LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has settled a $500,000 lawsuit involving two officers who tased a man until he died.
Anthony Jones died in 2010. He was 44 years old when he got pulled over for busted headlights, even though video evidence showed the headlights were working just fine. The case has since changed policies within the LVMPD.
“Anthony did run away, but he did not have a weapon,” attorney Peter Goldstein said. “He did not threaten the officer… He did not reach for the officer’s weapon.”
Officer Mark Hatten was not wearing a body camera, but the Taser he used recorded video from that night.
“Get on the f***ing ground! I’ll tase you right here!” he yelled. “Get on the f***ing ground!”
The video shows Hatten tasing Jones for 92 seconds. At multiple points during the video, it didn’t appear that Jones was struggling.
Officer Timothy English later joined in with his own Taser.
“It was Saturday morning when I got the news,” said Rosie Matthews, the victim’s mother. “I still don’t know if they were lying or what.”
The Clark County Coroner ruled the death a homicide but also said Jones had drugs in his system.
Officer Hatten and Officer English were cleared of all wrongdoing.
“That was my baby. I had five boys and one girl. Now I got four boys left,” Matthews said. “I think they should be punished.”
Matthews said she admits that her son wasn’t “the best child on Earth.” She also said this settlement is proof that her son didn’t deserve to die.
Nobody from the department has ever spoken to her about what happened that night, Matthews said. For the past eight years she has been angry.
“I still am,” Matthews said, “but I can’t hate them because that’s not my religion. I don’t hate anybody.”
LVMPD has since changed its policy to state that officers are only allowed to use a Taser a maximum of three times, five seconds per charge. The new policy also does not allow multiple officers to use Tasers on a suspect at the same time.
“I don’t know anything about what policy they have changed, but that Taser or whatever it is? I don’t think they should be using that,” Matthews said. “I don’t want to have to relive it anymore.”