Civil Liberties

Suit Filed Against Ferguson Cops for Death of Mentally Ill Man



Ferguson, Missouri, resident Tina Moore has filed a federal lawsuit alleging local police officers used excessive force against her husband Jason in 2011. According to the suit, Ferguson cops repeatedly Tasered the unarmed 31-year-old despite "clear signs" he was mentally ill, resulting in Jason's death from a heart attack. 

The officers, Brian Kaminski and Michael White, were dispatched to a building where Jason Moore was walking around naked and shouting. Moore "did not pose a serious threat of harm," the suit says, and "demonstrated clear signs of mental illness." It continues: 

After exiting his patrol vehicle, Officer Kaminski instructed Jason Moore to put his hands in the air and to walk his way. When Jason Moore approached Kaminski, Kaminski drew his X26 Taser and fired it at Jason Moore, with one prong striking Moore in the left side of his chest near the heart, and the other prong striking him in the right thigh.

Officer Kaminski then tasered Jason Moore at least three separate times.

Officer White arrived during the tasing of Jason Moore, and restrained Moore physically while he was being tasered by Officer Kaminski. 

While Jason Moore was being restrained and repeatedly tasered he stopped breathing and became unresponsive. As a result of the use of excessive force as described above, Jason Moore suffered excruciating pain and suffered a cardiac arrest resulting in death. 

The lawsuit claims Officer Kaminski's level of use of force was not reasonable, and that officers should have been better trained to identify and handle those suffering from mental issues. "The violation of the federal right of individuals such as Jason Moore's was a highly predictable consequence of (the Ferguson police department's) failure to equip its law enforcement officers with specific tools to handle such situations," it says.