Cops Just Love Those Tasers

ATLANTA (CN) – Georgia police Tasered a man with “the mind of a small child” as he stood peacefully in his own front yard with his hands in his pocket, sending him to hospital for two weeks with seizures, the man’s mother claims in court.
     Vicky Lynn Yearby sued the City of College Park, its Police Chief Ronald Fears, and his Officers G.L. Feltman and Rickey Wells, in Federal Court, on behalf of her 33-year-old son, Terry Isaac Yearby.
     Isaac lives with his mother because he has the mind of a “small child,” and cannot care for himself without her help, his mother says in the complaint.
     Isaac rode with his mother to visit family and do laundry on June 13, 2011. When they returned and his mom took the clothes into the house, “Isaac remained
     outside near the car and in front of their apartment home,” the complaint states.
     It continues: “It was a common occurrence for Isaac to stand in his yard and simply watch the world go by.
     “As his mother was in their home bringing in laundry, Isaac simply stood outside their home with his hands in his pockets as is very customary for him.
     “While Isaac was standing in his own yard, minding his own business, interacting with no one, and simply watching the world go by, a patrolling police car stopped in front of Isaac and his mother’s home.
     “Defendants Feltman and Wells got out of their patrol car and, without cause whatsoever, ordered Isaac to remove his hands from his pockets.
     “Because of his mental disability and child-like emotional responses, the officer’s command confused Isaac, and he remained standing with his hands in his pockets while visibly confused.
     “Both Plaintiff Vicki Yearby and a neighbor informed the defendant officers that Isaac was childlike, but the police refused to listen to them and continued yelling at Isaac which made him more and more confused.
     “Throughout this time, Isaac never committed any wrong, never threatened a police officer, and never posed a risk or threat to anyone.
     “Despite Isaac’s obvious mental disabilities and confusion, despite being told of Isaac’s mental disabilities, despite the absence of any right for the police officers to interfere with Isaac’s ability to stand in front of his own home, and despite the lack of any threat, Officer Feltman used a Taser against Isaac.
     “It was obvious to any objective observer that given his size, his movements, his statements and his obvious mental incapacity, absolutely no force was justified against Isaac Yearby. It was absolutely unnecessary for the defendant to use a Taser upon Isaac, and doing so was an absolutely unjustified use of force.
     “Officer Wells was also on the scene and he fully observed all aspects of Officer Feltman’s attack upon Isaac; despite that fact, he failed and refused to take any action to protect Isaac from Officer Feltman’s attack.
     “When Officer Feltman Tased Isaac, it knocked him to the ground, causing his head to slam against the pavement near the edge of his yard.
     “The incident sent Isaac into seizures.
     “Ms. Yearby witnessed the officer’s attack upon Isaac.
     “Isaac was seriously injured when his head slammed against the parking lot pavement, and he had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance.
     “Isaac remained in the hospital for approximately two weeks, incurring substantial medical charges.
     “All of the foregoing acts and omissions of the defendant officers were conducted pursuant to defendants College Park and Chief Fears’ policies, procedures and customs of use of excessive force upon citizens, failure to provide assistance to citizens whose civil rights are being violated by other officers and failure to properly provide and account for the needs of disabled citizens.”
     The Yearbys seek costs and punitive damages for civil rights violations, assault and battery and negligence.
     They are represented by Perrotta & Cahn, of Cartersville.

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