SYRACUSE, N.Y. (CN) – A mother and son sued Syracuse and two police officers, claiming the officers “recklessly injured” the 15-year-old boy by Tasering him at school because he was “trying to break up a fight between two female classmates.” The family calls it “an unfortunate but inevitable result of the City of Syracuse’s policies and practices governing the deployment of armed police officers in Syracuse public schools”.
The complaint states: “The officers who shot and handcuffed A.E. were guided by policies and training that failed to acknowledge the important differences between regulating adult criminal behavior and regulating children within the educational environment.
“The officers’ actions were also a result of the City of Syracuse’s failure, as a matter of policy and practice, to treat Tasers as weapons capable of inflicting serious injury and even death.
“The Syracuse Police Department’s current policies and practices encourage officers to deploy Tasers in a manner that poses undue risks to people, especially the students who are continuously monitored by Syracuse police officers in the schools.
“As a result of his traumatic encounter with police officers, A.E. suffered serious injury and continues to suffer from pain and emotional distress. His family also incurred medical costs resulting from his injuries. A.E. therefore asks this court to declare the actions of the Syracuse Police Department and its officers to be in violation of his constitutional and state law rights and to order defendants to compensate him for these injuries.”
Sheila Witherspoon and A.E. seek damages for assault and battery, excessive force, false arrest, false imprisonment, and constitutional violation.
They are represented by Corey Stoughton with the New York Civil Liberties Union.