April 13, 2009

16-Year Old Taser Victim Robert Mitchell Remembered in Detroit Vigil

Close to 40 people gathered last night for a candlelight vigil in memory of the teen who died after he was Tasered by Warren police Friday. [SOURCE]

The group, whose members brought pictures of 16-year-old Robert Mitchell for a makeshift shrine, prayed and heard speeches by Mitchell's mother and grandmother, said Ron Scott of the Coalition Against Police Brutality, which organized the vigil.

Family members say that Mitchell was a quiet kid with a learning disability who loved sports and stayed out of trouble. They say they don't understand why Warren officers felt the unarmed teen, who took medication for attention-deficit disorder, posed a threat after a foot chase that ended in an abandoned home in Detroit.

"I want some answers," said Mitchell's grandmother, Charlotte McGlory of St. Clair Shores. "This doesn't make sense. Is this how we deal with our youth? Is this the behavior of those sworn to protect them?"
According to police, the Detroit Kettering High School sophomore bailed out of the Dodge Stratus he was riding in during a traffic stop for an expired license plate on Eight Mile near Schoenherr. He discarded his jacket before leading officers on a half-block chase to a home on Pelkey.

Police said Mitchell complied at first, but when officers tried to pat him down, he resisted and was stunned one time with a Taser.

The autopsy report hasn't been released yet. It seems that the powers-that-be in Detroit are hoping to blame this youngster's death on his asthma. However, he didn't drop dead from having asthma. He dropped dead from being shot by a police officer with 50,000 volts of electricity from a taser gun. I'm still waiting for an explanation of why the police couldn't deal with this 110-pound teenager in some manner that did not require reaching for their holster to gun him down?

What say u?


by Michael Boh said...

Tasers KILL PEOPLE! It's time for Americans to contact their representatives, police, newspapers, and demand that law enforcement take "accidental Taser death" more seriously. It's not far from shooting innocent people. The police know that Tasers can kill. More needs to be done. Thanks for covering it too EV - Michael at Our Rants & Raves

Villager said...

Michael - It just seems that these deaths come far too often for it to be coincidence. Poor training? Lack of sticking with the 'use of force continuum' policy? I agree with you that we need to watch things...