The Tennessean this morning reported the verdict in the tragic death of a 21 year old who was tasered 19 times by Metro Officers. I will not be lengthy in this post since I know the defense lawyer John M.L. Brown very well. He an I went to law school together at Vanderbilt University, have tried cases together, shared an office, and he has given me a bunch of fire arms training.
The jury found for the officers involved and absolved them of all responsibility. I Only represent Plaintiffs who are injured and have done so for over 30 years. This kind of case is know as a excess force case whose liability is founded on 42 USC 1983. It states
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable.
The case is premised on depriving the injured person of their due process rights by the police officers taking the law into their own hands and causing the injury or death. What is extremely difficult in proving these cases for the Plaintiff is the issue of causation. Did the use of the taser cause the death? Further was the force excessive under the circumstances? I don’t know the answers, however, the jury did find for the officers.
Once again the jury system worked. The survivors of the deceased had their day in court. The officers had their say. The jurors made a determination. There is no reason to change the system. What if it had been your son? Would you want your day in court? Of course. Sometimes you win and other times you loose. The so called tort reformers would want you to believe this is a frivolous case and should not have been brought. Bunk. Leave the system alone. It an’t broke so don’t try to fix it.