A Sacramento man has joined the growing tally of people who have died after police attempted to subdue them with Tasers, the Sacramento Bee reports. While the manufacturer denies Tasers can be fatal, debates churn over whether the stun guns are being used in the way they were intended – as an alternative to lethal force – and whether police policies reflect the most recent scientific conclusions on the weapons’ safety.
Because Paul Martinez Jr. was handcuffed and likely high on methamphetamine, his family questions whether deploying the Taser might have been excessive. “When you mix electricity with a drug, you can cause a cardiac arrhythmia. It could be a lethal cocktail,” said attorney John Virga, who is representing the Martinez family in a potential wrongful death suit against the city of Roseville. “What would they say, ‘It would have happened anyway, even if he hadn’t been ‘tased’? No, that’s not logical.”