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Las Vegas Police Will Pay $500K In Stun Gun Death Case

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas police have agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit with the mother of a man whose death in police custody spurred the department to ban the use of multiple stun guns at the same time on one person.


Rosie Lee Mathews' attorney, Peter Goldstein, said Wednesday the settlement amounted to an acknowledgment that the officers used excessive force in the December 2011 traffic stop death of 44-year-old Anthony Jones.

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Court records say Jones was stopped for traffic infractions and tried to run from Officer Mark Hatten, who shocked him 10 times with a stun gun for more than 90 seconds and Officer Timothy English shocked Jones twice for a combined 10 seconds.


Police determined neither officer violated department policy, and a federal judge in Las Vegas ruled in the department's favor. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned that decision last year, ruling the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity and that the use of the stun guns would be unconstitutional.


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The Las Vegas Review-Journal reportsthat one burst of Hatten's stun gun lasted 19 seconds.


A Clark County coroner's medical examiner determined that Jones died of cocaine and alcohol intoxication, and listed as contributing factors an enlarged heart, high blood pressure, obesity and "police restraining procedures."