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Man awarded $100 million after being paralysed following police tasering

Man awarded $100 million after being paralysed following police tasering

Jerry Blasingame had been asking drivers for money in Atlanta when he was chased on foot and arrested by Officer Jon Grubbs

A US man has been awarded $100 million (£85 million) after being tasered by police left him paralysed from the neck down. 

Jerry Blasingame, 69, had been asking drivers for money in Atlanta, Georgia, on 10 July 2018 when he was chased on foot and arrested by Officer Jon Grubbs. 

After Grubbs shocked him with a stun gun, he fell and broke his neck – and now requires round-the-clock care to the sum of $1 million a year, according to his attorney Ven Johnson, who said his client had already racked up $14 million in medical bills


After being paralysed from the neck down, Blasingame filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in 2019. 

According to the lawsuit, Grubbs had stepped out of the patrol car and told Blasingame to stop, but as he moved out of the street to a guard rail, Grubbs ran toward him. 

A federal jury in Atlanta found that Grubbs used unreasonable force against Blasingame, with bodycam footage showing Blasingame lying motionless on the floor after being stunned into unconsciousness. 

Bodycam footage showed Blasingame lying on the floor motionless.
NBC News

Johnson told the court: “He was panhandling and the police, of course, rolled up on him, chased him and then ran after him." 

In his closing statement, he added: "This is how an officer gets away with excessive force. You bury it."

Jurors found the City of Atlanta and Grubbs had violated violated Blasingame’s civil rights, and, as a result, that the Atlanta Police Department should pay Blasingame $60 million, while Grubbs should pay $40 million. 

Blasingame was paralysed from the neck down.
NBC News

The city has filed a motion for a directed verdict – a ruling entered by a judge for the jury to return to a particular verdict. 

According to NBC News, online court records indicate that Judge Steve Jones has not yet ruled on that request. 

The outlet reported how, before deliberations began, Jones ruled that jurors could reasonably find that Grubbs used excessive force, and that they could consider the city’s argument. 

Grubbs has been ordered to pay $40m.
NBC News

Jones wrote on Friday 26 August: “The record would allow the jury to find that Mr. Blasingame had not been committing a serious crime before he was tased/ that Officer Grubbs did not fear for his safety/and that the exigent circumstances were not otherwise so severe as to permit Officer Grubbs’s use of force." 

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Featured Image Credit: NBC News

Topics: US News, Crime