ACLU takes aim at police use of tasers
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WDSU) — The ACLU of Louisiana has assumed representation of a Washington state man who claims police were out of line when they used a Taser on him during a 2009 visit to New Orleans.
Geoffrey Clayton was a member of the U.S. military when, according to a federal lawsuit, an NOPD officer stunned him during an incident in the French Quarter. The lawsuit claims the officer deployed the Taser after trying unsuccessfully to get Clayton to end a phone call.
Attorneys said Clayton was suffering an episode brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that has plagued him since his military service.
"This is the second lawsuit brought by the ACLU over NOPD Taser practices since 2007," said Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. "Last year, the City of New Orleans paid monetary damages to Steven Elloie, who in 2006 was Tasered by police officers while tending to his family-owned business in Central City."
Clayton's case was filed last year, but the ACLU will now take up representation in the matter. The organization calls Tasers "dangerous weapons that can inflict serious, even fatal injury."
Clayton claims he suffered long-term effects that forced him to resign from his position in the Army. The case is pending in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.