Judge upholds verdict in TASER case
by Courtney Stevens
Sep 27, 2013 | 3190 views | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In 2010 the Cleveland Police Department was rocked with tragedy and controversy over the death of a man officers had attempted to arrest.

As of Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit gave judgment in the case of Dextric Williams vs. the city of Cleveland, Taser International, Incorporated, Stanley Perry and Bryan Goza.

At around 3:18 a.m. on July 23, 2010, Goza and Perry were on duty and called out to a complaint of people loitering in the 700 block of Cross Street.

During the conversations, a bag of suspected cocaine was found on top of one of the vehicles where the individuals were standing.

As is normal procedure, the officers asked for everyone’s identification. One particular individual gave the officers several false names.

Another person, later identified as Jermaine Williams, grabbed the bag of suspected cocaine and ran.

An officer pursued him and finally caught up with Williams at Lucy Seaberry Boulevard and Cross Street.

Williams would not comply and continued to resist the officer.

The officer then deployed his Taser on Williams.

Even then, according to a statement by Cleveland Police Chief Charles "Buster" Bingham shortly after the incident, Williams was still combative and actually tried to take the Taser from the officer.

A second officer then arrived and Williams received a second Taser deployment.

Other officers made it to the scene at which time they had to physically pull Williams' arms out from under him.

He was cuffed and officers noticed that he was having medical difficulties and then he lapsed into unconsciousness.

EMS was called and Williams was transported to Bolivar Medical Center where he later died.

At the time, the Bolivar County coroner said that all preliminary autopsy reports showed that Williams had cocaine in his urine and alcohol in his blood.

The two officers were suspended after the incident and then later, after an investigation, returned to their jobs.

While one of those officers has since gone to another department, the other remains with the Cleveland Police Department.

Williams’ family filed a civil suit on Oct. 1, 2012, seeking $25 million for loss of society and companionship, present net cash value of Williams’ life expectancy, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, medical bills or expenses and funeral expenses.

In official court documents filed Wednesday, Judge Sharon Aycock said Dextrick Williams "fails to introduce any evidence apart from conclusory allegations," and "we agree with the district court that: given the circumstances in this case, where Williams fled the scene with drugs in hand, was non-compliant, was warned about being tased and ignored the warning, remained unfazed after being tased and physically struggled with both individual defendant officers, the court is unable to say the force used was excessive."

Bingham was reluctant to discuss the issue because of the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the case and city attorney Jamie Jacks had not returned phone calls as of presstime.