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05-19-09, 08:55 PM #1
19 stuns from Tasers not excessive in Patrick Lee's death, jury says
A federal jury decided Monday night that Metro police officers were not at fault in the death of a man who was shocked as many as 19 times by Taser stun guns in 2005.
After deliberating for most of the day, the jury decided the three officers — Jason Creagan, Jonathan Mays and Jaime Scruggs — did not use excessive force in their handling of Patrick Lee, a 21-year-old who acted strangely and resisted arrest outside a downtown nightclub.Lee was under the influence of LSD and stripped off all of his clothes during the incident. He died two days later.
Lee's parents, Bud Lee and Cindy Lundman, sued the officers, Metro government and Taser International in 2006. U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger dismissed all claims against Taser and some against Metro in January.
The officers "were doing their best with the tools they were given," said John M.L. Brown, Mays' attorney.
Dan Ruiz, Lundman's brother, said the family was very upset by the jury verdict.
"I don't know how that could happen with the evidence that was presented," Ruiz said by phone from West Palm Beach, Fla. "But that's the court system.
"My sister is pretty devastated. Her boy was killed, and she wanted vindication. But that's not going to happen right now."
Ruiz said he didn't know if his sister, a missionary in Ecuador, would appeal the verdict.
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