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November 23, 2012

McAlester police Taser incident spurs Million dollar lawsuit

McALESTER —  

A Muskogee woman has filed lawsuit in federal court seeking more than a million dollars against the city of McAlester, it’s chief of police and the McAlester police officer filmed tasing her in the chest while her hands were cuffed behind her.
The suit names the city of McAlester, McAlester’s Chief of Police, Jim Lyles, and McAlester Police officer Sterling Taylor as defendants.
The lawsuit asks for a judgment in excess of $1 million from the defendants in punitive and other damages in addition to attorney’s fees and costs of litigation and “any further relief to which the Court deems just and proper.”
The suit was filed Nov. 13 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Muskogee.
Causes of action according to the suit  Excessive Force against Taylor and Municipal Supervisory Liability against Lyles and the city of McAlester.
The suit comes just weeks after McAlester Police officer Sterling Taylor was charged in Pittsburg County District Court with felony assault and battery against Nakina Williams of Muskogee. Taylor was named in the charges as Sterling Taylor-Santino, according to court documents.
Jeremy Beaver, the McAlester attorney representing Williams, said the charges were not the catalyst for the lawsuit. 
“Whatever happens with the criminal case will not affect the civil case,” Beaver said. 
“But Ms. Williams was relieved to see the charges filed and it just reaffirmed our belief that she has been victimized.”
The lawsuit claims the violation of William’s civil and constitutional rights.
“The use of force used by Taylor, in shooting Williams with a taser while she handcuffed, constitutes an unreasonable and excessive use of force in violation of (her) constitutional rights as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and Amendments.” the suit alleges.
In a police video that can be seen at www.mcalesternews.com Taylor Tases Williams in the chest, at point blank range, while her hands are cuffed behind her, after she appears to spit at him.

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