Durham case raises questions about police use of Tasers - WNCN: News, Weather

Durham case raises questions about police use of Tasers

Posted: Updated:
DURHAM, N.C. -

The North Carolina Supreme Court has ordered the Court of Appeals to review a case in which a man claims a Durham police officer used excessive force when police used a Taser on him.

Bryan DeBaun was seriously injured – a photo from the time shows him with blood across his face - after being Tasered on July 24, 2009, by Officer Daniel Kuszaj. DeBaun sued for damages and an injunction against the department's use of Tasers.

According to the police department's "use of force" policy, "Officers of the Durham Police Department shall use only the force necessary to achieve a lawful objective."

The policy also gives guidelines as to when an officer is allowed to use force, including when they are defending themselves or to "to prevent the escape or to effect the arrest of a person who he (an officer) reasonably believes has committed a criminal offense."

DeBaun had been drinking and was carrying a pack of beer when Kuszaj stopped him near the intersection of Calvin and Holloway streets.

"DeBaun's attorney, Alex Charns, said DeBaun asked the officer, "Am I under arrest?"

"When the officer said no, Mr. DeBaun left," Charns said. "Mr. DeBaun was Tasered in the back and  when the Taser deployed, he became paralyzed. He went face first into a concrete sidewalk."

Charns said DeBaun faces $40,000 in medical and reconstructive surgery bills as a result. He said DeBaun was found not guilty of disorderly conduct and being drunk and disruptive. The case has been in and out of court since.

The Court of Appeals will decide whether to overturn a previous decision and allow DeBaun to sue the city and let the case go to trial. DeBaun wants thousands in damages and also wants chances in the department policy allowing the use of Tasers.

"This policy allows officers to seriously injure or kill people who have committed very minor traffic offense," Charns said.

A spokesman for the Durham Police said the department could not comment because it is an ongoing case.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:58:35 GMT
    (WMC) - It was a story that made its rounds on social media. On a recent flight DeAngelo Williams, Mid-Southerner and running back for the Carolina Panthers, gave his first-class plane seat to a 77-year-old
    Family members are upset and hurt that their relative, James Wesley Bolden, is being called a liar and "a fake."
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • UNC professor robbed, beaten to death in Chapel Hill

    UNC professor robbed, beaten to death in Chapel Hill

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:38:46 GMT
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.