Daily Briefs, October 20

Suit filed in death of man subdued with stun guns by two officers
EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Police are accused of excessive force and gross negligence in dealing with a southwest Michigan man who died in 2009 following a confrontation with two officers who subdued him with stun guns, according a federal lawsuit filed by his family.

The lawsuit by relatives of 30-year-old Matthew Bolick was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court against East Grand Rapids, its public safety director and the officers who subdued him Nov. 16, 2009, The Grand Rapids Press reported.

Stephen Bolick called police to the scene after his son broke a picture window, and told them his son was delusional and hearing voices. Attorney William Mills said police weren’t prepared to deal with someone suffering an “obvious psychotic episode.”

John Gillooly, an attorney for the city, said a vigorous defense was planned. He said officers went to great lengths to avoid hurting Matthew Bolick, who reacted violently to officers. He said it was “outrageous” to suggest the city and its officers were responsible for his death.

“The city strongly believes there was absolutely no wrongful conduct on the part of the officers on the scene,” Gillooly said.

Police were cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the case by Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth.

Videos recorded shortly before his death showed Matthew Bolick being shocked. He screamed, dropped to the ground and rolled around, and then he got up and ran away. He also refused repeated police orders. Several stun gun shocks didn’t appear to stop him.

His father and brothers, Jonathan and Kevin Bolick, filed the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, one of the officers shocked Matthew Bolick after he had been placed in handcuffs. Mills said mental and physical stress combined with Bolick’s psychological problems caused him to go into cardiac arrest, and that the shocks played a role.

A forensic pathologist, however, found no proof the death was caused by stun gun shots.

First annual Cooley Cares basketball tournament Oct. 22
The Cooley Muslim Legal Society along with the Sports and Entertainment Law Society are giving back to the community by organizing a charity basketball tournament. Hype Athletics will also be co-sponsoring the event. All proceeds go to Cooley Cares Charity. Cooley Cares provides Thanksgiving dinners to less fortunate families. The goal of this event is to bring communities from Wayne county and Oakland county together through a fun day of fundraising for charity.

The event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 2-8 p.m. at Avondale Middle School, 1445 West Auburn Road in Rochester Hills. Tickets are $5 for spectators. In order to participate in a three-on-three format, participants are requested to donate $30. Cooley Law students as well as members of the public are encouraged to play.  Teams can sign up in advance an hour before the event begins. Prizes will be raffled off throughout the day and there will be a 3-point contest held during the tournament.

Former NBA player and “Fab 5” player, Jimmy King, will be the MC for the event.

For tickets or more info, contact:
Eriza Lee: leer@cooley.edu (313) 643-4729;
Trisha Tarjeft: tarjeftt@cooley.edu (313) 673-8184;
Zeinab Moughnia: moughniaz@cooley.edu (313) 929-9000

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