Rainbow City police used Taser, gagged girl having grand mal seizures: lawsuit

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ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. – Rainbow City police shocked a girl multiple times with a Taser as she suffered grand mal seizures, then turned the stun gun on the girl’s mother when the woman tried to intervene, according to a federal lawsuit filed July 9.

The 16-year-old girl, identified in a federal suit only as T.D.H, was attending a rap concert at Center Stages of Rainbow City January 16, when the artist jumped into the crowd and caused a stampede, according to WBRC.

Fearing that she would be crushed by the crowd, the girl went into a stress-induced grand mal seizure, the suit claims.

The girl and her mother, Michelle Lee Helm, are also suing the venue, alleging that an employee who spotted the girl carried her out of the concert and “unceremoniously dumped” her on the lobby floor instead of getting medical help.

Five police officers who were off duty and working as security, held the girl down and one officer “body checked” Helm and put her in a physical restraint face-down on the floor, according to the lawsuit.  The same officer then allegedly ordered another to use a Taser on the woman, which the officer allegedly did.

The girl was also stunned twice by police officers using their Tasers.

The lawsuit claims that Rainbow City police bound and gagged the girl before taking her to the hospital, and even joked about placing her in a mental facility.  Officers took Helm to jail on a disorderly conduct charge.  Helm contends police arrested her on bogus charges to cover up the officers’ illegal actions.

The 16-year-old, who says she is haunted by panic attacks brought on by the experience, was released to a complete stranger, according to the suit.

Helm is seeking damages, including the payment of medical bills incurred in the incident, s well as increased training and supervision of the department’s officers.