A Chinese college student shocked by a Eugene police officer's stun gun last month has contacted attorneys.
EUGENE — A Chinese college student shocked by a Eugene police officer's stun gun last month has contacted attorneys.
Officials with the University of Oregon's American English Institute directed the student and his roommate to attorneys employed by the Associated Students of the University of Oregon.
Ilona Koleszar, ASUO's legal services director, confirmed her office is working with the students, but declined to say whether a lawsuit is in the works, The Register-Guard newspaper reported today.
"I'm advising my clients not to comment, and I'm going to go the same route, because we don't want to do anything to skew this process," Koleszar said.
The student, whose name has not been released, was confronted inside a townhouse Sept. 22 by Eugene officers who thought he and his roommate were trespassing. During the encounter, an officer used a Taser to subdue the student.
Officers later discovered the student and his roommate, who do not speak English, had begun renting the place that day.
The city is investigating whether the officer who fired the Taser broke police department rules.
"To me, this case raises a lot of questions about the usage of Tasers," Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy said. "I personally would prefer that Tasers would only be used in lieu of lethal weapons."
Police have declined provide details about what transpired between the time officers entered the apartment and the time the Taser was used.
City Police Auditor Mark Gissiner said the students have not been interviewed by investigators. His office has offered to hire a translator or interpreter if they do agree to speak.
University spokeswoman Julie Brown said the students are Chinese nationals who started "intensive language training" through the American English Institute, which is part of the university's linguistics program.
Once the students learn basic English, they can enroll in regular classes, Brown said.