Family of man who died after police used a stun gun on him sues Alabama city

MOBILE, Ala. — The family of an Alabama man who died after police used a stun gun on him filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Monday against the city of Mobile.

The family of Jawan Dallas, 36, alleges that Mobile police used excessive force that led to his death. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Mobile, names the city and two unnamed officers as defendants. It seeks $36 million in damages.

Dallas, 36, died July 2 after he was shocked with a stun gun while police were trying to subdue him.

“He was assaulted multiple times, struck multiple times and tasered multiple times,” attorney Harry Daniels said during a Monday news conference announcing the lawsuit.

The district attorney announced last month that a grand jury cleared the officers of criminal wrongdoing and said Dallas died of underlying medical conditions that were exacerbated by drug use and the struggle with officers.

Attorneys for the family said the body camera footage, which was viewed by the family last month, shows that officers used excessive force. Family attorneys urged the police department to publicly release the video.

Jawan Dallas.
Jawan Dallas.Southern District of Alabama

The lawsuit also contends that officers had no reason to try to detain Dallas and that he was under no suspicion of criminal wrongdoing at the time of the confrontation.

Officers approached Dallas after they responded to a possible burglary report at a trailer park when a 911 caller reported that a “homeless guy” was in his yard. Police approached Dallas, who was in his vehicle at another trailer, and another man who was in the yard at the home. According to the lawsuit, an officer demanded Dallas get out of the car and produce his identification. Dallas had told the officers that they were violating his rights, and he attempted to flee on foot at some point but was tackled by an officer, the lawsuit said.

The suit was filed days after video was posted on social media showing a police officer in another Alabama town cursing at and using a stun gun on a man who was handcuffed and crying.

It’s unclear what happened before or after the 45-second clip posted to Facebook, and the Reform Police Department has shared little information about the incident.

The officer was placed on administrative leave.