ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A new lawsuit has been filed against the City of Albuquerque, Albuquerque Police Department and two of their officers.
The case stems from the March 21, 2011 incident involving 38-year old Jerry Perea.
Police officers say they used a taser on Perea as a means to control him after he attacked them with a crucifix. Perea was looked at by paramedics, but later died on the way to the hospital.
Albuquerque Police were working a domestic violence call near Fourth Street and Candelaria in Northwest Albuquerque on that day in March of 2011 when they were approached by Perea rolling up on his bike.
In the lawsuit, Perea's family tells KRQE News 13 they're suing because officers were wrong to use the taser against him. They also allege it violated his civil rights and cited poor officer training.
In May 2011, the Office of the Medical Investigator said the cause of death was undetermined, but did cite other factors that may have contributed to his death. They said Perea was on meth and obese with an enlarged heart.
Perea's family doesn't agree with the findings from O.M.I., including the meth in his system.
"He never did do meth," says Merlinda Perea, Jerry's mother. "He used to do other drugs, but we never knew of him doing meth, never."
When asked why the family is filing the lawsuit two years after Perea's death, they said they started the paper work immediately following the incident, but it has taken the full two years.
The family is seeking compensatory and punitive damage as well as recovering attorneys fees.
KRQE News 13 contacted the Albuquerque City Attorney's Office, but they said it is too early to comment on the case.
This new lawsuit comes on the heels of last week's $10.3-million verdict against APD in the fatal police shooting of a suicidal war vet.
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