$650,000 awarded to family of tased North College Hill man - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

$650,000 awarded to family of tased North College Hill man

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Corey McGinnis/File photo Corey McGinnis/File photo
NORTH COLLEGE HILL, OH (FOX19) -

On June 26, 2012, 35-year-old Corey McGinnis was playing basketball at Crutchfield Park in Springfield Township with his sons and nephew when a fight broke out.

Police arrived and in the chaos of trying to calm everyone down, his family said McGinnis was tased by a North College Hill police officer. Five days later, he died from his injuries. That is when his family decided to take the city to court.

"You leave the hospital and then you get that call that you need to come back. That is when it hurt," said Yolanda McGinnis, his sister.

She said her brother was unarmed and not a threat to police when he was tased in the chest.

"It went right there and unfortunately he just didn't come back. He just didn't come back," McGinnis said.

"Tasing prongs went into the chest near the heart. He was not wearing a shirt. As soon as he hit the ground, he lost his cardiac function," said Al Gerhardstein, the McGinnis family attorney.

Gerhardstein said there is a national discussion on whether tasers are lethal when targeted at the chest but he has had two clients die as a result.

Thursday, the city of North College Hill and the McGinnis family settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $650,000 and agreed to a few changes to the city's taser policy.

"We wanted this settlement to move forward and the family did in a way that would help other communities change their policies, follow the preferred target zone and hold people more peacefully in the community," Gerhardstein said.

North College Hill Police said the chest is still an approved target but are already training their officers to aim at other areas like the back and lower abdomen.

McGinnis hopes her brother will be the last example of a non-lethal weapon proving the opposite. She feels relieved.

"We're going to move forward," she said. "We're going to move forward."

The officer who tased McGinnis is still serving the North College Hill Police Department. The McGinnis family said they know it was never his intention to hurt Corey. They are just happy changes are being made and hope maybe other city police departments will take notice.

Corey McGinnis left behind eight children. His sister said the family plans to use the money to give them a bright future.

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