Saturday, November 15, 2008

There's No Doubt

A post tasing death in Moberly, MO is ruled a homicide:

The Randolph County coroner has ruled that the August death of a man whom Moberly police shocked twice with a Taser during a traffic stop was a homicide.

Gerald Luntsford said he would wait until receiving the results from a Missouri State Highway Patrol investigation before releasing the exact cause of death for Stanley Harlan, 23, of Moberly. Luntsford said he expects that investigation to be complete soon.

I can only imagine what the results of that police lead investigation will be!

The article goes on to offer more details:

Luntsford said he could not disclose whether the use of the Taser killed Harlan. "There’s no doubt it contributed to it," the coroner said. "In a few days, we will have exactly what killed him."

Moberly police pulled Harlan over early Aug. 28 for driving his vehicle erratically and tried to arrest him on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Harlan resisted, and the arresting officer was able to get only one handcuff on him, police said.

An officer, whom police have not identified, deployed the Taser and forced Harlan to the ground. Police said that when Harlan refused orders to remove his arms from under his body, the officer deployed the Taser again, and Harlan complied.

Note that Harlan was tased a second time, not because he was coming at police with a weapon; he wasn't even on his feet. He was on the ground with his arms beneath him. If the police hadn't had tasers here, would they have shot Harlan? ... Tasers replacing guns my butt.

What followed the second taser shot was the infamous sequence of suspect tased, suspect died:

A short time later, Harlan became unresponsive and the four officers on the scene requested an ambulance. Harlan stopped breathing before paramedics arrived, and he was pronounced dead at Moberly Regional Medical Center. Boone County Medical Examiner Chris Stacy conducted the autopsy.