A man in Tennessee has sued the Cheatham County police department after he was restrained and tasered more than 40 times in November of 2016. Jordan Elias Norris, who was 18-years-old at the time of his arrest, filed a civil rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court alleging that police officers used excessive force and neglected to protect him while in custody. He is now 19.
According to The Tennessean, Norris was arrested and charged with possession with intent to sell of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, and five counts of possession of a prohibited weapon. He was later charged with felony vandalism and simple assault while detained.
Although the arresting officers reported using force on Norris three times, his lawsuit claims he was tasered more than 40 times.
From The Tennessean:
The lawsuit claims that one of the deputies’ repeated and prolonged use of the Taser against Norris while he “was restrained and suffering a mental health episode was objectively unreasonable, unnecessary, excessive, and without a legitimate law enforcement purpose.”
It further states that while Norris was restrained, a deputy “shocked Plaintiff Norris with a Taser device four times totaling approximately fifty seconds on his stomach and legs.”
The suit goes on to claim that while stunning Norris, the deputy stated, “I’ll keep on doing that until I run out of batteries.”
Norris’s lawsuit also claims that officers told him to “stop resisting” despite his restraints; the filing describes one of the officers as acting with a “sadistic and malicious nature in repeatedly tasing Plaintiff Norris.”
Police reports paint a different picture. The arresting officers contended that Norris was “combative” and suicidal. Authorities wrote in a Use of Force report that they had to stun him multiple times when they tried to move him from the booking restraint chair to transport him to the hospital.
After surveillance footage of the incident was made public by The Ashland City Times, Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove placed the three officers in the video on administrative leave. In a statement, Breedlove said that he hadn’t seen all of incident’s footage before it was released.
“As Sheriff, I want our citizens to know that any inappropriate behavior that may have violated an individual’s rights will not be tolerated,” Breedlove said. “I have placed the employees involved on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted.”
Here’s a video of the incident; some of the footage is graphic: