Idaho Springs reaches $7M settlement after police used Taser on 75-year-old man |

Idaho Springs reaches $7M settlement after police used Taser on 75-year-old man

Michael Clark was seriously injured after former Idaho Springs police officer Nicholas Hanning hit him with a Taser without warning

Olivia Prentzel
The Colorado Sun

IDAHO SPRINGS — Idaho Springs has agreed to pay $7 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit against a former police officer and the department after he used a Taser on Michael Clark without warning, requiring the 75-year-old man to be taken to a hospital. 

The settlement stems from a federal lawsuit filed last year after former Officer Nicholas Hanning used Taser on Clark less than a minute from when he opened his front door on May 30, 2021, while holding a “Hawaiian sword,” but after he put down the weapon. Clark fell backward hitting a chair and then the ground. Hanning then put his knee on top of Clark’s neck, the lawsuit alleges, placing pressure that deprived him of oxygen, prolonged his loss of consciousness and increased his risk of death. 

The settlement is the largest in state history for a civil rights case not involving wrongful death, Clark’s attorney, Sarah Schielke, said in announcing the settlement Wednesday morning.

Clark suffered a stroke and permanent cognitive impairments and lost nearly all of his independence, Schielke said. He is no longer able to drive a car or cook for himself and now uses a wheelchair, she said.

Hanning was fired by the department and was charged with third-degree assault on an at-risk person. Hanning pleaded guilty in December to misdemeanor assault under a deal in which he agreed he would never again work as a police officer in Colorado. 


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