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Lawsuit claims police used excessive force and a Taser



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Jury selection begins tomorrow in federal court for a trial stemming from a lawsuit that claims excessive force involving a Taser.

It stems from a traffic stop June 10, 2005, when Utah Highway Patrol says Anthony Rogers was spotted driving with a broken tail light. Troopers say he subsequently ran a red light and was interrogated for possibly driving under the influence.

He failed his sobriety tests and was about to be arrested, but that's when Rogers' attorney Michael Studebaker says the story took a disturbing turn.

He says, "Through the video we learned that actually at different times the Utah Highway Patrol/Riverdale Police officer used a Taser multiple times on Anthony, including while he was in handcuffs and in the back of a trooper's car. They actually took him out of the vehicle to Taser him some more."

In total, Rogers claims he was tased four times. More specifically, dash-cam video shows Rogers being tased twice as he's restrained by three officers. Then later, he is pulled from a police cruiser after he yelled and hit his head against the window of the car. Rogers' testimony indicates he was tasered two more times.

UHP says it was the Riverdale officer who tased him, but a spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol denies excessive force was used.

"He was belligerent. He would not respond to our officers' commands," says Sgt. Jeff Nigbur. "And that is when he was out of cuffs and also after the fact when he was cuffed."

Nigbur says Rogers then tried to escape several times. Studebaker believes he has indisputable video evidence. He says, "Definitely, the video's there. I don't know how they can say he's out of control or not in restraints. There's three different officers on him, and when they go to execute the Taser on him just the first time, they actually have to jump off of him."

Riverdale police are declining comment pending the outcome of the court case.

Rogers is suing for damages.

E-mail: aadams@ksl.com
E-mail: tcallan@ksl.com

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Andrew Adams
    Tom Callan

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