Taser suit filed

The family of Chance Shrum has sued the City of Iola, two former police officers and the manufacturer of Tasers they claim caused Shrum’s death nearly two years ago.
The suit, filed Monday in Allen County District Court, alleges former officers Paul Gamble and Mark Michael failed to follow proper protocol when they shot Shrum with Tasers in the early morning hours of May 15, 2007, after Shrum was spotted walking naked along Lincoln Street.
According to the petition, Gamble and Michael each shot Shrum with their Tasers — Gamble twice — shocking him a total of four times as he tried to flee.
As was reported previously in the Register, Shrum began suffering physical distress after he was subdued and handcuffed. An ambulance was summoned and Shrum’s heartbeat stopped en route to Allen County Hospital, reports said. Hospital personnel were unable to revive him.
The suit alleges that neither Gamble, Michael nor the community were under any danger from Shrum, and using the Taser “was not reasonable necessary force.”
The suit claims the city failed to adequately and appropriately train its police force on the use of Tasers and that TASER International, which manufactures the stun weapons, failed “to adequately instruct, train, warn and educate law enforcement in the safe and lawful use of the Taser guns.”
The suit was filed by William and Susan Shrum, Chance’s parents, who are seeking damages in excess of $75,000, for such things as pain, suffering and bereavement, funeral expenses and loss of services, attention and future support.
Both officers were cleared of potential criminal charges in an investigation conducted by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Michael resigned his post with the Iola Police Department and works with the Iola Fire Department. Gamble has moved from Iola.