Charlotte Family Sues Company That Makes Taser Stun Guns

A maker of electronic stun guns is being sued by the family of a North Carolina teen killed after he was shocked with one of the weapons.

The Charlotte Observer reported the lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court and doesn't list a specific monetary amount. The lawsuit says Taser International didn't warn its customers that the weapon could be lethal if deployed near the chest.

Seventeen-year-old Darryl Wayne Turner died of cardiac arrest in March 2008 after a confrontation with police at a grocery store where Turner had worked. The city of Charlotte paid $625,000 to Turner's family last August, although the city didn't admit wrongdoing.

A spokesman for Taser International says the Arizona-based company doesn't comment on pending litigation, but stands behind the safety of its products.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by C on Mar 19, 2010 at 04:23 PM
    True American: I've asked folks to do this before,and now I'll ask you: Please Google-search "Me,The Lousy Cop", find it,and read it carefully. Thanks.
  • by True American Location: Greenville on Mar 19, 2010 at 05:53 AM
    May the slain victim find his place in heaven. May the officer never even see the gates.
  • by C on Mar 19, 2010 at 02:13 AM
    Sarah: Walking past the officer and ignoring his commands is a form of resisting,hence the taser was used. Officers across the country have used their tasers in literally thousands of incidents with no deaths. They have come to prefer using the taser rather than having to resort to the more violent method of fists and batons. Again,if the guy had just complied rather than resisted,none of this would've happened...i.e.,he brought it all upon himself.
  • by Sarah on Mar 18, 2010 at 06:44 PM
    Continued from below...I do think using the taser at all was overreaction. Sure, any number of actions could have meant that the police weren't called in but I think a lot of people would have reacted similarly to getting fired for trying to pay for a $2 meal. Using the taser at all should have called for his suspension. 37 seconds to the chest sounds like involuntary manslaughter to me. Also, I would like to again say, for those who said drugs were involved, his toxicology report showed no drugs in his system, and by the way, one of the articles said that he was valedictorian at his school. There are many comments here that referred to him in pretty derogatory terms without knowing the incident or the victim; a very bright person was taken away for a really stupid reason and there is no way he should have anticipated being tasered with excessive force for the small actions he took.
  • by Sarah on Mar 18, 2010 at 06:35 PM
    To C, when I was researching this I found several accounts & video of what happened. He went into the store b/c he had left work that day w/o paying for a Hot Pocket & was going to pay. When he went back he was fired for taking it in the first place which is why he got upset. He pushed a small display off the counter. Some of the reports say he threw something at his supervisor but if he did it was so small it didn't show in the video. The police officer, who was already outside (for something else I guess because this happened in a matter of minutes) entered with his taser extended like a gun. The victim walked past him in a nonthreatening manner, practically ignoring him, and was tasered as he walked by. Search for at What I read said he walked by and collapsed a few steps away. Why he was tasered again for 37 seconds I don't get but he shouldn't have been the first time.
  • by C on Mar 18, 2010 at 03:32 PM
    J: Exactly what law are you referring to here as "unjust"? Moreover,how can you call the officers murderers? They employed tasers,not firearms. It would be murder if they'd just blatantly shot an unarmed person. However,they used what is manufactured as a non-deadly weapon on a person who happened to die later from cardiac arrest. Perhaps the cardiac episode was brought about by the exertion of fighting the officers...which he should not have done to start with. How many times have we seen young people suddenly die in like manner while simply playing team sports? I invite you to give law enforcement work a try yourself before you so quickly hang the label of "murderer" on our officers.
  • by J Location: Greenville on Mar 18, 2010 at 02:24 PM
    If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so. - Thomas Jefferson Police are the murderers here.
  • by C on Mar 18, 2010 at 02:01 PM
    It also occurs to me that one problem in this society is we have too many people suing somebody else. Our society is lawsuit-happy. While I'm thinking about it...For anyone who is interested,Google-search the lyrics to a great song by The Eagles entitled "Get Over It". The words were spot-on then,and even more so now...and notice the tongue-in-cheek reference to Shakespeare's idea for attorneys!
  • by C on Mar 18, 2010 at 11:55 AM
    Sarah: Thank you for your kindly-worded disagreement with my posting. You've set an example for all who post on here; a lot of folks can't take disagreement without resorting to insults and rudeness. Anyhow: I must in kind respectfully disagree with two of your points. If you are pulled over for speeding,you won't be tasered for 37 seconds,or even tasered at all..IF you do as the officer tells you to do from the beginning. The 17 year-old in this story obviously did NOT do as he should have. On to your other point: I see what you mean about WITN allowing speculation about the offender's behavior. However,any time a story about alleged police misdeeds comes up,lots of people on this site indulge in the same kind of speculation...and nary a protest is raised. Anyhow, I look forward to our next exchange of opinions. Regards,C
  • by Dixiegirl929 Location: Tarboro on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:42 AM
    Let the cops use REAL guns like they are suppose to do.

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