A Nashville jury has cleared three police officers in the death of Patrick Lee, 21, after he was struck anywhere from three to 19 times with a Taser, The Tennessean reports. Lee was subdued outside a nightclub after he acted strangely and resisted arrest. He was under the influence of LSD and stripped off all of his clothes during the scuffle with police. The medical examiner ruled his cause of death as excited delirium, a controversial diagnosis that has been listed in many Taser-related deaths nationwide in which drugs were a factor.
A federal jury decided that the officers did not use excessive force in the arrest. Police Chief Ronal Serpas defends the use of Taser stun guns as a safe tool for officers to use with proper training. Though the Tasers were pulled from the streets after Lee’s death, Serpas redeployed them last year as an optional tool for officers who took specific training in their use. The department has about 200 Tasers, all equipped with video cameras. Serpas said the police department disagrees with the contention that Lee was shocked up to 19 times, saying he was probably shocked three times though the gun was deployed 19 times.