March 7, 2010

Taser Death: Roberto Olivo (Tulare CA)

It happened again. Tulare police department use of a taser gun on 33-year old Roberto Olivo resulted in his death back on March 4, 2010. [SOURCE]

Olivo's brother Ernist Wheeler said, "they maced him, tased him with two tasers at the same time — until he stopped moving and my brother left in a body bag."

The Tulare Police Department was called to the Virginia Motor Lodge on K Street on March 4th, after receiving complaints of a man banging on doors and screaming. Tulare Police Capt. Wes Hensley described Olivo's state of mind..."agitated, combative disoriented, typical signs of some kind of intoxication."

Captain Hensley said officers tried talking to Olivo, but when that didn't work, they wrestled him to the ground, used pepper spray and finally pulled out a Taser. The unidentified officer jolted Olivo three times in the back while trying to handcuff him, he said.

"While waiting for the ambulance the suspect started to lose consciousness and later started showing signs of difficulty breathing," Hensley said.
Olivo was pronounced dead at Tulare Regional Medical Center.

"No one wants this to happen," Hensley said. "Our officers are out there trying to do their job at the best of their ability in responding to a call for service — in no way did anyone want this to happen, unfortunately it did and now we are in the process of investigating the cause of that death."
The coroner's office is investigating. They don't expect toxicology results for another 6 weeks. Olivo's family is seeking a second opinion. They've hired an independent autopsy expert.

The officers involved in the incident were initially placed on administrative leave. Their actions have been deemed "within department policy". They are back on the force.

I don't doubt that the police have a difficult job. However, this cop used his taser three times -- 50,000 volts each -- in the back of Mr. Olivo. Was that level of force truly necessary? Or did this police officer simply feel entitled to use his taser gun to help him get the handcuffs on Mr. Olivo? It just seems that being intoxicated is not a good reason to kill a man.

What say u?


Gunfighter said...

Would ytou have felt better in this instance had the cops beaten that man into the cuffs. That is the alternative, you know.

Villager said...

Gunfighter - Neither of us were on the scene ... however, it does seem that five officers should be able to detain a suspect ... especially one that is asking for help ... without tasering him to death.

In answer to your question -- I think that the Olivo family would prefer that he be beaten, mased and bitten by the dogs than killed.

peace, Villager

Anonymous said...

I am one of Mr Olivos Family members And I would have rather have dealt with Robert having to heal from wounds from being beaten and bit. If it was policy when a person is acting suspiciously that emergency medical service to check him for intoxication they should have been on scene or on route when the call was made. He was knocking on doors screaming for help cause he felt like he was dying. Lord help us all.

Villager said...

miminnini - I'm very sorry for your loss. I agree with you that this seems like a death that could have been avoided. The use of a taser on a man who was crying for help seems inappropriate.

Is the family planning any legal action against the police force for this taser-related death?

Andrea Jackson said...

Black and Brown people Return to self awareness and truly know who you are and relize the agenda I knew
Robert and he did not deserve what went down he is still missed and forever in the hearts and minds of many.


Ernest Wheeler said...

Robert Olivo was my lil brother it's been over 4 years since he was killed but it still feels like yesterday , he didn't deserve this he deserved to be helped as he helped others when need be , nobody's perfect but everyone deserves a second chance and so did Robert , not a day goes by that I don't regret not doing more to help my lil brother god I miss him so much , still haven't seen the police report I know Robert called for medical attention 2 times I know I got his cell phone records