Human RightsNorth America

Family sues US police for tasering man

377061_stun-gunThe family of a slain man is suing police in Georgia after officers used stun guns on the hand-cuffed man thirteen times and killed him.

The family has filed a lawsuit against the two former Atlanta-area officers who used excessive force against the 24-year-old Gregory Towns Jr., the family’s lawyer said on Thursday.

“It’s just heinous,” attorney Chris Stewart told AP. “This isn’t one of those cases where he punched an officer and they had to Taser him to calm him down.”

Stewart said some officers think any disobedience needs to be responded by extreme actions, such as what was used against Towns, a black man.

“In our case, it wasn’t about color, obviously, because the officers were black,” Stewart said. “It was about power. He didn’t walk when they said walk. He didn’t stand when they said stand. And he didn’t move fast enough when they said move.”

On April 11, former police sergeant Marcus Eberhard and former corporal Howard Weems brutally subdued Gregory Towns Jr., who apparently would not sufficiently follow police orders.

Eberhart and Weems approached Towns as he was leaving his son’s mother’s apartment complex following a domestic argument, according to the lawsuit.

Apparently, Towns ran when officers asked to talk to him but stumbled and was handcuffed by the officers.

The officers told Towns to get up and walk to a patrol car, but Towns said he was too tired because of the run he had just taken. He was threatened by the officers with a stun gun if he did not move, according to the lawsuit. Thus, he got up and started walking but soon fell again saying he was very tired. Then, the officers used the stun guns on him as 13 times in 30 minutes.

US police have under harsh criticism over its mistreatment of the black and minorities.

The issue has been a topic of contention particularly since the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri this month. Ferguson residents took to the streets to express anger over killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

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