The city of Lakewood has settled a lawsuit brought by a man who said police officers shot him with a stun gun and roughed him up because he refused to submit to medical aid after suffering an epileptic seizure.
William Grider and his wife, Kathy, agreed to drop their personal injury suit against the city, the Police Department, Chief Larry Saunders and four police officers in exchange for $90,000 and the city’s promise to implement a new policy dictating when officers can use Tasers on people.
City officials signed the settlement agreement last month.
The city admitted no wrongdoing, and police officials said last week that their officers acted appropriately during their interaction with Grider.
“The decision on how to best settle the matter of the lawsuit was made by our insurance provider,” Lakewood police spokesman Lt. Dave Guttu said in an e-mail. “We accept their decision without any fault on our part.”
Guttu also said the Taser policy changes cited in the settlement were not a direct result of the Griders’ legal action against the city.
The Griders filed a $300,000 claim against the city in May 2007, then sued in September in Pierce County Superior Court. The case later was moved to U.S. District Court at the request of city attorneys, who argued the Griders’ complaints concerned constitutional issues better heard in federal court.
Police officials had been working on an update to the department’s rules on stun guns for nearly a year before the Griders filed their claim, Guttu said.
The department’s revised policy on the use of Tasers – which went into effect Jan. 1 – now requires officers to consider whether someone might suffer from a medical condition like multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy or epilepsy before they shock them with stun guns.
“In such cases, the need to stop the behavior should clearly justify the potential for additional risks,” the policy states.
The previous policy warned officers only against using Tasers on pregnant women. More HERE
Tasered While Black Publisher says: This may be the way to go for black folks who get Tasered While Black, and the police are at fault. Sue them, get paid, and get the city, county or sheriff's tasering and training changed at the same time.