August 28, 2009

Coroner Rules 'Homicide' in the Taser Death of Michael Jacobs

24-year old Michael Jacobs did not have to die on April 18, 2009. However, Fort Worth police officer Stephanie A. Phillips shocked him twice with a taser gun -- the first time for 49 seconds and the second time for 5 seconds, with a 1-second interval between the shocks, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office report.

Phillips told a detective after the incident that she "unknowingly kept the Taser trigger engaged for an unknown amount of time when she first applied the Taser, thus increasing the pre-programmed shock duration cycle of five seconds."

The report states that when Jacobs "continued to struggle," Phillips warned him again that if he did not "cease fighting and comply with officers’ requests, she would shock him again. When [Jacobs] failed to cooperate, Phillips shocked him a second time," according to the report.

He was pronounced dead about noon that day — an hour after Phillips used the taser gun. The medical examiner ruled that Michael Jacobs' death was a homicide. [SOURCE]

An autopsy showed no traces of alcohol or drugs, electrolyte imbalances, or signs of heart or lung disease, all of which can be contributing factors in a death.

"We are relieved that the ME's findings line up with our facts, but we still believe that Mr. Jacobs did not have to die, and did not have to die the way he did, in front of his parents in his front yard crying out for help," said Rev. Kyev Tatum, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Fort Worth chapter.
The Jacobs family held a press conference to talk about the ME's findings. Michael Jacobs Jr. had a 4-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter, who live with their mothers, Charlotte Jacobs said.

"I would like to see justice done for my son. I would like this to never happen to another family. If the police had just come to me after this happened and said, 'I’m sorry,’ none of this would be needed. The police are supposed to be here to protect and serve. Not to kill."
Now we wait to see if the police officer that fired the taser will be charged with a crime by the powers-that-be in Ft. Worth. Does anyone know the name of the police officer?

No comments: