Texas city settles excessive force lawsuit

Rio Grande City and a woman who was shot with a stun gun there by police in 2014 recently reached a settlement to resolve her lawsuit. However, details of the agreement were initially withheld from an area newspaper that filed a request for records under the Texas Public Information Act.

Complaint filed

When the city failed to respond to the request, the Monitor, a McAllen daily paper, filed a complaint against Rio Grande City with the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

The city has since released the details of its settlement agreement in the excessive force case.

Lawsuit’s allegation

The lawsuit was filed by Julissa Peña, who was 17 when a Rio Grande City police officer allegedly shot her with a Taser stun gun outside the police station as she attempted to flee officers.

Peña is to receive $99,500 for the June 30, 2014 incident in a payment to be made by the city’s insurer, the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool.

Injuries sustained by the plaintiff

According to the Monitor, Peña was initially driven to the police station by her parents. She was later shot with a Taser after she ran away from a small group of officers. With the stun gun’s prongs lodged in her back and scalp, she fell face first to the pavement, breaking her front teeth, as well as sustaining burns, cuts, bruises and other injuries, she said in her lawsuit.

An attorney for Peña said she would be affected physically and emotionally for life by the incident.