$2 million, 54-Second Tase
The City of Fort Worth has reached a $2 million settlement with the family of Michael Patrick Jacobs, Jr., who was tased to death on April 18, 2009 at the family home. Police officers came to the home after family members called asking for medical assistance for their son, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Family members said he was not violent in any way.
Police said he was combative. Cpl. Stephanie A. Phillips shocked him first with a 49-second blast, then a second time for five seconds. The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled his death a homicide due to “application of a conducted energy device.”
The city, however, did not discipline Phillips, nor are they admitting any liability with the settlement. “Approval of this settlement should not be construed as an admission of liability by the City of Fort Worth, any liability in this matter being, in fact, expressly denied. This settlement is entered into only to avoid further time-consuming and costly litigation.” The settlement must be approved by city council.
In related news, the Texas Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference has said in a statement that they will not support next year’s Super Bowl at Cowboy Stadium if Arlington goes ahead with plans to purchase 300 taser units for their police force this year. Here is the SCLC’s staement: