November 13, 2009

Taser Death: Herman George Knabe (Corpus Christi, TX)

It appears that the police have killed another bicycle rider with their taser gun. It appears that the police are cracking down on illegal bicycle use! This time we learn that a 58-year-old Herman George Knabe was shot with a taser by Corpus Christi police. The man was removed from life support Friday afternoon by doctors at Christus Spohn Hospital South.

The dead man is described as a 58-year-old white man, 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 185 pounds. He had long salt and pepper hair with a long, braided beard of the same color. Police said the man rode a faded red women’s bicycle with an H-E-B basket strapped to the front.

We are waiting for an official cause of death to be determined by autopsy that will be conducted by the the Nueces County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Of course, the police don't need an autopsy for them to say that they were justified in killing this man.

"A preliminary investigation has shown the officers acted appropriately in responding to an aggressive individual who was acting erratically," said Police Chief Troy Riggs "Unfortunately, he has died and we will continue the investigation."
Since when is it appropriate for an unarmed suspect to end up dead while in police custody?

All five of the police officers involved in this taser-related death who were placed on paid administrative leave have now been cleared to work.

Here is the story according to police spokesman:

The incident began at 6:54 p.m. Wednesday when officer Stephan Beletic saw drivers flashing their headlights at Cimarron Boulevard and Airline Road. Beletic saw a man riding his bicycle illegally against the flow of traffic and attempted to stop him. The man didn’t stop and rode into a parking lot of restaurant where he banged on the restaurant’s window and spoke unintelligibly.

Beletic, who already had called for backup, began to frisk the man to make sure he wasn’t armed.

The man resisted, and Beletic managed to cuff one hand, but the man continued to struggle. Officers Ross Murray and Daryl Anderson arrived on the scene and Murray used a Taser, hitting the man in the lower back. The man appeared unaffected by the 50,000-volt stun gun, Green said, adding that police aren’t sure if the probe even penetrated the several layers of clothes the man was wearing.

Murray then placed the Taser on the man’s shoulder blade and shocked him. The man continued to be combative.

Anderson used pepper spray, which also did little. Officer Jason Rhodes arrived and the four fell to the ground in a struggle with the man.

It wasn’t until a fifth officer, Jason Tello, arrived that they were able to finishing handcuffing the man.
Once the man was in custody, he quit breathing. He became the 46th man this year involved in a taser-killing by police. These deaths keep piling on at a rate of once-per-week. I encourage all villagers to join us on December 4, 2009 when we gather for a Day of Blogging for Justice to Stop Taser Torture.