Georgia’s Supreme Court issued a ruling that will pave the way for a jury trial over a man who was tased to death by DeKalb County police officers. The appeal to the Supreme Court was triggered by a ruling by DeKalb County State Court Judge Wayne Purdom, who denied the police officers’ motion for summary judgment based on claims of immunity.
The Supreme Court ruled that because the trial court’s order denying summary judgment was not directly appealable, the Court of Appeals should have dismissed the direct appeal by the officers. During arguments, the Justices expressed shock and perhaps some sympathy for the man, who was only 29 years old, killed by officers. The officers were called to a hotel and were asked by hotel management to remove the 29 year old from the premises when it was discovered that he had stayed in the room after checkout. The hotel staff entered the room and witnessed the man having seizures.
The officers noted that the man was disoriented and “zombie-like” and was noted to by about 6′ 6″ and weighted 445 pounds. He was obviously in need of medical attention. When the police officers failed to get him on a stretcher, they claim he became aggressive and that’s when they shocked him in order to get him to comply. Of the nine police offers involved, 4 of them applied shocks by Taser — two who actually applied the shocks by Taser and two superior officers who ordered the shocks. This case will now head to trial by jury.
Should the plaintiff prevail at trial, it is likely that the case will go up again on appeal to address the immunity issue that was prematurely brought to the Supreme Court in this case.
Call McAleer Law if you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of excessive police force or brutality.