LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The jury recessed in the taser trial against the City of Lubbock without reaching a decision. L.J. McCallan filed a lawsuit against Officer Marsh Blackmore and the City of Lubbock Police Department for misuse of force during a July 2006 traffic stop.
Jurors went home right at five after deliberating for nearly four hours without reaching a decision. Day four began with Officer Blackmore back on the stand. He told the court when he pulled McCallan over he ran the vehicle's plates and discovered outstanding traffic warrants and cautiously approached the vehicle.
Officer Blackmore told the court he followed McCallan from what he called a crack house, but failed to include this detail in his report and also did not find drug paraphernalia on McCallan. The second witness of the day and the only eye witness to the incident on 19th Street was local business owner Tracy Stone who had a different point of view from what dash cam video provided jurors. Stone told the court "Officer Blackmore appeared to be in what looked like a dangerous situation for anyone to be in."
This testimony confirmed the defense theory this entire week, that Blackmore used reasonable force given the circumstance of the situation. The plaintiff argued the video speaks for itself and that Officer Blackmore overreacted.
The 12 member jury started deliberating around 1:15 Friday afternoon. The jury has a two tiered decision ahead of them since there are two defendants. The jury must first decide if Officer Blackmore used excessive and unreasonable force given the circumstances of the situation that day. If jurors answer yes to that question, then they can begin to address the question of the city's role and if the police department's policies were unconstitutional regarding the use of force.
During closing arguments L.J. McCallan's attorney asked for what he called a humble verdict of medical bills and $20,000 for pain and injuries suffered from the incident. Jury will resume deliberations Tuesday at 9 a.m.
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