The City of Charlotte has settled with the family of a teen who died March 20, 2008, after being shocked with a Taser fired by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer.
The Charlotte Observer says the out-of-court settlement was for $625,000 — the largest police-related claim since the city paid $785,000 to the family of a woman killed in a 2000 wreck involving a police officer who was speeding without using his flashing lights and siren.
Charlotte lawyer Ken Harris, who represented the estate of Darryl Turner, said the settlement was “substantial” and “resolved all issues against the City of Charlotte, the Charlotte Police Department and the officer involved.
Turner, 17, died after a confrontation with police at a Food Lion store on Prosperity Church Road where he worked.
Police were called to the store by a manager who told investigators that he had asked Turner to leave the store but that Turner had refused.
An in-store surveillance video showed Turner knocking over a display and throwing an umbrella. It also showed officer Jerry Dawson Jr. entering the front door, carrying what appears to be a Taser.
It was unclear from the video when Turner was shocked or whether he was resisting arrest.
An police investigation found that Dawson had held the trigger of the Taser for 37 seconds, until Turner fell, then shocked him again for five seconds.
A police review board determined that Dawson acted properly when he initially fired the Taser but that he violated departmental policy when he held the trigger for a prolonged period.
Turner died after his heart, reacting to the Taser shock, began to beat so fast that it could not pump blood properly.
Dawson was suspended for five days without pay and given additional training in the proper use of the Taser.
In a written statement Tuesday, Harris left open the possibility for future litigation but did not elaborate.
“This is a tragedy that Darryl’s relatives hope will never be visited upon another family,” he said.