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Lawrenceville, GA

Lawrenceville, GA: (Aug-16-07) The family of Ray Charles Austin filed a Taser related wrongful death lawsuit against three Gwinnett County officials, alleging that Austin died in September 2003 after being shocked repeatedly with a Taser at the Gwinnett County Jail. The jail records show that Austin, 25, had been in a fight in which he bit off part of a deputy's ear.

In a settlement reached, sources state that the three Gwinnett County officials quietly settled the Taser related wrongful death lawsuit, paying $100,000 to Austin's family without a public vote or discussion. The settlement, obtained this week, claimed that the county barred the victim's family and lawyers from telling the public or news media about the payout. In December 2006, county officials agreed to pay Austin's family $100,000 to dismiss the lawsuit. According to the settlement papers, the only public statement that could be made about the deal was that the case has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. [WJBF NEWS: TASER DEATH]

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