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Taser, Cops Sued for Wrongful Death

CINCINNATI (CN) - Oxford, Ohio police killed a 24-year-old man by Tasering him as he celebrated the University of Miami's homecoming, the man's family claims in Federal Court. Taser International, the city, an officer and the police chief are named as defendants.

Kevin Piskura was at the Brick Street Bar in Oxford on April 19, 2008 when an altercation took place between the bar's bouncers and some patrons.

Piskura's family says that Oxford Police Officer Geoff Robinson "ordered Kevin to step back or away," and when he tried to comply, "Robinson, suddenly and without justification, discharged his X26 ECD and subjected Kevin to 50,000 volts for a period of eleven continuous seconds."

The family demands punitive damages for wrongful death and wanton and willful misconduct. Several witnesses say that Piskura "was not a threat to the officers or other bystanders present," the complaint states.

The family claims that "Taser International knew that the Taser weapon's design was defective and dangerous" and that they knew the stun guns could not "be used safely for the purpose for which they were intended."

Taser stun guns, intended as a nonlethal alternative to guns, have been blamed for more than 330 deaths, according to Amnesty International.

The Piskuras are represented by W. Craig Bashein of Cleveland.

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