Family of William Owens Asks District Attorney for Independent Review

Jun 23, 2010, 16:24 ET from The Cochran Firm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The family of William Owens, the 17-year-old East Lake teen who died after an altercation with Homewood police, has asked District Attorney, Brandon Falls for his help in investigating Owens' death.

Byron Perkins with The Cochran Firm – Birmingham said he and the family of William Owens have asked the District Attorney's office to form an independent citizen's review committee to be made up of area ministers, community leaders, and area law enforcement to look into the circumstances leading up to this tragic death.

Perkins stated, "Even though an inquiry into the cause of death is underway, the city of Homewood should allow someone other than their own officers and the ABI to investigate this matter."

William Owens died early Sunday morning, June 13th at UAB Hospital after the Homewood police had been called to West Valley Avenue when someone reported teenagers breaking into cars. Owens was tased in the right forehead by police when authorities said the teen had resisted as officers tried to handcuff him.

Authorities stated that Owens was struck twice with a Taser gun, but evidence suggests that the teen was tased with 50,000 watts in the forehead. Perkins, based upon his research and review of Taser training materials, believes that Owens should have never been tasered in the forehead. Moreover, it is unclear whether Owens was actually resisting arrest as stated by Homewood Police Officers.

"This excessive use of the Taser gun is forbidden by police training and was the probable cause of Owens' death," said Perkins.

Founded over 30 years ago by famed attorney, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., The Cochran Firm, as it is known today, has established itself as one of the premier trial advocacy firms in the United States. With 26 offices in 16 states and the District of Columbia, The Cochran Firm is a diverse group of some of the most highly-experienced and respected men and women dedicated to bringing quality representation for injured people, their families and the ordinary citizen. Recognized nationally for their achievements in the  courtroom, attorneys with The Cochran Firm have obtained litigation results which have significantly impacted the law, communities, and industry practices. For more information about The Cochran Firm, contact our offices at 1-800- THE FIRM, or visit our website at

SOURCE The Cochran Firm