The family of a 39-year-old man with schizophrenia who died after a struggle with Greenville police has sued the city, six police officers and Chief Terri Wilfong, alleging wrongful death “for use of excessive force by deploying multiple Tasers over an extended time and improper physical restraint technique,” according to federal court records.
The suit filed in U.S. District Court alleges wrongful death against officers who were called to the Augusta Street home of Andrew Torres in August 2012 to carry out a probate judge’s order sought by his family to take Torres to the hospital. It also alleges that Torres’ constitutional rights were violated and that Wilfong “failed to promulgate adequate policies and failed to supervise her subordinates who use unconstitutional levels of force in taking mentally ill citizens into protective custody.”
Defendants deny the allegations. According to police, Torres refused to cooperate and scuffled with officers at the time of the incident.
The Greenville County Coroner report indicates that Torres died of cardiac arrhythmia as a result of the use of Tasers, the physical strain of tussling with police, and having an enlarged heart.
The case has been ordered into mediation to be completed by February 4 of next year. The suit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.
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