Police Officer to Face Jury for Death of Man Tased 10 Times

Once police subdue a suspect with a Taser, how many additional shocks are appropriate? Not seven, according to a federal appeals court.

A Baltimore County, Maryland officer tased Ryan Meyers a total of 10 times—three times till he dropped and another seven times after that—in 2007. Meyers went into cardiac arrest and paramedics could not revive him.

Meyers, 40, suffered from bipolar disorder and had fought with his father and brother, prompting his mother to call 911. When police arrived, Meyers refused commands to drop a baseball bat, though his brother says police did not give him time to comply before tasing him.

The first discharge did not incapacitate him, nor did the second, though he did drop the bat. Meyers fell to the floor after the third shock. Police sat on him and tased him seven more times, even though he had gone rigid according to one officer’s testimony. Three other officers said he was still squirming and trying to bite.    

The ruling means the officer who fired the Taser is not protected by qualified immunity. A jury will determine whether the officer, who was specially trained to use a Taser, used excessive force. 

From the Baltimore Sun:

This is the first time we have had a court ... pinpoint and say you are not going to have free rein with this Taser," [said the family's attorney, Gregory L. Lattimer].

…An attorney for Baltimore County, Paul Mayhew, defended the officer's actions. He said the officer who fired the Taser … remains with the Police Department and was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Mayhew said the plaintiffs have "to connect the Taser and the death. The medical examiner ruled the death to be undetermined," meaning a number of factors could have contributed to Meyers' death, including an underlying heart condition.

A recent study estimates that at least half of the people shot and killed by police each year suffer from a mental illness. Meyers obviously wasn't shot, but his death clearly shows yet again that police too frequently rely on the use of force to resolve volatile situations.

Baltimore County has a Mobile Crisis Team composed of clinicians and police officers trained to address situations involving the mentally ill. However, the unit does not respond to situations involving violence or weapons.

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  • Hyperion||

    We need limits on taser magazines!

  • Randian||

    More deletions? Interesting.

  • Keith U||

    wut happn

  • marshaul||

    For the police, I'd say limits (as in prohibitions) on all weapons is about right.

  • Sandra M. Jones||

    my classmate's ex-wife makes $72 every hour on the internet. She has been without work for seven months but last month her payment was $18679 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here's the site to read more... http://www.ace60.com

  • ||

    Well, 18679/72 comes to ~260; that's definitely isn't "a few hours" but rather 8 hours & 40 minutes every day, weekends included.

  • ||

    That's 260 hours in a month, you slave driver!

  • C. Anacreon||

    Geez, you two math whizzes should get a room.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Mayhew said the plaintiffs have "to connect the Taser and the death. The medical examiner ruled the death to be undetermined," meaning a number of factors could have contributed to Meyers' death, including an underlying heart condition.

    Right. It's possible he would have naturally died of a heart attack that day anyway, even if they hadn't tased him, so it's not the cop's fault.

    I guess if I punch someone with kidney problems in the belly and he dies of kidney failure, this defense will be available for me. right?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I guess if I punch someone with kidney problems in the belly and he dies of kidney failure, this defense will be available for me. right?

    I hope so.

  • Mensan||

    A punch to the belly is unlikely to damage the kidneys. Renal trauma is usually caused by a blow to the lower back. Death from a ruptured kidney is usually from shock, but it's possible that a smaller untreated injury could eventually lead to renal failure.

  • Bananafish||

  • The Late P Brooks||

    RESISTANCE IS FATAL.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Nice.

  • FritzMuffknuckle||

    The title of this article represents the hope of justice, but reality is a long ways off. There's less than a five percent chance that this case ever goes to a jury. The City lawyers will ratchet up the cost for his family to continue the case with uncountable motions and a settlement will eventually be reached out of court. This is the way our justice system works...

  • NihilistZerO||

    At minimum I hope his family gets the beautiful new home and stability for life that would come with a multi-million dollar settlement. It won't bring their son back but at least there will be some recognition of the crime...

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And there won't be justice since the worst that can happen for the officer is to have a civil judgement against him. He ought to be in jail.

  • John Galt||

    How can you expect us to ever achieve a more perfect police state if people like you complain every an officer attempts to defend himself against a restrained hoodlum?

  • Harvard||

    [The City lawyers will ratchet up the cost for his family to continue the case with uncountable motions and a settlement will eventually be reached out of court.]

    If his family is that easily satisfied then so be it. I'm too old to even take a beating, a tasing is out of the question.
    Be patient, be very careful, bide your time, plan well, and cap the cop. Take what pleases you, a kneecap, his life, whatever you feel you're due.
    If more took this approach more families would feel better and more nazis would feel the threat.

  • NihilistZerO||

    One of the disadvantages of being an atheist is that their is kno divine punishment for scum like these sadistic cops. I can only hope if the souls somehow lives on these pigs are trapped in a sad world of their own making. These evil bastards backed empowered by government should endure some kind of karmic justice.

