January 27, 2010

Taser Death: Joe Spruill (Goldsboro, NC)

America continues to experience a taser-related death on a weekly basis. This week the taser-killing took place in Goldsboro NC. Joe Spruill, Jr., a 33-year old man, found himself arguing with a neighbor at 5:30am this morning. Deputies Martin McAlduff and Zachary Kinlaw arrived and asked Spruill if he lived there, and he said he did. A neighbor said that he actually lived two doors down, so the deputies say they began to escort him home.

The deputies said Spruill became combative and started throwing things from his pockets at them, so they told him they were putting him under arrest for disorderly conduct. They say Spruill resisted arrest, so Deputy McAlduff decided to zap him with 50,000 volts of electricity from his taser gun.


One barb hit Spruill in the neck and the other in the lower back. The police knew right away that something was wrong. Spruill was unresponsive. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Spruill's family said he had a weak heart and had been hospitalized over Christmas after suffering a seizure. He had only been home for a few weeks.

He was married with three children. He didn't need to die this morning. There is no excuse for the police to have killed this man. The penalty for resisting arrest does not merit a death penalty ... even in the deep South.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office said Spruill had a criminal record and they'd had to use a Taser on him in the past during arrests. When will America realize that something is seriously wrong in the taser policy used by many police departments around the nation?

Spruill's body was sent to the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill for an autopsy. Deputy Mcalduff has been placed on administrative office duty pending the results of the investigation.

Am I the only one tired of these weekly taser deaths?


Lou said...

Why would a married man with three children be on another man's porch at 5:30 in the morning?

Villager said...

Lou - I don't know why a married man with three children is on another man's porch at 5:30 in the morning.

I do know that the penalty for being on another man's porch at 5:30 in the morning should not be DEATH.

J-- said...

That he didn't need to die is correct. He shouldn't have resisted arrest under the circumstances. Actually he shouldn't have proceeded to be bull headed enough to have been placed under arrest in the first place.

I've been in situations before, and often the best course is to yield and take the road of non-confrontation, and figure the stuff out later.

It is most unfortunate the man had a heart condition.