Family of Stanley Jackson Jr. sues Washtenaw County over Tasering death
The family of a man who died after Washtenaw County sheriff’s deputies Tasered him during a drug bust in 2010 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
Pearlie Jackson, who is court-appointed to represent the estate of her son Stanley Jackson Jr., is suing the county and deputies Thomas Mercure, Dean Reich, Sean Urban and Holly Farmer.
The federal lawsuit alleges that after deputies shot Jackson with a Taser on Aug. 20, 2010, inside his mother's Superior Township home, they used excessive force while he was on the floor and in need of medical attention.
While Jackson was down, deputies didn't remove the Taser darts even though he “did not have any eye movement, was showing signs of muscle contraction and was salivating and making grunting sounds," the lawsuit says.
As deputies waited for an ambulance, the lawsuit says they "applied several drive-stun applications with their Taser devices" to Jackson, meaning they held Tasers against Jackson when they shocked him. The suit claims deputies "used more force than was reasonably necessary" to make the arrest.
Jackson, 31, of Belleville, was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. He was pronounced dead roughly 95 minutes after the incident. The autopsy report by the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner's Office listed sudden cardiac arrest and Tasering as causing Jackson's death.
The lawsuit, which was filed Friday, seeks money for funeral expenses, Stanley Jackson's pain and suffering prior to his death and other damages. It also asks for a court order prohibiting deputies from using Tasers, arguing that they don't have proper training.
At the time, deputies were assisting Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team officers, who were conducting surveillance on Jackson. Deputies chased Jackson inside his mother's home on Heather Drive, where they Tasered and handcuffed him.
Jackson, a father of four, was wearing a GPS tracking device on his ankle because he was on probation for a drug conviction. Investigators found bags of marijuana on a kitchen table, a bag in Jackson's waistband containing a white substance and also seized cash.
Deputies were previously cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office.
County attorneys could not be reached for comment Sunday on the lawsuit.
Read the lawsuit:
Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at email@example.com.