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Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Black Man Alleges Vicious Assault from Cops

EUREKA, Calif. (CN) - Clearlake Police shot a black man armed with only a table leg seven times and Tasered him twice, then planted evidence and intimidated him as he lay on his hospital bed, the man claims in Federal Court. After shooting him seven times and Tasering him, Sean Pryor says, the cops Tasered him again because he didn't roll over on command.

Pryor claims Lt. Craig Clausen entered his house with Officers Carl Miller and Michael Ray after receiving a call that Pryor had threatened to kill his stepbrother.

When they found Pryor with a table leg in his hand, Miller shot him through his right wrist, causing him to drop the table leg.

Pryor says Miller then shot him three more times, while Ray Tasered him. Then, Pryor says, Miller shot him a fifth, sixth and seventh time because he was "still standing."

Pryor says he fell, and when he failed to roll over on command, Ray Tasered him again. He says the cops then conspired with the Clearlake Police Department to plant evidence to make it appear that Pryor was holding a knife when he was shot.

Pryor says he was taken to the hospital after being shot and Tasered, where four other police officers surrounded his bed, grabbed his feet and shook him violently to intimidate him.

Pryor claims that even before the shooting, the responding officers knew he was mentally unstable, from a previous run-in, and that he had not hurt anybody and was armed only with the table leg.

He claims that Lt. Clausen knew that according to protocol he should have called a mental health representative or a negotiator to try and to Pryor out of the house, rather than enter it.

Finally, Pryor says, Officer Miller's judgment was clouded when Miller shot him, as Miller was under the influence of chlordiazepoxide, a sedative used to treat anxiety, including issues associated with alcohol withdrawal.

Pryor seeks punitive damages from the City of Clearlake, the responding officers, the ones who intimidated him in the hospital, and from Police Chief Alan Wade McClain, for assault, unreasonable search and seizure, and other civil rights violations.

He is represented by Brian Sudano of Walnut Creek.

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