Jennifer Edwards-Baker reports:
Douglas Boucher, 39, of Mason died after a 2009 tasing incident with Mason Police. Boucher's family has filed a a lawsuit in federal court against the city, police department and two officers involved. . Provided photo
The family of a man who died in 2009 after Mason police shocked him with Tasers has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city, police department and two officers.
The suit alleges Officers Daniel Fry and Sean McCormick used “dangerous” and “excessive” force by essentially torturing Douglas Boucher, 39, who was mentally ill when he died on Dec. 13, 2009, after he was Tased in the parking lot of a Speedway gas station. He fell and struck his head on the pavement.
Filed by renowned Cincinnati civil rights lawyer Al Gerhardstein, the suit demands a jury trial and seeks compensative damages and legal costs.
It also asks for punitive damages against the officers, not the city.
“They tortured him when he was on the ground and obviously incapacitated,” Gerhardstein said Tuesday. “They gave him a command, he did not comply and rather than check and see if he had a medical problem, they kicked him and used a (baton) on him. They also Tased him five times in a a row before they realized he was incapable of responding to commands, and that’s what torture is.”
Gerhardstein also alleges in the suit the officers failed to “spark test” their Tasers before they used them so the current that ran through Boucher’s body may have been higher than the manufacturer specifies.
He said he obtained the download off of the devises and it shows the officers’ Tasers hadn’t been sparked tested for 10 days.
Boucher’s autopsy results showed he died from a skull fracture from the fall.
The report did not blame the use of Tasers for the cause of death.
City and state investigations into the incident cleared the officers of wrongdoing in Boucher’s death.
Former Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel determined that the state investigation and evidence in his death indicated the officers did not commit a criminal act during the Dec. 13 incident.
Neither officer faced internal discipline because they were found to have followed the police force’s policy and procedures, Mason spokeswoman Jennifer Trepal has said.
Calls to Mason’s city manager and police chief were not immediately returned Tuesday.
In in a court filing, a lawyer for the city, Gary Becker, denies all allegations the officers violated Boucher’s constitutional rights and asks that the suit, which was filed on Dec. 9, be dismissed.
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