Jury says Metro Police did not use excessive force in 2005 Taser death

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 1:02am
Staff reports

The parents of a young man that died after being shot at least 19 times with a Taser gun lost their suit against Metro Police on Monday when a Nashville jury ruled that officers did not use excessive force.

Three officers were involved in the 2005 Taser incident outside a downtown Nashville club in which Patrick Lee, then 21, died two days after being shocked.

Following an autopsy, Lee was officially listed as having died of a drug-induced condition known as ‘excited delirium.’

Lee’s parents filed the lawsuit in federal court in 2006, accusing police of using unreasonable and unnecessary force.


Filed under: City News

17 Comments on this post:

By: idgaf on 5/19/09 at 5:52

More people will die from tasers.

If you are not legally justified in shooting them, they should not be tased.

It was "sold" as a step before lethal force and that claim is apparently true but it has become a first use weapon. Saw one clip where a lady sitting in the car was tased for not getting off the phone.

By: idgaf on 5/19/09 at 6:05

The better case would have been a civil one against taser.

By: jdawg on 5/19/09 at 6:36

Tasers dont kill people. Do the research on how the device works. Yes I do agree that officers in the US dont always use the Taser as they are trained but that is one reason Nashville Police have a Taser Cam so every time it is used the incident can be reviewed,

By: pandabear on 5/19/09 at 6:58

Taser do kill people and shooting someone 19 times
is pure stupidity.

Here's a clip from an article on a "Tasers are justified" site:

"Last week, Sangamon County Coroner Susan Boone said A. Paul Carlock, 57, the former policeman, clown and day-care worker who was in jail awaiting trial on sex tourism and child pornography charges, had an existing heart condition and that his death was natural – even though Carlock started to show symptoms of stress only moments after he was Tasered. "

Wow. He showed symtoms only moments after being Tasered.

What a coinsidence !

The "eggshell" argument will work just fine for these folks in a civil trial,
which is what's coming next. There are over 200 examples of people dying
"just moments after being Tasered".

It would have been better to Taser each one of these "officers" 19 times
in a row and see how they stood up to it.
Wouldn't that have been "fair" ? After all, "it won't kill you".

A group of officers Tasering a young naked boy 19 times.
Did they think he was gonna pull a weapon out of his ass ?

By: pandabear on 5/19/09 at 7:07

Here's a video of a guy killed by a taser:

By: pandabear on 5/19/09 at 7:19

Here's a link to story of Taser threatening to sue doctors when they list Tasers as a
cause of death:

By: idgaf on 5/19/09 at 7:53

Taser like glock spread a lot of money around to get their products accepted.

There are over 200 deaths attributed to tasers more then any nightsticks or black jacks that were ever used in a short period of time.

Someone should pay attention to the warning signs.

By: jdawg on 5/19/09 at 8:01

So it was his heart defect that killed him, " had an existing heart condition ", maybe you should sue his mother for his not developing right in the womb, or maybe the officers geting into a physical fight with the subject would have been better, no wait that causes more stress on the body. Get real, when are people going to realize that if people dont put themselves into a situation where you are going to get arrested than maybe bad things wont happen to you. This is the mentality that it is everyone elses fault but the criminal's. Since you can google taser related incidents look up the ‘excited delirium' ,and you will find that if someone has this condition, like the Nashville incident, they are going to die whether the officers do anything or not.

By: pandabear on 5/19/09 at 8:19

Nice to see you're on the payroll and have a job.
A lot of people don't have one and are hurtin' , that' for sure.

These are examples of people NOT putting themselves in "this position",
and getting "Tasered" anyway.

That's the whole point.

By: jdawg on 5/19/09 at 8:21

Here are some numbers for you Taser has been around since 1993, http://www.taser.com/company/pages/aboutTASER.aspx , you are stating that there have been around 200 deaths attributed to criminal deaths after a taser use. Here is another number, since 1993 (the same year Taser was introduced) there have been 2,728 officer deaths and unknown number of career ending injuries. Why arent people jumping up and down and calling for change over this number?

By: jdawg on 5/19/09 at 8:35

I read the article from Vancouver that you posted, I couldn’t find the link in the article that actually showed the video, but at the same time proper training would have resolved the situation, that’s for sure. There is another issue that was raised in the article that was not addressed. The article stated that two officers were on the subjects neck and back. If they are there for an extended amount of time than it causes a condition called positional asphyxiation. That is one reason why you don’t see criminals being hog tied and thrown in the police cars back seat on their stomach anymore. You put a person in that position for an extended amount of time and THEIR body weight alone can cause them to go into respiratory distress. The added weight of two other people for an extended amount of time could have disastrous effects.

By: pandabear on 5/19/09 at 9:36

We are calling for change. You're not listening.

Here's how a friend of mine puts it. He's definitely better at it than I am:

There is no reasonable justification for this young mans death. The fact that he was naked , and realistically not presenting a immediate danger to trained professionals, would seem to indicate that the method of tassering someone 19 times would be riculously cruel.
If this were done to an animal, the activists would have a field day . For those people that would malign Patrick’s up bringing simply demonstrates your ignorance of the social problems that permeates this society. However, it is a feeble attempt to clear ones conscience of a deplorable example of restraining a citizen, without compassion for ones own humanity.
If the officers were "doing their best with the tools that they were given", then I suggest they need to be given some crash courses on common sense, as well as their supervisors.
This was a tragedy of extremes, on both sides, the only good that can come from this experience, is the recognition of what might be done to prevent this humanely.

By: pandabear on 5/19/09 at 9:41

Give me a break. I went to your "link", and it's directly from the "Taser" website.

You are obviously a plant jdawg.
This guy died from 19 hits of a Taser. That's a fact.
Taser threatens doctors who list "Taser" as cause of death. That's a fact.
I left the link for that and you didn't say anything about that one.

A man's son died by police stupidity. That's a fact.

Think about that before you post again.

By: govskeptic on 5/19/09 at 11:29

This guy was nude and had no weapons!!! Video shows at least 6 officers standing in a circle around him. They have invented a medical term to cover up overuse of these tasers. Sad case all around.

By: pandabear on 5/19/09 at 12:02

Where's the link to the video ?

By: jdawg on 5/19/09 at 3:11


When did I say anything about Patricks’ up bringing? It is a horrible thing when anyone looses their life as a result of anyones action, ever their own. The fact of the matter is as an officer you have to do what ever you can to control the situation. If the officers jumped on him and beat him into submission than it is very likely that there would have been the same result, only the headline would have read "Metro Officers beat 21 year old to death". I agree 19 times seems like too many and some other option should have been addressed, (easy to armchair quarterback) but there are new protocols that are in place to keep that from happening again. It is clear that you and I wont agree on this topic, but I am more knowledgeable on the "social problems that permeates this society" than you think. I work with it day in and day out. Most people would rather remain ignorant than know what really happens in the world around them. Unfortunately bad things happen when even the best try to do right. Learning from that bad situation is all we can hope for. I did read the other article and notice they got their information from an anonymous source. Money works both ways.

By: govskeptic on 5/20/09 at 4:56

The video shown by 2 of our 4 stations says alot. The jury had the most problem with the medical testimony as to cause of death. Had this young man died instantly instead of 2 days later it may or maynot have made a difference in their verdict.