TORRANCE (CBSLA.com) — Torrance has agreed to pay nearly $2 million of taxpayer money to a police officer who claims he was Tasered by a supervisor.
In court documents, Zachary Bazilius says he told his bosses he was experiencing back pain before the incident, which he claims occurred during morning roll call at the Torrance Police Department.
The suit, filed in 2011 and settled last year, claims Sgt. Martin McGee didn't believe Bazilius and "discharged his Taser (but did not project the probes) immediately behind plaintiff's head, which caused him to lurch forward."
It also claims that after the Taser was fired, McGee said: "I guess he's not faking it," and that Bazilius was left with permanent injuries.
Torrance Mayor Patrick Furey says the city had to make a business decision when it quietly paid the sum.
"We already expended more than $600,000 in defense costs," Furey said.
The two sides disputed whether the officer was ever hit with electricity.
Both he and his attorney declined to comment for this report.
"It's my understanding that he wasn't. .. He heard the noise, and the noise startled him. And that caused him to lurch forward and hurt his back," Furey said.
Two months after the Taser incident, Bazilius suffered a fall he claims made his original injuries worse.
The city confirms Bazilius retired from the police department but McGee is still employed.
"Yes, he was disciplined," Furey said.
Former councilman Tom Brewer says city officials are prevented by law from discussing how police officers are disciplined, and he's surprised McGee still has a job.
"It annoys me sometimes that we spend this kind of money and the ramifications aren't worse for the officer," Brewer said.
The mayor says McGee had to undergo training after the incident.
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