September 3, 2009
Coroner Rules 'Homicide' in Taser Death of Jamaal Valentine
The Galveston County medical examiner ruled that 27-year old Jamaal Valentine's taser-related death on May 17th was a homicide. The grand jury is hearing the case this week to determine whether or not criminal charges should be filed against the the three La Marque (TX) police officers that tasered and beat Valentine to death. [SOURCE]
Jamaal Valentine’s death certificate shows that his death was caused by “blunt head trauma during police restraint.”
Valentine had high levels of PCP and cocaine in his system. Other factors in Valentine’s death included an enlarged heart as well as a lifelong heart defect, the medical examiner wrote on the death certificate.
Written witness accounts dispute police reports that Valentine was shocked just once with a Taser. Several witnesses said Valentine was shocked repeatedly, mostly while he already was in handcuffs.
Valentine died after he wrestled with three La Marque police officers as they attempted to arrest him. Motorists called police, saying they saw Valentine walking down Main Street in La Marque and acting erratically. One witness told investigators and The Daily News that Valentine approached his car and asked for help because he thought he was having a heart attack.
Valentine is one of 34 people killed in taser-related situations this year. The homicide ruling by the coroner is rare ... but, this is the second one in the past week or so.