Tulsa Family Sues City, TPD After Man Dies During Police Encounter

Friday, June 26th 2020, 5:53 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

TULSA, Okla. -

Nearly two years after 25-year-old Joshua Harvey died after being tased in downtown Tulsa, his family is filing a lawsuit.

"We're forced here into this lawsuit and his family is forced into this battle,” said Damario Solomon-Simmons, an attorney representing the family.

Solomon-Simmons said Harvey was the victim of excessive force at the hands of Tulsa Police.

The new lawsuit names the city, police department, four officers, former Police Chief Chuck Jordan and an ambulance service as defendants.

It was back in August of 2018, when Tulsa Police were called downtown to reports of a man - later identified as Harvey - acting erratically and taking off his clothes.

When officers approached, they said Harvey ran to a nearby bank, where he shattered some glass and broke inside.

The lawsuit claims after they followed him, two officers deployed tasers, and according to a use of force report, Harvey was hit no less than 27 times in less than 3 minutes.

"They were using this tasing as a pain compliance technique and that is not the proper role of tasing at all," said Solomon-Simmons.

Solomon-Simmons said officers were aware they were dealing with someone with a mental health condition but failed to call in a Crisis Intervention Team officer.

And according to the lawsuit, the company that makes Tasers warns, there is an increased risk of death when using it on an agitated or intoxicated person.

After his death, the Medical Examiner determined Harvey had meth in his system and his probable cause of death was likely meth toxicity in the setting of physical exertion.

Harvey's mother said they want justice and change.

"I'm not out for money or payment. I'm out for justice. They going to have to pay for what they did to my child," said Roma Presley, his mother.

Tulsa Police said they can’t comment on the case since a lawsuit has now been filed.