BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A federal jury sided with the Baltimore County police officer whose use of a Taser may have led to the death of a 40-year-old man.
Derek Valcourt has details on the case and the jury’s decision.
The man who died had been Tasered not once or twice but 10 times. Now a federal jury ruled that was not excessive force on the officer’s part.
When Ryan Myers–who was bipolar–got into a physical confrontation with his family at his parents’ Essex home, police were called to the scene. When Myers did not immediately put down the baseball bat he was holding, Officer Stephen Mee deployed his Taser.
It took three shocks from the Taser to bring Myers to the ground. A team of officers then pinned him down, but in the moments following, Mee used the Taser another seven times.
Officers said Myers was resisting.
“Mr. Myers became very combatant with the officers, even after being Tased. The officers were able to get him down, handcuff him and call for a medic,” said Mike Hill in March 2007.
Myers was unconscious as he was rushed to Franklin Square and later pronounced dead. In 2010, Myers’ family filed suit against the county, claiming police used excessive force.
After a week of testimony in a Richmond federal court, a jury of nine sided with Officer Mee, ruling the Taser use did not amount to excessive force.
Baltimore County officials released a statement praising the verdict, saying, “This was obviously a tragic incident but we are pleased that the jury agreed that our officer had acted reasonably under the circumstances and that he had not used unreasonable or excessive force.”
Myers’ family and their attorney could not be reached for comment on this story.
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