In this case, the officer who fired the Taser said she forgot to take her finger off the trigger, shocking the suspect for 49 straight seconds, then 5 second more after that. In police jargon that's known as "riding the lightning" and it's tantamount to torture, though in this deadly case it was supposedly inadvertent. As was the case with a 72-year old great-grandma tazed by a deputy constable in Austin, the officer in this case tased the suspect essentially because he dared her to do so: "An investigation showed that Jacobs was unarmed and did not strike any of the officers. When one of the officers warned him that he would be Tasered, Jacobs started moving toward the officers, saying, 'Go ahead, I've always wanted to see what that feels like anyway.'"
The city of Fort Worth has offered a record $2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a man who was killed with a Taser during a confrontation with police last year.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the settlement Tuesday, according to an agenda posted online Friday.
It's the biggest lawsuit settlement Fort Worth has ever offered in a case involving death or injury, Assistant City Attorney Gerald Pruitt said.
The city paid $750,000 to the families of four people who drowned in the Water Gardens in 2004, but that case was in state court, where there's a limit on damages that plaintiffs can win from a government entity.
"This is a civil-rights case; there's no cap," Pruitt said. The city is not admitting liability.
Brian Eberstein, an attorney for the slain man's family, said the size of the settlement shows that the city understands it has a problem.
Because of the risk of death, last year Taser advised agencies using their product to train officers not to shoot suspects in the chest.