LPD Faces Third Taser Related Lawsuit - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/2/07

LPD Faces Third Taser Related Lawsuit

Source: Lubbock Co. Sheriff Source: Lubbock Co. Sheriff

Three Lubbock Police Officers stand accused of using excessive force during an arrest last April.  Bacilio Martinez claims the officers tackled and then tased him without cause. Now, those officers want a federal judge to decide if their actions crossed the line.

Martinez says he was walking down 53rd Street last April 16th, when officer Jamison Ward pulled his service pistol on him.  According to his attorney, Martinez matched a suspect description in a domestic dispute. He allegedly raised his hands, but that's when another officer allegedly tackled Martinez to the ground.

The suit claims Martinez struck his head on the pavement when officer Jonathan Tutino allegedly tackled him. Martinez says he requested medical attention, but claims police refused that request. 

While being escorted to officer Kody Nesbitt's patrol car, Martinez claims Nesbitt tased him in the side.  Martinez says he was wearing handcuffs, and that the action made him fall into the car, where Nesbitt allegedly continued tasing him.

"A short time later they took him to the hospital to seek medical treatment for injuries he received," Martinez's attorney, Matthew Hawkins said. 

Officer Nesbitt apparently left his chest microphone on at the hospital.  It recorded a conversation with a nurse at University Medical Center.  "If you can maybe inflict some pain, that would be great," Nesbitt states. 

Nesbitt's microphone also caught another conversation, allegedly between himself and an LPD Lieutenant.

"I'm going to assume that you all whipped his a** for his conduct," the lieutenant asks. "Yes," Nesbitt responds. 

Nesbitt knows what tasing feels like. He was tased himself during police academy training, though, in the wake of two other tasing suits filed against the department, Hawkins questions that training. 

"You have to wonder what's going on with the Lubbock Police Department; what has given the police, I guess what they believe to have, the right to use those tasers without provocation," Hawkins said. 

All three officers have consented to move this case into federal court, but a judge must still accept that request.  Martinez's attorney had not been notified of any official change by late Wednesday afternoon.

Either way, Martinez is seeking compensation for his medical expenses, pain and suffering, and legal costs.

5/2/07
Other Taser Related Lawsuits in Lubbock
There has been three taser-related lawsuits in Lubbock over the past two years.

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