The Crime Scene - To Serve and Inform

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Deputy can be tried in Taser death case

By the Associated Press

A federal appeals court says a Frederick County sheriff's deputy can be tried for allegedly using excessive force by firing an electronic stun gun at a Frederick man who later died.

The Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., ruled Wednesday that Cpl. Rudolph Torres' appeal of a lower court ruling was flawed.

Among other things, the court found that Torres incorrectly referred to the complaint as a wrongful death claim.

The family of 20-year-old Jarrel Gray is seeking $145 million from Torres, the sheriff's office and the county.

Torres hit Gray twice with a Taser while trying to break up a fight in November 2007. A grand jury found in 2008 that Gray had not obeyed Torres' commands to show his hands. Gray's family says he was trying to comply.

By the Associated Press  | November 12, 2010; 7:41 AM ET
Categories:  Frederick, From the Courthouse  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Equipment stolen from Md. school
Next: Mich. trial for stabbings suspect

Comments

Seriously? The cop was doing his job. Too bad the thug croaked, but, honestly-- excessive force would have been if the cop bludgeoned the guy with a baton or asp, or, if he simply shot him. The family should be sued for not properly raising a child.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | November 12, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

"Jarrel Gray was a partially deaf 20-year-old black man involved in an argument in the street in Frederick County, Maryland, when the police approached him and ordered him to lie on the ground. He didn't hear them – so they Tasered him. As he lay paralysed on the ground, they told him to show his hands. He couldn't obey. They Tasered him again."

What about that description says thug? do you know him? why make such judgements about someone you dont know. Even if he was a thug, why does that automatically make him wrong in this situation. Clowns! Sheesh! Remain under your rock please!

Posted by: lilscooby09 | November 12, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Lilscooby09 you told Aimhigh2000!!! That's all they do on the post is talk trash everybody black is a thug so sad. I hope the family get's all they want and more.

Posted by: MsSexy4Life | November 12, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Lilscooby09 you told Aimhigh2000!!! That's all they do on the post is talk trash everybody black is a thug so sad. I hope the family get's all they want and more.

Posted by: MsSexy4Life | November 12, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing on how hard it is to do the job of a cop without being accused of wrong doing.

In this case, using a taser is claimed to be just as bad as using a baton to the head of someone refusing to sign a traffic ticket.

Anything done by a cop today is labeled as "excessive". No matter how routine it has become.

A cop is pretty much required to go "hands on" for every incident. Risking personal injury or getting knocked out in the process.

But even then... the cop would still be sued and his hurting the person who was resisting arrest.

The police need to "one up" those they are dealing with. You bring fists, the police use a taser, mace, or a baton. You bring a knife, the police bring a gun.

It is unfortunate that a supposedly deaf person could not hear the police commands and somehow died afterward. But can you really say the police did something unreasonable in using a taser?

They could not know he was deaf!!

And the taser is far better than 45 minutes of pain from mace in the eyes or bruises received from a baton.

But we line in the USA... where the standard has become to sue anyone and everyone when you get the chance!!

Suing the county does not punish that law enforcement agency... it punishes all the tax payers who live in that county.

Posted by: AceVentura | November 12, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing on how hard it is to do the job of a cop without being accused of wrong doing.

In this case, using a taser is claimed to be just as bad as using a baton to the head of someone refusing to sign a traffic ticket.

Anything done by a cop today is labeled as "excessive". No matter how routine it has become.

A cop is pretty much required to go "hands on" for every incident. Risking personal injury or getting knocked out in the process.

But even then... the cop would still be sued and his hurting the person who was resisting arrest.

The police need to "one up" those they are dealing with. You bring fists, the police use a taser, mace, or a baton. You bring a knife, the police bring a gun.

It is unfortunate that a supposedly deaf person could not hear the police commands and somehow died afterward. But can you really say the police did something unreasonable in using a taser?

They could not know he was deaf!!

And the taser is far better than 45 minutes of pain from mace in the eyes or bruises received from a baton.

But we line in the USA... where the standard has become to sue anyone and everyone when you get the chance!!

Suing the county does not punish that law enforcement agency... it punishes all the tax payers who live in that county.