  • sarcasmic||

    People like this are the origin of religion.

  • ||

    God is the ultimate 1%er fucking up the equality of outcome for everyone else. Tear him down!

  • Sheriff of Fistingham||

    And poof, Don O. Treply down the memory hole.

  • ||

    How coincidental.

  • ||

    Sheriff, did you eliminate John's girlfriend AGAIN?

  • Sheriff of Fistingham||

    More like a turd that won't flush.

  • ||

    Looks like you took down Cheradenine Zakalwe as well. Wasn't convinced either way on that one.

  • ||

    He was annoying, and besides, Banks totally pulled a fast one on the reader in that book. Fuck that guy.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Police sat on him and tased him seven more times, even though he had gone rigid according to one officer’s testimony. Three other officers said he was still squirming and trying to bite. "

    Strange how a person might squirm when they're being electrocuted.

  • Sheriff of Fistingham||

    "If they squirm, they’re V.C....if they stop squirming, they are well disciplined V.C....war is hell..."

  • ||

    +1 peace symbol

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Throw her into the lake, if she floats then she is a witch, if she sinks, then she is not.

  • Almanian!||

    Who are you, who is so wise in the ways of science?

  • General Butt Naked||

    OT ALERT:

    I don't know how many delta blues fans we have around here, but I'm a huge one. They recently unearthed a new photo of Robert Johnson.

    A good article detailing the discovery of the photo, and how Johnson was rediscovered. Not all new stuff if you're a really into it, but I learned some things.

  • Tman||

    I'm a huge fan as well, cool article, thanks.

    You may bury my body
    Down by the highway side
    (Baby, I don't care where you bury my body when I'm dead and gone)
    You may bury my body, woooo
    Down by the highway side
    So my old evil spirit
    Can get a Greyhound bus and ride.

  • John||

    He bought the thing on Ebay. Wow.

  • Tman||

    And the dude selling it thought it was BB King. Hilarious.

  • SIV||

    On Ebay for $2200.The underbidder thought that was Johnson too. A damaged 1930s picture of 2 black guys in sharp suits with one holding a guitar isn't going for 4 figures unless at least 2 people have a good idea what it is.

    Anybody still support IP after reading that article?

  • BigT||

    I suppose you like the way R Crumb got screwed? He drew a cartoon, 100% his, and had to split the money because it looked like the photo. IP is fine, but our courts are F'd up.

  • SIV||

    IP isn't fine.This is a perfect example of what it is. The "rightsholder" got the "rights" off someone who didn't even own them. Fuck IP. It is total bullshit.
    Robert Johnson probably didn't even write those songs and his half-sister certainly had no moral claim to sign them away in the 1970s.Any "rights" to the images should only belong to the photographer and, absent his claim, the owner of the physical photograph.

  • SIV||

    I like Delta blues but the music got better when everyone moved to Chi-town, made a little money and went out and bought amplifiers.

  • Tman||

    "Better" is a relative term.

    I'm not sure anyone ever played the blues better than this.

    Roots of Blues -- Robert Johnson „Preaching Blues"

    Chicago was different, louder, more distorted sure. But RJ is remembered almost 100 years later for a reason.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Grown family members should never call police on grown family members. Sometimes what's needed is a good fight.

  • entropy||

    Meyers, 40, suffered from bipolar disorder and had fought with his father and brother, prompting his mother to call 911.

    This is why I don't associate with people who call cops on people.

  • sarcasmic||

    You have bipolar disorder and fight with people?

  • ||

    "This is why I don't associate with people who call cops on people."

    Wise, very wise.

  • waaminn||

    Good, hope they hang the loser!

    www.GoinAnon.da.bz

  • ||

    "Baltimore County has a Mobile Crisis Team composed of clinicians and police officers trained to address situations involving the mentally ill. However, the unit does not respond to situations involving violence or weapons."

    Then what situations involving the mentally ill do they address? Until there is violence there is no need to address anything. I say this as someone who has some years experience doing just that. They called us when there was violence, and not until.

    So what good are these pussy boogers?

  • Moridin||

    his death clearly shows yet again that police too frequently rely on the use of force to resolve volatile situations.

    ...more like police too frequently BRUTALIZE and/or kill the citizens rather than resolve volatile situations.

  • Almanian!||

    OFFICER SAFETY! Not necessarily trained, thin blue line. Oh derrrrrpfee, come out an comment....derpppppppfeee.

  • JeremyR||

    And then people wonder why some are rooting for that Dorner guy. Not that two wrongs makes a right, but people like seeing bullies get a bloody nose, even if it's from another bully.

  • Paul.||

    The woman at 3:53 said everything that needs to be said about the modern state of police.

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