June 11, 2009

Taser Torture of Gary Decker is Ruled a Homicide by Tucson Medical Examiner


I must admit that I was surprised to learn that the medical examiner in Tucson AZ ruled that the taser-related killing of 50-year old Gary Decker is a homicide. [SOURCE]

Villagers may recall that Decker died from a combination of cocaine intoxication, multiple blunt force injuries and being restrained after he assaulted three police officers April 16 at the Extended Stay America, 5050 E. Grant Road.

He was confronted by officers after a hotel employee and some patrons complained of hearing music and loud noises coming from his room. After knocking on the door, police officers entered the room and found Decker nude and holding the seat he had torn from the toilet.

He attacked the officers after they tried to talk to him and a struggle ensued before officers electrocuted him with their taser guns. He died a few hours later at a local hospital.

According to the autopsy report, Decker suffered two puncture wounds to his chest and additional wounds to his right hip when he was Tasered. He also received numerous rib fractures. Decker had cuts and bruises all over his body, including his head, neck, abdomen, shoulders and arms, the report states.

Homicide. Murder. Death at the hands of another. It seems that the Tucson police officers that entered that hotel room didn't get the cover they expected from their local medical examiner. I wonder if these police officers will be arrested and charged with a crime?

More importantly, I wonder if congressional hearings on taser torture are more likely as a result of this homicide ruling.

5 comments:

D.J. said...

I dont have details just saw a quick blurb this morning. I think it was Texas where a 70 + year old woman was tasered by a deputy.

Villager said...

DJ - I imagine that you've seen the video on the 72-year old great-grandmother who was electrocuted by a police officer because she didn't sign a speeding ticket. Police should not be using tasers as a means of convenience ... it should only be used in life-threatening situation. Hard for me to believe that the 72-year old 5'2" woman was a threat to the officer's life...

Gunfighter said...

Death at the hands of another is homicide... but that just means he died because of his injuries... it doesn't have any bearing on whether the injuries that he received were justifiable.

Gunfighter said...

Villager,

A TASER isn't an appropriate weapon for for saving your life. If faced with a deadly situation, the officer should forget the TASER and use whatever friearm he or she has at hand.

Villager said...

Gunfighter - I guess we wait to hear what the district attorney has to say about whether or not this homicide was justified. Perhaps it will take a few charges of murder to get across the idea that the taser isn't a weapon designed to be used whenever the police are in the mood. Perhaps the 'use of force' continuum should be better implemented in the future...