Georgia man's death prompts lawsuit over police use of Tasers

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 28, 2014 4:08 PM

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The family of a Georgia man who died in April after police used two Tasers on him up to 13 times filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Thursday, arguing the officers had no reason to repeatedly use the stun guns.

Gregory Towns Jr., 24, was "handcuffed, not resisting and did not present a threat of imminent bodily harm to the officers or anyone else" when police in the Atlanta suburb of East Point discharged their Tasers, the lawsuit said.

The Fulton County medical examiner's office has ruled Towns' death as a homicide that was caused by "electrical stimulation" and "hypertensive cardiovascular disease exacerbated by physical exertion."

No criminal charges have been filed against the two former officers, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. One of the officers was fired and the other resigned, the paper said.

"I'm saddened by the whole situation," said Towns' mother, Claudia Towns. "Something has to be done."

East Point officials did not return phone calls seeking comment on the lawsuit filed against the officers and city.

The suit, which seeks unspecified financial damages, said the incident occurred when Towns ran from police after a domestic dispute and became too tired to obey their orders to walk.

He died after the officers shocked him multiple times with their Taser guns, the suit said.

Authorities in Florida this week were investigating the death of a man shot with a Taser on Sunday by a police officer while resisting arrest.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office said a deputy used the Taser on Timothy Shad Griffis, 41, after the suspect threatened to kill the deputy and made "an aggressive movement" toward him.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Eric Walsh)