In a city located just an hour away from Cedar Rapids, a man was killed after an altercation ensued with police officers. According to KWWL, Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at a residence located in Maquoketa in response to an assault. That is when they came in contact with 22-year-old Drew Edwards.
While things started out calmly between Edwards and two of the officers, they seemed to take a turn for the worst after 13 minutes had gone by and officers still hadn’t taken the man into custody for a reported assault, says the news source. At this point during their encounter, an officer, who has been identified as Maquoketa Police Officer Mike Owens, seems to become frustrated and yells at Edwards to get on the ground with his taser drawn and aimed at the man.
Two more minutes had gone by and officers were still trying to persuade Edwards to cooperate, although he isn’t seen in the video being combative or resistant just yet. Officer Owens then deployed his taser for the first time. After a few minutes went by, Edwards is seen getting up off the ground and attempting to run away with the leads from the taser still attached to him, says the source. Another taser was deployed and after just 10 minutes had gone by, Edwards was tasered another four times. After movement begins to slow and when officers turned Edwards over, they found him unresponsive.
Sadly, he died, and an autopsy later determined he had passed away from a heart attack. The source said that he also had methamphetamine, marijuana, and ecstasy in his system at the time of his death.
Edwards’ Family Hires an Attorney to Assist with Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
After the incident occurred back in June 2019, the family decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Edwards alleging that the officers applied excessive force which was responsible for his death. The suit was filed against the City of Maquoketa, Jackson County, Maquoketa officers Brendan Zeimet and Mike Owen, and Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Schroeder. The family’s attorney said that had the officers not tasered Edwards the last three time or even at all, he would still be alive.
The officers allegedly knew Edwards suffered from a heart condition and had prior medical issues as they had come in contact with him before.
Now, although the incident occurred last year, it wasn’t until recently that the family’s attorney released the body cam footage that captured the moments just before Edwards became unresponsive and died. Apparently, the footage was not handed over until after the lawsuit was filed.
When Use of Force Becomes Excessive Force
Although police officers are permitted to use force, when it exceeds what is considered to be reasonably necessary, it becomes excessive. If a Cedar Rapids, IA police officer applied excessive force and harmed you, you should consider contacting an experienced IA police brutality lawyer. The attorneys at Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. can be reached at (319) 393-1020 and can help you with addressing the unwarranted encounter you experienced.