by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
The parents of a man who died after police shocked him with a Taser are suing.
It happened at the Woodlawn Lynx station in July 2011.
Police said La-Reko Williams and his girlfriend were arguing and possibly fighting. Police were called, and Officer Michael Forbes pulled his Taser, and he shocked Williams, who died soon after, twice.
Just a day before Williams' death, in a similar case, a jury awarded Darryl Turner's family $10 million. Turner was the 17-year-old who died when Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers used a Taser on him in 2008. Williams' parents said police should have stopped using Tasers then but chose not to.
After Williams died, CMPD stopped using Tasers and tested them, eventually spending almost $2 million to buy new ones.
Williams' parents are suing Forbes, CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe, the city of Charlotte and Taser International.
Rhonda Wilkinson works across the street from the Woodlawn station. She remembers what happened and defends police and Taser.
"I sympathize that someone was hurt, but he should have listened to the police officer and stopped," she said.
CMPD lawyer Mark Newbold sent WSOC a statement, reading, "Although Mr. Williams' death was indeed tragic, we believe that the actions taken by the officer were lawful and appropriate under the circumstances."
Taser emailed WSOC, stating, "TASER technology has proven to reduce excessive use of force claims and these highly publicized cases represent a small percentage of arrests where it has saved numerous lives, dramatically reduced injuries to both officers and suspects while reducing excessive use of force litigation."
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