Meridian Star

October 12, 2012

Judge tosses lawsuit in stun gun case


Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleged 21-year-old Rafael Forbes was killed in 2007 by a Jackson policeman's stun gun.

The Clarion-Ledger reports that U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate ruled this week that there was no proof that the city had a policy that led to Forbes' death.

"This lawsuit ... is devoid of allegations or evidence of wrongful actions by city policy-makers," Wingate said.

In her 2009 lawsuit filed on behalf of her son, Patricia Forbes alleged negligence and excessive force by a Jackson police officer against her son.

The city, in its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, said an autopsy showed Rafael Forbes died as a result of hypertensive heart disease, morbid obesity and hyperthermia — all of which Patricia Forbes denied was true.

Police reports said Forbes was arrested Aug. 14, 2007, after a foot chase and a stun gun was used because he was resisting arrest. Forbes began showing signs of shortness of breath and was taken to Central Mississippi Medical Center, where he died at 12:15 a.m. the next day.

A court document filed for Patricia Forbes said medical records show Rafael Forbes was 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds, "not even close to being obese."