Trials & Litigation
Lawyer Sues Tampa Police for Shocking Him with Stun Gun at Code Violation Hearing
Posted Sep 12, 2012 8:32 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Florida lawyer claims in a lawsuit that a Tampa police officer shocked him twice with a stun gun at a code enforcement hearing.
According to the police version of events, the stun gun was used on Carl Roland Hayes after he slapped an officer escorting him from the meeting, the Tampa Tribune reports. Hayes was stunned a second time, police say, when the first shock didn’t appear to work.
Hayes claims the officer escorting him from the meeting was in plainclothes and never identified himself. The suit alleges the second shock was administered as Hayes “lay face down on the ground—compliant and nonresistant."
A response filed on behalf of the police department says force was “reasonable and necessary” because Hayes struggled and “took a fighting stance” when the officer tried to arrest him. Police deny that any force was used after Hayes was handcuffed and cooperative.
The suit says Hayes appeared before the board after being accused of installing nonconforming windows on his building in a historic Tampa neighborhood. He was escorted from the hearing, the suit says, after “a loud discussion ensued” among Hayes, certain board members, and neighbors who wanted the board to take action.