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Georgia man died after being Tasered up to 13 times

By Ken Hanly     Aug 27, 2014 in Crime
Atlanta - Last April 11th officers in East Point Georgia, southwest of Atlanta, used a Taser gun on Gregory Towns as many as 13 times in order to make him get up and walk. Towns was handcuffed at the time.
This Tuesday, August 26th, Attorney Chris Stewart reported that police records shows that officers discharged their Tasers 13 times, Stewart claimed on WSB-TV: “This is a direct violation of their own rules,You cannot use a Taser to escort or prod a subject.They used their Tasers as a cattle prod on Mr. Towns...He wasn't cursing. He wasn't being abusive. He was saying, "I'm tired,""
Logs kept of Taser use show that Sgt. Marcus Eberhat discharged his Taser 10 times while the other officer Howard Weems fired his 3 times. The logs do not record how many times Towns was actually hit. An autopsy ruled that Towns' death was a homicide. The Taser shocks, together with the physical activity and heart problems, contributed to his death.
There have been numerous incidents of deaths and serious injuries involving Tasers. Many are listed here and the safety issues are also discussed. Taser International has argued that the deaths are caused by other factors than the use of tasers. However, they have issued guidelines recommending that taser strikes should not be close to the heart, implicitly confirming the results of some independent research it would seem.
The Police Benevolent Association lawyers representing officer Weems insist that his actions did not cause Towns' death but his prior medical problems. Dale Pressler, one of the attorneys, also noted that "use of drive stun to gain compliance is permitted under federal and Georgia law".
The two officers had documented only 6 taser discharges on their police reports. Even though the coroner ruled the death a homicide, Fulton Count District Attorney, Paul Howard, is still waiting for further evidence to decide whether he will convene a grand jury for possible criminal charges. Attorney Chris Stewart who plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of Town's family including his 7-month old son said that what he has learned is "horrendous". Stewart noted that this killing had nothing to do with race since everyone involved was black: “Mr. Towns’ killing is not about race. It’s about police brutality … going to the extreme.”
Officer Eberhart resigned rather than be terminated. Weems was fired. Weems said he was following the orders of Eberhart who was his supervisor. The arrest incident began when the girlfriend of Town called police during a domestic dispute at the townhouse where she lived with their son.
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