In 2005, ex-radio DJ Quincy De’Shawn Smith was involved in a confrontation with a police officer that resulted in his being tased. In November, this case was cleared for trial alleging police brutality by the officer. However, Smith, 24, is now dead after being tased in December by the same Minneapolis police officer, Officer Timothy Devick, who was responding to a report of a domestic assault.
The case is under investigation by the police department. It is unclear whether the earlier case would be dismissed or withdrawn in favor of a new wrongful death filing. It may be hard to go forward on the initial brutality claim without Smith as a witness.
The problem with a new filing would be the question of how much of the earlier incident would be allowed into the trial. Yet, a court might be reluctant to allow both cases to be joined due to the prejudicial impact on the officer. A jury faced with both incidents is likely to assume a clear relation and presume guilt.
For the full story, click here.