodward, seek a total of $21 million in compensatory and punitive damages from both the city and Taser International.

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