EAST GRAND RAPIDS (AP) – Police are accused of excessive force and gross negligence in dealing with a southwest Michigan man who died in 2009 following a confrontation with two officers who subdued him with stun guns, according a federal lawsuit filed by his family.

The lawsuit by relatives of 30-year-old Matthew Bolick was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court against East Grand Rapids, its public safety director and the officers who subdued him Nov. 16, 2009, The Grand Rapids Press reported.

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Stephen Bolick called police to the scene after his son broke a picture window, and told them his son was delusional and hearing voices. Attorney William Mills said police weren’t prepared to deal with someone suffering an “obvious psychotic episode.”

John Gillooly, an attorney for the city, said a vigorous defense was planned. He said officers went to great lengths to avoid hurting Matthew Bolick, who reacted violently to officers. He said it was “outrageous” to suggest the city and its officers were responsible for his death.

“The city strongly believes there was absolutely no wrongful conduct on the part of the officers on the scene,” Gillooly said.

Police were cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the case by Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth.

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Videos recorded shortly before his death showed Matthew Bolick being shocked. He screamed, dropped to the ground and rolled around, and then he got up and ran away. He also refused repeated police orders. Several stun gun shocks didn’t appear to stop him.

His father and brothers, Jonathan and Kevin Bolick, filed the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, one of the officers shocked Matthew Bolick after he had been placed in handcuffs. Mills said mental and physical stress combined with Bolick’s psychological problems caused him to go into cardiac arrest, and that the shocks played a role.

A forensic pathologist, however, found no proof the death was caused by stun gun shots.

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