Posted by: AceVentura | November 12, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@AceVentura you asked "can you really say the police did something unreasonable in using a taser?" That's exactly the question this lawsuit is asking.

Also, you state "And the taser is far better than 45 minutes of pain from mace in the eyes or bruises received from a baton," but in this case that wasn't so, I think the now deceased would have preferred bruises to death.

Sure, in a lot of cases significant force is justified, but not in all cases and that's why our society lets people seek justice through the courts.

Posted by: paul5301 | November 12, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Gray's family says he was trying to comply.

Well I guess that means he could hear. Either way, who cares?

Posted by: gpl2411 | November 12, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I am happy to hear that this officer will be tried. I am, however, tired of hearing about how difficult a job it is to be a police officer; lots of jobs are difficult!

If any officer finds his/her job to be too difficut, too much responsibility, too much pressure, too dangereous, I have a suggestion: RESIGN.

As far as I know, no one has been drafted onto any police force, so do the job YOU signed-up to do and quit complaining....

Posted by: mpryan | November 13, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Some perspective please. A person is dead, needlessly dead, that is, gone, life over. The reason the person is dead is not simple black and white, though race does play a part. Frederick Maryland has a history, going back a long time, of racial tension. There is distrust and animosity in both the police force and the minority community. Every year or two, something makes the news about the police using excessive force, racial profiling, or some heavy handed tactic to address crime. There is violent crime in Frederick. Read the police reports in the local paper, the Frederick Post.

A man is dead and he should not be dead. Something is wrong here. Tasers have been proven to be unreliable as a non-lethal weapon. And no mincing of words, it is a weapon and it is used as a weapon. It is unreliable. The use of tasers must be stopped until the technology is safe. Mace is non-lethal, and effective, though not as sure a protagonist stopper as a taser. I can appreciate the position of police officers who put themselves in harms way on a daily basis, but deploying weapons that result in the death of innocent people is not acceptable. Not one in a hundred deaths, not one in a million deaths. It is not acceptable. Police policy must address both the safety of the officers on the beat and the people in the street.

Posted by: right_as_rain | November 14, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I am sick and tired of hearing..."get on the ground..stop resisting".
Police in any other country don't act like this.For toooo long it has been the norm for police to act accordingly.If they treated the public with more respect then it would be returned.You don't have to throw everyone on the ground.Grow up America.Where do your children get their ideas on how to treat a person. ONLY IN AMERICA

Posted by: captgrumpy | November 14, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

captgrumpy wrote: I am sick and tired of hearing..."get on the ground..stop resisting".
Police in any other country don't act like this.For toooo long it has been the norm for police to act accordingly.If they treated the public with more respect then it would be returned.You don't have to throw everyone on the ground.Grow up America.Where do your children get their ideas on how to treat a person. ONLY IN AMERICA

Perhaps you should move to China, North Korea, Cuba, any number of African, European, Asian, or Central and South American nations and break the law there. And then begin to resist the Police and see for yourself just how you are treated. You won't hear get on the ground and stop resisting. Instead, you'd get your teeth kicked down your throat and then thrown in a dirty cell without medical treatment and you won't be able to sue or complain about it. ONLY HERE IN AMERICA are people afforded civil rights and humane treatment by the Police 99.9% of the time. There is a thing called a Use of Force Continuum here in the US. If verbal commands don't work, then an Officer has a choice, depending on the size or mental state of the individual, whether they go hands on, or use less than lethal force, ie: OC Spray, ASP Baton, and yes, Taser Guns. Bottom line is, if you obey the Police, you won't get hurt. In this case however, the suspect was deaf. How were the Cops supposed to know this? The suspect was involved in a fight, the Police were called to the scene to quell the situation and it got out of hand when the suspect began to actively resist and did not follow orders. The Police have a split second decision on what force to use on an individual. Now we don't know if there were any other people on this scene to tell the Officer's that the suspect was deaf. That is the question we should be asking. If there were, and the Officer's on that scene got word of it, then maybe the situation should have been handled differently, contingent upon what was actually happening on that scene. Hard to say and I am sure all the facts are not being said in this article. So let the Monday morning quarterbacking begin.

Posted by: Chazo | November 15, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company