Federal lawsuit alleges Douglas County deputies, Tasers at fault in death of man, 26

Associated Press via OPB.org, March 4, 2015

Taser-6The mother of a Southern Oregon man who died during an incident with law enforcement officers has sued the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, alleging deputies wrongfully fired stun guns.

The federal lawsuit filed in Eugene says deputies discharged Tasers at least a half dozen times when trying to stop 26-year-old Walter Ray McKelvey from running into traffic in March 2013, including after he was restrained and told deputies his heart hurt.

The deputies met McKelvey at Ray’s Food Place in Canyonville. Acting erratically, he told deputies he had used methamphetamine. He then ran toward traffic.

The sheriff’s office did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday.

A grand jury ruled in 2013 that the force used against McKelvey was legally justified.