November 14, 2010

Taser Lawsuit: Jeffry Woodward (Gallatin, TN)

Jeffry Woodward died as a result of electro-shock torture from Gallatin police officers last year.   Readers of this blog recall that Mr. Woodward called police on October 27, 2009 "to report a home invasion and that his mother was in danger."   He thought that someone had kidnapped his mother.

The police arrived.  They checked his home and saw that his mother was unharmed.   The police decided to arrest Woodward for "filing a false police report."    The video news report on what happened next is horrifying.

Unidentified Gallatin police officers took Woodward out of the car ... they allowed their police dog to bite him and they tasered him multiple times.  Not surprisingly, Mr. Woodward went into cardiac arrest and was soon dead.

All of this was witnessed by neighbors and Woodward's mother.   A recent lawsuit filed by Woodward's mother states,
"While on the ground with a police canine on top of him, officers subjected him to multiple Taser applications.  Eyewitnesses report that during this time, Mr. Woodward was crying out, 'Help me! Help me!' and that she was pleading with officers not to kill her son. ... (T)he gratuitous use of force by the defendant officers against the decedent was unnecessary and resulted in severe injuries and death."
Woodward's wife and mother have filed a lawsuit against Taser International (claiming it misrepresents its products as non-lethal and safe) and the Gallatin Police Department (history of allowing its officers to use excessive and illegal force on civilians, failing to discipline the officers for it, and covering for them by falsely claiming that the beatings were "justified and proper.")

Woodward's family are represented by Joe Bednarz of Nashville.   This blog is hopeful that successful lawsuits against Taser International will drive them into bankruptcy ... and that successful lawsuits against the police department will cause them to use tasers more responsibly.


Mina Balakhani said...

Yesterday was my birthday, so starts the count down to my baby brother's birthday. Jeffry was born 6 days after my birthday. Almost a birthday present.
And gift he is.
His naturally loving heart lives on and so does the bitter, bitter pain of his loss.
When will the violence stop??
Where is our humanity!??

Clary said...

Want to thank you for putting this blog out there. Speaking for the voices that get buried.

The case finally got settled out of court and we lost.
Not only did we lose we must pay the police.

Pay the ones that murdered my brother.

This is what they call justice.

4 men and a dog against 1 handcuffed man that called them for help.