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Man paralyzed after being hit with a Taser while running from police in Colorado sues officer

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DENVER (AP) — A man who said he was paralyzed after being hit with a Taser while running from police in Colorado filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against one of the officers, seeking $100 million in damages.

Lawyers for Jacob Root, who was suspected of stealing a car, allege Officer Robert Comstock fired a Taser at his back without warning which incapacitated him and prevented him from using his hands or arms to break his fall to the ground. Root fell face first and broke his neck after falling off a sidewalk and into the street in the May 16, 2022 incident, according to the suit.

Root can be heard asking officers “I can’t move. Is that normal?” soon after the fall which was recorded on police body camera footage released by Root’s lawyers.

The Colorado Springs Police Department, which was not named as a defendant, only learned of the lawsuit when it was announced to the media. The department is in the early stages of reviewing the facts of the case and declined comment for now, spokesperson Ira Cronin said. Comstock is still working for the department and is “good standing,” he said.

Comstock could not be reached for comment and the police department’s union did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

According to the lawsuit, Root was being pursued by a stolen vehicle task force comprising officers from different agencies after he was spotted inside a 2017 Ford Fusion. The car was previously seen twice unoccupied and police were using a tracking device to follow it, it said.

After the car got away from police earlier in the day, police saw Root in the car later on at a gas station, according to the lawsuit. It said he then went into the station’s store and officers waited for him to come out to arrest him. Root was hit with the Taser while he was running away, the court papers added.

By COLLEEN SLEVIN
Associated Press

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