April 17, 2009

16-Year Old Taser Victim Robert Mitchell Described as Storyteller and Jokester

The Electronic Village has been following the Robert Mitchell story since he was tasered to death last Friday. The Warren police want to find a way to justify the death of this 5'2", 110-pound teenager. However, the more we learn ... the more heinous his murder by police taser seems. The Detroit Free Press interviewed Robert's older sister and younger brother. [SOURCE]

The last time Reasha Ardis saw her little brother, he was begging her in typical teenage fashion to drive him to the store.

"Not now, Tazzy," she said because she was tired after work. "Next time I see you."

Robert Mitchell, nicknamed Tazzy by his family -- as in the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character because of his boundless energy -- died the next day after being zapped by a Warren police officer with an electronic stun gun.

"Now I'll never hear him ask to go to the store or to borrow a dollar, all that simple stuff," said Ardis, 25.

As the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office continued its investigation into the April 10 death, Mitchell's family readied for an 11 a.m. Saturday funeral at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit.

They have called on Warren to at least suspend the two officers involved in the incident. But they're trying to focus on the good times they shared with 16-year-old Mitchell.

"He was the storyteller of the family," said Ramell Savage, 14, one of Mitchell's three brothers in a brood of seven.

Mostly, Mitchell was a normal teen, they said. He loved music, played football with his brothers and bummed rides from older relatives.

He was with two older relatives April 10 when police pulled over the car Mitchell was riding in to investigate an expired license plate, authorities said.

Mitchell, who had no criminal record and was a special education student, allegedly ran, leading officers into an abandoned house in Detroit.

Warren police have said that one of the officers shocked Mitchell once with a Taser when the teen resisted arrest. He quit breathing afterward. Attempts to revive him failed.

But Ardis said she doesn't want her brother to be remembered just for his final moments.

"He was the jokester," she said. "He could just come up with a joke out of the blue and get you laughing.

"I'll miss that."
Villagers, what are your thoughts as you learn more about this taser killing?

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