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Excessive Force: Georgia Cops Tasered Handcuffed Man 13 Times Before He Died

A Georgia man is dead after East Point officers used their taser guns as a cattle prod to force him to walk.

Gregory Towns, a suspect in a domestic violence call, had led officers on a chase for nearly a mile before being placed under arrest in April. Once in custody, Towns refused to walk to the waiting police cars, saying he was tired.

So the officers tasered him repeatedly, using the shocks like a cattle prod to force the man to the car.

According to the East Point police’s statement days after the event, “They used a Taser on Mr. Towns. Mr. Towns developed medical difficulties and was taken to Atlanta Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.”

At the time, police acknowledged that the man in their custody had been shocked ‘more than once.’

Now, Chris Stewart, an attorney for the Towns family, has said that Towns was tasered not a few times as police implied earlier, but thirteen times in total.

Piecing together what happened on the day of Towns’ death using the police departments own documents, Stewart said that he can find absolutely no excuse for the man’s treatment while already in police custody and not out of control.

“He wasn’t cursing. He wasn’t being abusive. He was saying, ‘I’m tired,’” Stewart said.

He also said that taser logs show that the two officers repeatedly shocked Towns. One officer, Sgt. Marcus Eberhart hit the trigger ten times. Officer Howard Weems fired his taser three times.

“This is a direct violation of their own rules,” Stewart stressed. “You cannot use a Taser to escort or prod a subject.”

At least once cop – Howard Weems – has since been fired from the police force after Towns died in his custody. His attorneys, however, are appealing his termination saying in a statement, the “use of drive stun to gain compliance is permitted under federal and Georgia law.”

Both officers are remaining mum about their version of the events, pending litigation.

Photo Credit: WSB-TV


About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.