Columbia Falls Seeks Dismissal of Stun-Gun Lawsuit

By Beacon Staff

An attorney for Columbia Falls says police officers were justified in using a stun gun on a 77-year-old Alzheimer’s patient who later died.

The city’s response to a lawsuit by the family of Stanley Downen says Downen cursed at officers and threatened to throw rocks at them.

Tuesday’s court filing argues Downen’s actions justified the response by the officers.

The lawsuit says Downen wandered from the Montana Veterans Home on June 1, 2012. Staff called police when Downen refused to return.

The police filing says an officer used a stun gun when Downen cocked his arm to throw a rock.

Downen fell and struck his head on the pavement. He died about three weeks later.

His family accuses the home and police of negligence, assault, battery, malpractice and civil-rights violations.

RELATED: Lawsuit Says 77-Year-Old Veteran Died After Police Tased Him

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