Victor Duffy, Jr. called 911 last July asking for police to put his home under surveillance because he was convinced someone had been stealing phone chargers and remote controls. That recording, played to a King County inquest jury Tuesday, demonstrated the 25-year-old’s fragile psyche.
“My dishwasher is broke,” he told the dispatcher. “My refrigerator is dirty. My microwave has been replaced.”
Duffy had been in an argument with his sister in their Tukwila home when he called for police.
“He's basically pretty calm,” said the family’s attorney Lee Rousso. “He doesn't threaten anybody. There's no crime going down. He's just confused.”
An inquest is now under way to determine whether five Tukwila police officers may be held accountable for Duffy’s death.
His family says police asked them to leave them alone with Duffy, closed the front door of their house and then tased the mentally ill man.
Last October Duffy’s step-father, Ron Fortson, told KING 5: “Victor breaks out the door with a look in his eye, just a horrible look…like he was gonna die.”
The family believes the taser led to Duffy’s death. The King County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy, but it essentially came back "inconclusive" as to whether a taser killed the young man.
In court Tuesday, the 911 tape revealed two instances where Duffy’s mother and sister both told the 911 dispatcher they simply wanted Duffy taken to a hospital to get help him back on his medication for bi-polar disorder.
Neither an attorney for the officers in question, nor the Tukwila Police Department are commenting about the case.
The family is suing the department for 15 million dollars, but their attorney says it's about more than that.
“They want the Tukwila Police Department to do a better job in training its police officers in dealing with mentally ill people,” said Rousso. “Those issues aren't all going to be decided in this inquest, but it's a start.”
If the inquest jury rules there is enough evidence, the case could go to the King County Prosecutor for possible criminal charges against the officers involved.