Public Safety
3:23 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Lawsuit aims to change Hamilton County Taser policies

Gary Roell
Credit Provided

The family of a man who died after being Tased by Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies is suing the county. The federal civil rights and wrongful death suit alleges deputies acted unreasonably.

Attorney Al Gerhardstein says Gary Roell, Sr. was experiencing a mental health emergency when he was Tased six times.

"This case has aspects of failure to train, failure to have proper policies for encountering mentally ill citizens, as well as improper Taser use," says Gerhardstein.

Gerhardstein acknowledges the department has made progress on Taser policies since Sheriff Jim Neil took office, but he argues it's not enough.

"In the future, we hope that the county sheriff's department will have proper policies, training and supervision on these very, very important issues of mental health and Taser use," says Gerhardstein.

The incident happened a year ago when a neighbor reported Roell broke out a window in her Sycamore Township townhome. At the time, a Sheriff's Department investigation concluded deputies followed protocols.

A spokesman says the department will have to consult with legal counsel if and when it is served.