Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

$7,000 Reached in Taser Use on Disabled Vermont Man by Police

A $7,000.00 settlement was reached between Vermont State Police and the family of a mentally disabled man.

            Timothy Bernier, 23, of Coventry, Vermont, suffers from Down’s syndrome, as well as other physical and mental disabilities. He was staying at Northeast Kingdom Mental Health Facility when repeated combative behavior required that he be moved to a different shelter. After several attempts by Cynthia Cook and Deberah Cogan to get Bernier dressed and accompany them to the new shelter failed, they called state police.

            Cpl. Paul Mosher and Senior Trooper Callie Field responded and upon arrival were informed of Bernier’s prior history of fighting with police and his combative behavior. They entered the room with mental health worker David Lefleur and tried to engage Bernier. Mosher attempted to grab Bernier’s arm to guide him from the room, but he snatched away and refused to comply.

            Mosher issued several more commands that were ignored by Bernier. Mosher warned him that he would be forced to use a Taser to make him comply and that it would be painful. Bernier was still unresponsive. When Mosher aimed that Taser at Bernier’s abdomen, Bernier tried to brush the Taser lightly away. Mosher eventually deployed the Taser and Bernier complied. Records showed that Vermont State Police have had several contacts with Bernier in past years.

            Settlement was reached in October 2011, awarding Bernier $7,000.00 in damages.

Source: Burlington Free Press

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login