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Alabama Family Seeks $36M After Police Tased And Killed Their Son

The family of a Black man in Alabama who died in July after police stunned him with a Taser 13 times has filed a $36 million wrongful death lawsuit in federal court, alleging that his death was caused by officers using excessive force. Lawyers representing the family of the man, Jawan Dallas, 36, of Mobile, say police body camera video, which has not been released to the public, shows two officers using a Taser on him as he begged for his life while lying prone on the ground, according to court documents, Reuters reports. The officers who used the Taser on Dallas have not been publicly identified. The lawsuit refers to them only as Defendant John Doe 1 and Defendant John Doe 2. The lawsuit asserts that the officers violated his Fourth Amendment right against the unlawful use of excessive force. The actions of the defendants were "willful, and deliberate and indifferent to Jawan Dallas' federally protected rights."

“Jawan was 36 years old. He was taken from his family too soon because Jawan Dallas had a destiny, he had life, he had plans,” said Harry Daniels, one of the civil rights attorneys representing the family, said in a press conference on Monday. The fatal encounter unfolded as police were responding to a burglary call, and approached Dallas and another man sitting in a car nearby. Officers said the use of the Taser on Dallas was justified because he had attempted to run away. "I can't breathe. I don't want to be George Floyd," Dallas said before he died, according to the suit, which cited a statement by a witness. Dallas's words were a reference to the infamous 2020 killing of George Floyd, who gasped "I can't breathe" as a Minneapolis police officer pinned Floyd's neck to the ground with a knee, killing him. In the summer of 2020, Floyd's words became a rallying cry for months of protests against police violence against Black people and people of color in cities around the world.


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