September 26, 2014

Greenville Pays $500,000 to Settle With Family of Andrew Torres in Taser-Torture Lawsuit

Andrew Torres
Andrew Torres, 39, was an unarmed and mentally-ill man who needed help. Instead he was the victim of prejudicial electrocution by Greenville (SC) police officers. The city of Greenville paid $500,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the Torres family to make it go away.

The lawsuit was filed in June 2012 alleging the police violated Torres' civil rights.

Torres, a Greenville High School and University of South Carolina-Spartanburg graduate, had been diagnosed as schizophrenic and had suffered from mental illness beginning at the age of 21.

In August 2010, Torres' mental state had eroded to the point where his family asked police to enforce a court order allowing Torres to be involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.

The family asked that plainclothes officers with training in dealing with the mentally ill be dispatched. Instead the officers used excessive force in electrocuting Torres with multiple Taser shots over an extended time. The officers pushed him onto the bedroom floor face down and handcuffed him. After a series of struggles, Torres went limp and his face and fingers began turning blue.

The family alleges that officers continued to hold him down after he had stopped resisting and made no efforts to resuscitate him before EMS arrived.  Emergency workers determined that Torres was in cardiac arrest and transported him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

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