Lawsuit: Teen Girl Suffered Seizure, Alabama Police Used Stun Gun

| by Michael Allen

A woman in Etowah County, Alabama, has filed a lawsuit that claims police used stun gins on her teen daughter who was having grand mal seizures at a Kevin Gates hip-hop concert in Rainbow City, Alabama, on Jan. 16.

A grand mal seizure is when the entire body goes into convulsions. People who suffer from this type of a seizure are out of control, can have an obstructed airway and accidentally injure themselves.

The lawsuit filed by Michele Lee Helm targets five Rainbow City police officers, three Gadsden cops who were reportedly working off-duty security at the concert, Rainbow City Police Chief Greg Carroll and Center Stage of Rainbow City, where the concert took place.

The lawsuit claims the teen was caught in a stampede of concertgoers after Gates left the stage and waded into the audience, notes The Washington Post.

The teen was reportedly knocked down and went into a seizure, so her younger sister asked Center Stage employees for help.

One of the employees allegedly carried the teen over his shoulder into a lobby area, dumped her on the floor and didn't call for any medical help, notes WBRC.

The teen's younger sister called her mother, who came to Center Stage.

Gregory Harp, a lawyer for the girl and her mother, told the Alabama Media Group:

"A Taser was used three times on a child's chest, during a medical emergency, while she was pinned to the ground by officers. Other officers present at the scene failed to intervene. Her mother was knocked to the ground, handcuffed, and then she herself Tased and arrested."

The teen was taken to a medical center, and the mother was charged with disorderly conduct.

The lawsuit alleges police officers cracked jokes about the teen, threatened to have her locked up in a mental institution and left her at the hospital to be picked up by a stranger.

The lawsuit accuses law enforcement of torture, excessive force, other inhumane acts and violating the "Fourth Amendment and/or the Fourteenth Amendment."

The Gadsden City Attorney would not comment because he had not seen the lawsuit. Center Stage had yet to comment. Rainbow City Attorney Jim Turnbach told the Alabama Media Group the lawsuit would be "vigorously defended," even though he had not seen the suit.

Sources: The Washington Post, Alabama Media Group, WBRC / Image credit: jasonesbain/Flickr