The city of Madera and a police officer who killed a suspect after drawing a handgun instead of a Taser device, have put the blame on the manufacturer of the stun gun, alleging the company failed to provide appropriate training.
The city and officer Marcy Noriega have filed a lawsuit against Arizona-based Taser International for the death of Everardo Torres, 24.
Noriega shot Torres in October last year while he was sitting handcuffed in the back of a police car.
Noriega told investigators she intended to stun Torres with her Taser but she accidentally drew and fired her service weapon.
Sounds like the fault of officer Noriega and her training to me. How in the hell can it be Taser’s fault?
Torres had been arrested on suspicion of resisting and delaying police as they tried to quell a loud party.
The city and the officer allege that the manufacturer had a duty to provide notice of the risks involved and that the firm knew its training methods were flawed.
Oh for jebus’s sake. The POLICE DEPARTMENT is at fault for improperly training the officer. They APPROVED it.
They also claim say it wasn’t the first time law enforcement had mistakenly fired bullets instead of an electronic charge, pointing to allegedly similar incidents in other states.
A lawyer representing Taser said the company would have no immediate comment on the lawsuit.
The Torres family filed a federal wrongful death complaint against Madera and Noriega after the city rejected a $10 million claim.
The city of Madera had reportedly offered the Torres family a $350,000 settlement, but the family has declined the settlement, the Fresno Bee reported in Tuesday’s edition.
No criminal charges against Noriega were filed after the District Attorney’s Office concluded that the shooting was accidental.
Bruce Praet, a lawyer who is representing Madera and Noriega, said that officers no longer carry their handgun and Taser on the same side — something that contributed to the Torres shooting.
Taser International produces less-than-lethal weapons for use in the law enforcement, private security and personal defense markets.
The Taser shoots an electric charge that overrides the central nervous system and contracts muscles. This momentarily incapacitates a person without causing permanent injury.
The first time I saw this was at the Sacramento airport – two apparent handguns, one on the belt, one lower down on the leg in a “tactical” holster – and I said right then that they were begging for a negligent discharge. The Taser looked very similar to the duty Glock, and under pressure you’re going to draw the gun you’re used to drawing. But Taser isn’t at fault here – the officer is – the Department is.
Oh hell, let’s sue the gun manufacturer. It went “BANG!” when the officer didn’t really mean for it to.
(Department of “Kill all the Lawyers.”)