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$1.95 Million Settlement in Michigan Man’s Taser Death

Michigan’s Shelby Township has paid $1.95 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed police used excessive force by using a Taser that resulted in a man’s death.

Police confronted Steven Spears, 49, on August 4, 2007, after receiving a 911 call complaining of a man running in the street wearing only socks and underwear. The officers called paramedics to render aid, but Spears was uncooperative and ran into traffic.

The officers used a Taser device to subdue Spears, and he later stopped breathing and died. “It was just brutal,” said attorney Paul Broschay of the Geoffrey Fieger law firm. “They used Tasers to punish him. They were mad because he wasn’t complying. They can’t do that.”

An autopsy report attributed the death to a cocaine overdose as a primary factor and the use of physical restraint as a contributing factor. A Michigan federal district court judge approved the settlement on December 8, 2008. See: Spears v. Shelby Township et al., USDC, E.D. Mich., No. 2:07-cv-14887-DPH-DAS. Additional source: Macomb Daily

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Related legal case

Spears v. Shelby Township et al.

Please see the brief bank for documents related to this case.