Two lawsuits filed this week in Cleveland federal district court charge that law enforcement officers in Trumbull County and Painesville used excessive force when firing Tasers — causing severe and permanent brain damage to one man and contributing to the death of another, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Attorney David Malik argues in both cases that the officers were overly aggressive and poorly trained to use the weapon, which sends an electrical current through its subject, disrupting muscle control. Malik also accused the officers of ignoring manufacturer warnings about the dangers of electroshock devices. Prolonged or multiple shocks, using the weapon against an unhealthy person or shocking someone directly in the chest all elevate the risk of serious injury, the complaint says. “There is no excuse for not training these officers better,” Malik said in an interview. “Tasing someone for 21 seconds or while he is in police custody with multiple people standing around — it’s outrageous. An officer’s authority does not permit the excessive use of force.”