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Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Fort Worth Police Department will soon be facing a second taser lawsuit

What We Think About Taser Abuse
FORT WORTH, TX - According to Channel 33 News, The Fort Worth Police Department will soon be facing a second lawsuit related to the use of taser devices by officers. An attorney for 29-year old Marcus Swiat is prepared to file a civil lawsuit in the next few days.

A bystander captured video of Swiat being tased up to eight times by several officers outside a downtown bar last year. On the tape, the disc jockey can be heard screaming and others asking police to stop. Officers are also seen kicking Swiat, who has since moved from the North Texas area.

Swiat's attorney, Brian Eberstein says Swiat was later acquitted of the charges against him, including public intoxication. Eberstein says the tape is disturbing. "The only word I could attribute to the attack was savage". He says Swiat is still suffering. "I think when any human being is brutally beaten the scars can be physical, but I think the emotional residue can be equally significant".

The lawsuit comes on the heels of another by the family of Michael Jacobs, whose death was ruled a homicide. Corporal Stephanie Phillips used a taser on the mentally ill man last April. Jacobs died in his yard. Both lawsuits allege the department has failed to properly train and supervise officers in using tasers. Eberstein says officers who misuse the device aren't disciplined. "Phillips is still on patrol and that tells others that you can do what you wish and the department will support you". More HERE

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