City seeks to settle taser-death suit

Posted on May 19, 2010
The city of Fort Worth, TX has offered to settle with the family of a man who died after being tasered by police for $2 million. This is the largest settlement the city has ever offered for a case involving death or injury.

The victim, Michael Jacobs, 24, died in April of 2009 afer being shocked for 54 seconds by police. Jacobs was unarmed at the time and had a history of mental illness.

The city has not admitted any liability in the case. The Jacobs family's attorney believes that the size of the settlement indicates a recognition for policy and training changes in the use of tasers by police officers.

Jacobs' family had called the police because he was off his medication and acting aggressively. Officers attempted to calm Jacobs. He was not armed and did not try to strike the officers. The officer who tasered Jacobs in front of his parents admitted that she inadvertedly held the trigger for too long.

The medical examiner ruled the incident a homicide, but a grand jury in Fort Worth declined to indict the officers. His family then sued the city.