The family of the late Jarrel Gray has filed a $145 million
lawsuit against the Fredrick County, Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and Corp. Rudy
Torres over the alleged taser-related death of the 20 year-old. An autopsy
preformed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore could not
determine the exact cause of Gray’s death, but the medical examiner said the
cause was a combination of alcohol, method of restraint (taser), and a unique
anatomical makeup of the victim.
According to the Sheriff’s department the incident occurred
in the early morning hours of November 18, 2007. Deputy Torres responded to a
call of a fight. When he arrived at the scene the deputy found Gray and another
individual fighting. He ordered them to stop and when Gray did not comply
Torres fired two electric jolts into the victim from his X26 Taser.
Gray was taken to the hospital where he died a short time
later. A grand jury found that Torres was justified in his actions.
The plaintiffs have disputed the accuracy of the Sherrif’s
department account of events leading to the death of Jarrel Gray. In a press
conference one of the men with Gray on the night in question painted a very
different picture of the events alleging that Torres acted hastily and with
reckless disregard for the life of the victim.
The case seeks damages for seven counts, including wrongful
death, police brutality / excessive force, deprivation of civil rights, and
negligent training and supervision.