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Civil Rights – Alleged excessive force during arrest – Plaintiff claims unjustified use of Taser on legs caused burn injuries.

U.S. District Court, Southern, New York

In this civil rights action, the plaintiff contended that as he was sitting in his female friend’s parked car (whom he subsequently learned was a CI) and a friend of hers – individuals, who did not identify themselves as police – came to the passenger side of the window where plaintiff was seated. The plaintiff contended that he was eating either a Twinkie or cupcake, and that the he was dragged from the car, thrown to the ground, and shot with a Taser on various parts of his body.

The defendants contended that they were advised by the CI that a friend would be coming to her car to purchase crack cocaine from the plaintiff, and that after the friend entered the car, the county joint Task Force went up to the car. The defendants maintained that it appeared as if the plaintiff was swallowing drugs, and that he was taken from the car after one of the handcuffs had been applied and he resisted various ongoing verbal commands from the officers. The defendants maintained that the plaintiff continued to violently resist, that the second handcuff could not be applied, and that after the plaintiff was warned that a Taser would be used unless he stopped resisting, reasonable force was used. The defendants also supported that the plaintiff was aware that police were involved, that some of the officers were uniformed, and others had jackets that on which "Police" was printed.

The defendants also maintained that the jury should consider that the plaintiff agreed on cross examination that one cuff had been applied when he was still in the car, and opined that he claimed that he didn’t know that police were involved should be rejected.

The plaintiff had also brought claim for false arrest/imprisonment and inadequate training. The court dismissed these aspects, and the case was submitted to the jury under a theory of excessive force only.The jury found for the defendant. The case was tried previously. The court had dismissed the cases against two officers who did not use a Taser. The prior jury was hung as to the remaining defendant and this new trial was had. The subject jury found for the defendant.

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