August 22, 2011

Taser Lawsuit: Judge Awards $1 Million to Family of Brett Elder (Bay City, MI)

The powers-that-be in Bay City (MI) realized that the "excited delirium" excuse they had been using for the taser-killing of 15-year old Brett Elder might not survive a trial ... so they decided to settle a wrongful death lawsuit by paying the boy's family $1 million. [SOURCE]

Eugene Elder Sr. filed the lawsuit against the city and Cpl. James Lyman in December 2009, nine months after his 15-year-old son died at a party on South Catherine.

An autopsy showed the teen died of “alcohol-induced excited delirium” coupled with “application of an electromuscular disruption device.” I guess that is the official description of a "taser gun" in Bay City.

Officers were called by party-goers who said the teen attacked a woman, placing her in a headlock.

Bay County Prosecutor Kurt Asbury has said the teen was intoxicated, “highly agitated and combative” and “took a fighting stance” against three officers. The part he doesn't mention is that the boy stood 5'5" tall and weighed less than 150 pounds. Are the Bay City police so ineffective in their training that they can't subdue an UNARMED weakling like Brett Elder without pumping his body with 50,000 volts of electricity?

Lyman deployed his Taser, the probes of which struck Brett Elder in the torso, according to reports. Witnesses claimed the teen had his hands cuffed behind his back when the Taser was fired.

Based on the state police investigation, Asbury declined to authorize criminal charges, saying the evidence did not prove any officers committed criminal acts.

Acting on the recommendation of retired Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Pamela Harwood, who served as mediator, U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington signed an order for the disbursement of $1 million to four of the teen’s family members and the family’s attorneys.

The settlement provides $219,554 for Eugene Elder Sr.; $200,000 for Eugene Elder Jr. and Eric Elder, Brett Elder’s brothers; and $1,000 for Nancy Malucci, Brett Elder’s grandmother, court records show. The rest of the settlement goes to the attorneys who handled the case.

I suspect that Bay City police officers will think twice before using their taser guns in future domestic disturbances with UNARMED teenagers. That is a good thing in my view as our nation's weekly taser-killings need to be slowed down somehow!


Russ said...

Taser devises have several names.
ECD is the current one used by Taser Int. Electronic Control Devise.
It has an arcing voltage of 50,000 volts but if both probes are in the body it delivers approx 1,200 volts. Either way it hurts very bad and can stop you in your tracks.

Villager said...

Russ - "a rose by any other name..."