Editorial: County should keep being open about radio problems

(123RF)

Redmond Police are being sued for using a Taser stun gun on a 14-year-old boy while arresting him for an alleged petty offense in late January 2018.

The boy’s father, Michael Francisco, filed the civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Eugene, alleging two Redmond officers used excessive force even though the teenager posed no safety threat.

The encounter occurred Jan. 23, 2018. The suit says Officers Hannah Copeland and Timothy Warburg placed a stun gun against the boy’s torso and applied an electric shock multiple times.

The teen was detained on suspicion of “only minor offenses,’’ according to attorney Todd H. Grover, who is representing the family. But neither Grover nor Redmond Police would identify the kind of offenses or the outcome of any charge.

The suit seeks $250,000 in noneconomic damages for the physical pain and emotional anguish the teenager suffered, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Redmond Police and city spokeswoman Heather Cassaro said the police department’s internal affairs division reviewed the case and found the stun gun use to be justified force.

“We regularly train officers on the proper use and deployment of Tasers and in this situation, when considering all the factors related to the incident, policy was followed,” Redmond Police Lt. Curtis Chambers said Friday. “Given this is a pending lawsuit, we are not comfortable saying anything further at this time.”

According to the department’s policy, stun gun use “should generally be avoided’’ on certain people, including women known to be pregnant, elderly individuals or “obvious juveniles,’’ people with “obviously low body mass’’ and those who are handcuffed or otherwise restrained “unless the totality of the circumstances indicates that other available options reasonably appear ineffective or would present a greater danger to the officer, the subject or others.’’

The officer must reasonably believe the need to control a person “outweighs the risk of using the device.’’

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