Jury: Deputy Not Liable In Taser Death Case
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A young man shot with a Taser dies. The sheriff’s deputy who fired the weapon is sued for millions of dollars. Wednesday afternoon, a jury reached a verdict in the case being closely watched by the law enforcement community.
Adam May has emotional reaction to the verdict.
The jury only deliberated for a few hours, ruling in favor of the deputy.
Tears flow outside the federal courthouse after the family of Jarrel Gray loses their $145 million wrongful death lawsuit.
“Where can I go? My son’s not here,” said Gray’s mom, Tanya Thomas.
A jury cleared Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputy Rudy Torres of any wrongdoing.
Back in 2007, Torres responded to a fight in a Frederick neighborhood. He fired a Taser twice, killing the 20-year-old.
“I am relieved but I think we all need to remember at the end of the day this is a tragedy. No one wins and no one loses today,” Torres said.
“That man is free to go on and live his life the way he wants to, and I have to go to my son’s burial plot to visit him. I’d like to know how he sleeps at night with that?” Thomas said.
The decision outraged Gray’s parents who claimed their son was tased without being give a chance to comply with police.
“He’s not the first person to die, or the last person to die from a Taser. So until they get this straight, you’re gonna see more families here,” Thomas said.
Her attorney agrees.
“I love this country, but sometimes this country breaks my heart,” said Gregory Lattimer, attorney.
But jurors say the evidence was clearly in favor of the deputy.
“It was not a malicious act by Cpl. Torres. He did not have any intent on harming, injuring or killing this young man,” said Monica O’Guinn, juror.
Torres says he thinks about the incident every day.
When asked what does it feel like to live with the outcome of the verdict, he responded, “I hope you never know. I hope you never know.”
Torres also said he still believes Tasers are good weapons for police.
Almost a dozen Marylanders have died in Taser-related incidents.