January 23, 2010

Taser Autopsy: Ronald Eugene Cobbs (Greensboro, NC)

The powers-that-be continue to rally the troops to avoid accountability for taser-related deaths. Villagers may recall that 38-year old Ronald Eugene Cobb died, in August 2009, shortly after an unidentified prison jailer pumped his body with 50,000 volts of electricity from a taser gun.

The autopsy report was released earlier this week.

"The exact cause of this man's death is unclear though it occurred during the application of restraint and that restraint in my opinion played a role," the examiner, Dr. John Butts, wrote in the report.
Butts said Cobbs could have died of respiratory arrest or cardiac arrhythmia caused by an underlying cardiac disease, both triggered by the stress of the struggle.

According to the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, a guard was trying to recover unidentified contraband from Cobbs’ cell when the inmate resisted and assaulted the officer.

The guard, who has not been named, initially tried to physically restrain Cobbs before using a Taser gun on him. Cobbs was stunned, but did not go down. He was then pushed down and his hands were handcuffed behind his back.

During this process he is “drive tasered” in the back,” the report stated. “He is picked up and carried face down to an elevator and taken to a nursing station.”
Cobbs didn’t speak or show evidence of voluntary movement after the second takedown. Cobbs had not been in an “agitated state” before the brief incident. The autopsy revealed only minor evidence of injury, including marks around the inmate’s wrists consistent with handcuffs.

Minor evidence of injury? I imagine that 50,000 volts of electricity that stops the heart from beating doesn't leave much evidence ... other than the inconvenience of a dead body.

The next step in this process is to learn whether or not the district attorney plans to bring changes against the unidentified law enforcement officer for the curious death that occured in his jurisdiction.

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