City appeals fatal excessive force suit to Supreme Court

City appeals fatal excessive force suit to Supreme Court
(Image: Courtesy)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A lawsuit over the death of a mentally ill man who was tasered by Honolulu police could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sheldon Haleck died after three officers repeatedly tased and pepper-sprayed him when he refused to stop walking in the middle of King street.

A judge in Honolulu and the 9th Circuit appeals court have both refused to throw out the case against the officers.

The city is now appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing the 9th Circuit ruling will discourage officers from trying to maintain the public safety and is “an affront to law enforcement.”

Eric Seitz, the attorney for Halek’s family, said the city is essentially arguing that officers are "entitled to use whatever force we need to clear the street.

He added, "That’s never been a position that’s been taken by any court anywhere.”

The city lawyers also say the officers were right to tase Halek because his actions were creating a hazard to public safety and traffic.

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