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$160K for stun gunning at mental center

Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, December 19, 2012
Alameda County has agreed to pay $160,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by an 18 year old developmentally disabled woman who accused sheriff's deputies of using excessive force when they tackled her and shocked her with a stun gun at a Castro Valley mental health center. The victim, Sapreena Fowler, has the mental capacity of a 4 year old. The settlement money will be placed in a special trust for Fowler, said her attorney Julia Sherwin.As part of the settlement, the sheriff's office has amended its protocol for deputies responding to the center, reminding them to speak quietly to those who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled and to "give them time to calm down," Sherwin said. "Deputies Robson and Johnson ignored their training and abused this vulnerable young woman when she most needed help," Sherwin said.

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