Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jury finds officer liable for Taser death

La-Reko Williams
A federal jury decided on Thursday that a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer used excessive force in the 2011 death of a man who died after being twice shocked by the police officer’s Taser.

The federal civil court verdict came in the second day of deliberations by the five women and three men who had to determine whether CMPD Officer Michael Forbes used excessive force in the death of La-Reko Williams.

Williams’ parents, Temako McCarthy and Anthony Williams, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer, asking for $3.5 million in damages.

The lawsuit accused Forbes of causing the death of 21-year-old Williams the night of July 20, 2011, when the police officer responded to call about a fight at a light-rail station.

The jurors showed signs of having difficulty reaching a decision.
A little more than two hours into their deliberations on Wednesday, the jurors sent the judge a note asking for more information about “objectionable reasonableness,” a legal cornerstone in court cases involving police response.
Basically, that legal standard means the jury had to decide whether Forbes, given what he faced that night, responded as other “reasonable” officers would have done

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