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Don't Tase Me Bro: Boise Man Sues Over Excessive Shocks

By Tanya Roth, Esq. | Last updated on

Blame it on the Boise. It won't ever be a top 10 hit, but one Boise, Idaho man is doing just that. In a suit filed Monday, much tasered plaintiff Gerald Amidon is suing individual Boise Police officers and the city for excessive force and breach of his 4th amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Fresh out of a stint in prison, Amidon was visiting the home of a girlfriend last Valentine's Day, attempting to "patch up the relationship." At one point, the patching must have gotten a bit out of hand because Amidon's girlfriend called a friend asking them to bring someone over to beat up Amidon. The friend instead called police to do the job.

Upon entering without announcing themselves, (a fact confirmed by the police investigation) the officers quickly wrestled Amidon to the ground, applied taser shock number one and threatened to apply the taser further to very, very sensitive parts of Amidon's body. In Boise City Community Ombudsman Pierce Murphy's investigation of the incident, he does not find the initial application of the taser to be excessive force. However, the second shock which the complaint claims was administered to the "perineum and anogenital" area was found by the Ombudsman to be an excessive use of force. Murphy's report concludes by finding that that the second use of the taser against Amidon, after he was handcuffed and held down by three officers, was "neither reasonable nor necessary." 

The taser wielding officer is identified in the police report as Officer Officer Guy McKean. Responding to Ombudsman Murphy's report, Police Chief Mike Masterson, called the excessive use of the taser and the sexually explicit threats, "conduct unbecoming an officer," an offense that often leads to termination.

Amidon's suit against the police and the city claims emotional distress and damages to his career and income. Further, "he questions the prior respect he had for the police and the city." He is asking for $500,000 in punitive damages and has prepared a federal civil rights lawsuit that his attorney will file within 91 days if the city does not respond adequately to the tort claim.

There is one additional issue that might also be damaging to Amidon's career as a contractor. On the night of the incident he was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery, unlawful entry and false imprisonment and will have to appear in court on those charges next month.  Amidon will also be due in court on three other unrelated criminal cases in August and September, including charges of petit theft, driving without privileges, burglary and grand theft.

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