November 12, 2009

Police Refuse to Take Responsibility in Taser-Killing of Rory McKenzie


We told you a few days ago that the Kern County coroner ruled 'homicide' in the taser-related death of Rory McKenzie. The Kern County Sheriff's Office didn't like the negative publicity from the coroner's decision. So, the Sheriff's Office convened a group this past Monday to review the case. After a quick review, the Sheriff's Office announced that the four officers involved in the taser-killing operated "within department policy".

You may recall that these four police officers attempted to take McKenzie into custody on July 2, 2009. He physically resisted arrest. During the struggle, a deputy deployed a Taser as McKenzie continued to physically resist arrest. A Kern County Sheriff’s Office K-9 was utilized and McKenzie was bitten on the right leg, allowing deputies to take him into custody.

After McKenzie was taken into custody, deputies noticed he was having difficulty breathing and called for medical aid. McKenzie stopped breathing and deputies administered CPR. McKenzie was transported by ambulance to Kern Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The four officers are Sergeant Otis Whinery (24 years with the Sheriff's Office), Senior Deputy Alan Fullerton (21 years with the Sheriff's Office), Deputy Douglas Jauch (8 years with the Sheriff's Office), Deputy Patrick McNeal (5 years with the Sheriff's Office) and Deputy Edward Tucker (12 years with the Sheriff's Office).

The penalty for resisting arrest should not be death ... and it should not be "within department policy". I hope that the Kern County District Attorney files criminal charges in this case.

In the meantime, I encourage all villagers to see if they can get a copy of the 'use of force continuum' policy from their local police department. We may need to deal with this issue on a local level. What say u?

8 comments:

RiPPa said...

This mess has to stop! I'm so tired of reading about this madness!!!!!!

Mustbebest said...

unfortunately, mess is everywhere in our world now, my friends. it is a pity and we sorry about taht but we, people, made this world to be so...

http://mustbebest.blogspot.com/

HD Notes said...

Use of force is just that force upto deadly force. We did a classic federal review here in the Nati and did rule changes with training. This is so as to hold our police, who we will spend a billion dollars on over the next decade, upto deployment of force standards that meet community values.

If not for Tasers in a lot of these situations deadly force would have been deployed.

In this case, like many quoted, he was resisting arrest!! If you have never been in such a situation I can say from experience it is chaotic at best.

Villager said...

Herschel - No doubt that Rory McKenzie was a punk. There is never an excuse to lay hands on a woman. However, from his photo it appears that the guy is a scrawny little fella. Shouldn't four police officers have been able to take him without use of taser? Without killing him? The penalty for resisting arrest should not be death.

On another note, where can I find a copy of the 'use of force continuum' policy in effect with the Cincinnati police department?

Villager said...

RiPPa and MustBeBest - You are each bloggers. I hope that you each join us on December 4th as participants in the 2nd annual Day of Blogging for Justice: Stop Taser Torture.

RiPPa said...

Oh no doubt I'm going to join the cause my brother! Now where do I sign up? I'm extremely hot about this topic right now especially after watching this video below last night...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNX6MDktrRo

MacDaddy said...

Thy're hiding behind policy. But the policy. They need to keep in mind the taser hasn't turned out to be the life saving tool of law enforcement they thought it would.

Villager said...

RiPPa - You can sign up here for the December 4, 2009 Day of Blogging for Justice against taser torture.

MacDaddy - I don't think that the police see it that way. They continue to advocate for the taser gun even as they keep killing people with it.