March 27, 2010

Taser Ruling: Coroner's Jury Has No Idea How Patrick Burns Died

After hearing testimony that Patrick Burns, who died after being Tased 21 times by Sangamon County sheriff’s deputies, died of excited delirium, a coroner’s jury has ruled his cause of death as “undetermined.” [SOURCE]

Villagers may recall that 50-year old Patrick Burns was found by Sangamon County police officers sitting in front of his house wearing his underwear on January 23. They arrested him ... but, not before shooting him up over 20 times with 50,000 volts of electricity.

Sheriff Neil Williamson, who sat through the inquest, said he was surprised that, despite Bowman’s conclusion, the coroner’s jury returned an “undetermined” verdict.

I was convinced it was cocaine-induced excited delirium,” Williamson said. “I support the deputies 100 percent. We still believe in the use of the Taser.”
Boone praised deputies, saying there could have been more deaths “but for the police officers.”

More deaths? The unarmed guy was sitting on the front lawn in his underwear ... who was he going to kill? The only one who died in this exchange was Burns.

State’s Attorney John Schmidt said his office is reviewing the case. He said he didn’t know whether any charges will be filed or when the review will be complete.

What do you think? Will he file any charges against the unidentified police officers involved in this taser-killing?


Gunfighter said...

Are you telling us that the man was sitting in front of the house and the cops just waked up and Tased him? That was it? no confrontation... no threats... no refusal to comply... no fighting... nothing?

If that is the case, there should be charges. Having said that, I don't believe it went down like that at all.

Villager said...

Gunfighter - I provided a link to the original story in the blog post. The salient paragraph in the story for me is:

"Burns had forced his way into a house, broken out windows, apparently with his hands, and beaten a woman inside, but he was outside and calm when deputies arrived."

I don't begrudge the police the ability to do what they have to do ... however there were 3-4 deputies on the scene (one of them may have been still inside the house) ... did they need to taser this guy 21 TIMES in order to make their point?

There has got to be a better way...

Gunfighter said...

Did they Tase him to make a point? or to make him comply?