Fl. Man Dies After Taser Shots; Autopsy Awaited


After a Hollywood, Fl., police officer shot Kevin Downing with a Taser stun gun Wednesday night, the beefy man kept fighting with officers, says the Miami Herald. The officer pulled the Taser’s trigger again, zapping the 6-foot-3, 280-pound Downing with another 50,000 volts of electricity. He still didn’t go down, a rare occurence with Taser targets. “When the Taser did not work, they had to take him down,” Hollywood Police Detective Carlos Negrón said. “They grabbed him and threw him to the ground to handcuff him.” Downing, 36, died within two hours at a hospital.

An autopsy is planned in the case; in two previous South Florida deaths involving Tasers, autopsies showed that other factors such as cocaine use or positional asphyxiation, a type of suffocation, caused the deaths, not the Taser shocks. Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper said he wasn’t aware of anyone in the county dying as a direct result of being shocked with a Taser. Tasers can be lethal, Perper said, particularly in someone who has heart problems or drugs in their system. “The manufacturer claims there is no such thing as a death due to Tasers,” he said. “I disagree with that.”

Link: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/10437500.htm

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