by Christopher Zoukis
An Illinois man who claimed that he was excessively Tased and pepper-sprayed while imprisoned in the Tazewell County Jail has settled his excessive force claim for $95,000.
Everett Lewis was arrested and booked into the Tazewell County Jail December 9, 2009. He was placed in a jail cell with no running water and dirty toilet water. Lewis protested these unhygienic conditions by banging on his sink and toilet. Jail officers responded by Tasing him twice, and leaving him in the same waterless cell.
With the assistance of attorneys Louis J. Myer and Daniel P. Kiss of the Chicago law firm Meyer & Kiss LLC, Lewis filed a federal lawsuit for civil rights violations and excessive force. He sued the county, Sheriff Robert Huston and officers Aleisha Karrick, Jennifer Stanton, Curtis King, Dave Harper, Michael Taylor and Melissa Force. Lewis claimed that he was never violent or threatening. He also alleged that he was allowed time to recover from the Tasings, and then methodically pepper-sprayed in the face.
The defense countered that Lewis was only Tased once, because even though the officers gave him two jolts of electricity, it all came through just one set of probes. They also contended that the force applied was proportional to the threat of a man stuck in a jail cell with no water, banging on the sink.
Prior to trial, the parties agreed to settle the case. The county agreed to pay $95,000 to Lewis, $75,000 of which went to his attorneys.
Case: Lewis v. Tazewell County, et al., United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Case No. 1:10-cv-01268-MMM-BGC (March 27, 2013).
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Related legal case
Lewis v. Tazewell County
|Cite||United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Case No. 1:10-cv-01268-MMM-BGC (March 27, 2013)|