August 28, 2009

Taser Death: Terrace Clayton Smith (Los Angeles, CA)

It happened again. Again we see that the police feel disrespected ... and respond with 50,000 volts of electricity from a taser gun. As a result, we have the 34th taser-related death in America this year.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says Terrace Clayton Smith has died after a deputy shocked him three times with an electric stun gun at a San Fernando Valley subway station. [SOURCE]

Police authorities say Smith was at the North Hollywood Red Line station on August 26th, when a deputy repeatedly asked if he had a ticket.

Smith didn't answer, so the deputy took hold of his hands to stop and question him.

The police say the man broke free, raised clenched fists and charged the deputy several times. He was Tasered, then shocked twice more when he got up and charged again. We don't know the other side of the story ... because Smith is dead.

The police were consistent in their response to this taser-related death ... they informed the press of a possible drug abuse angle. In this case, the police say a pipe used to smoke drugs fell to the ground during the scuffle. That is how the police set the stage for blaming his death on 'excited delirium'.

These taser-related deaths are happening at too rapid a clip. Please sign our online petition seeking congressional hearings on taser-torture taking place in our nation.


Gunfighter said...

I think that we need to put this into appropriate perspective, Brother Villager.

This isn't a mater of disrespect.

Did the officer seize this person? That seems clear from your post.

Did the suspect (because he is a suspect at this point) raise his fists in pre-assaultive behavior? Again, the answer is yes.

Did the suspect then attempt to assault the officer? Yes.

Was the use of the Taser unwarranted? No, not at all.

Again, this is tragic, but not a crime... and certainly not the fault of the police.

It isn't about disrespect. It is about a measure response to assaultive behavior.

Unknown said...

Gunfighter - I look forward to meeting you next time I'm in the Washington DC area. I owe you a drink for your patience with me as I take my obviously biased slant on these taser death stories.

In this case ... I agree with most of what you say ... however, I wonder why the police officer approached the guy in the first place? He was simply a citizen waiting for a bus. The officer's actions turned him into a 'suspect' and all we have so far are the officer's description of what happened (raised fists; attempted assault). We'll never know the other side ... because the 'suspect' is dead.

raising your fists should not be punishable by death. And it wouldn't have been if the taser hadn't been deployed MULTIPLE times...