Jury rules in favor of tasing officer; Plaintiff's family furious - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/20/09

Jury rules in favor of tasing officer; Plaintiff's family furious

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By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Emotions are high after a Lubbock jury reached a verdict in the taser trial.

Tuesday, the jury unanimously agreed Lubbock Police Officer Marsh Blackmore did not use excessive force when tasing L.J. McCallan back in 2006.

The trial lasted nearly a week and on Friday it was left in the jury's hands to decide if Officer Blackmore used excessive and unreasonable force given the circumstances of the situation that day.

After the jury answered no Tuesday morning, McCallan and his family say they are furious with the decision. "That gives the police department that they can do whatever they want to do. If they want to tase us and kill us, they can do it," said McCallan relative Olivia Gaywood.  

Family members of L.J. McCallan were shocked when they heard the verdict in this taser trial Tuesday morning. "So I guess the message in Lubbock, TX is that the police can tase you and do whatever they want to do to you and get away and that's just not right," said McCallan's sister Tyenie Robinson.

For days the Lubbock jury heard numerous testimonies including from Blackmore and McCallan. Jurors watched every second of the dash cam video and McCallan's family says they are in disbelief that a jury did not believe Blackmore used excessive force. "It's clear Blackmore was guilty for everything that was caused. My medical expenses won't be attended to, I have busted up teeth in my mouth from where he beat me," said McCallan. 

McCallan testified on the stand, he had no idea he was being pulled over, until Blackmore caught him off guard at his car door. He said he didn't have time to react before he was tased.

Blackmore says he was attempting to pull McCallan over for a busted taillight, but that McCallan did not pull over right away. He told the jury when he ran the vehicle's license plates he discovered outstanding traffic warrants and cautiously approached the vehicle. Blackmore says he had to tase McCallan because he was noncompliant.

"He got off the hook today, but there is a tomorrow and hopefully they will do something and you can go do something to get your proper education to work for the Lubbock Police Department the right way and not the wrong way, they are allowing you to work," said McCallan.  

McCallan and his family say they will continue to seek justice and they hope to take their case to the Supreme Court. "We fought and stood up to the law. We didn't win, but we will one day," said McCallan's brother Kevin McCallan.

No one from the defense wanted to comment on the trial's outcome, but the Lubbock Police Department released a statement saying they are pleased with the trial's outcome and they want to thank the jury for considering all the facts.

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