On Friday, the Georgia Bureau of investigation filed a report with the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office concerning the tasing of an autistic teenager. The report’s findings may determine whether the officers involved face criminal charges for using Taser against the teen.
WTOC has the story.
Clifford Grevemberg and his brother went to order food at the Rock House Bar and Grill after attending Tybee Island’s Beach Bum Parade on May 21. Clifford, who is 18 years old, suffers from autism. Because Clifford was under 21, he was forced to wait outside the grill while his brother ordered food inside. Tybee officers say they approached Clifford while he was waiting outside and asked to see his ID. At some point during the encounter, Clifford was forced to the ground and tased. According to police reports, officers believed that Clifford was intoxicated although his family denies that claim.
Jason Buelterman, Tybee Island’s mayor, asked the GBI to investigate the matter to determine if police violated the law. Since the tasing, Police Chief James Price and a supervisor have been suspended. In addition, three officers who were involved in the altercation have resigned.
The Chatham County District Attorney’s Office must now decide whether it will bring criminal charges against the officers for using excessive force. It is currently unclear as to when the DA’s Office will announce its decision.
In response to the incident, Clifford’s family has filed suit against the city and the officers involved in the tasing.
While Tasers can be a useful and non-lethal tool for law enforcement, they are all too often used excessively, improperly or on persons with sensitive medical conditions. Victims of such police abuse can file suit against the police department and individual officers in an effort to hold the police accountable and to recoup any damages that were sustained from psychological or physical injuries.