May 10, 2010

Taser Autopsy: Daniel Joseph Barga (Cornelius, OR)

The 'powers-that-be' in Oregon would have us believe that being zapped with 50,000 volts of electricity from multiple taser shots had nothing to do with the death of 24-year old Daniel Joseph Barga on April 10.

Instead, the state Medical Examiner's office says that the young man died from "excited delirium" due to the toxic effects of psilocybin, or hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Dr. Karen Gunson, state medical examiner, said generally people experiencing excited delirium constantly demonstrate purposeless violent activity; have incoherent speech; don't respond to stimuli, such as pain, in a normal way; experience hallucinations; and die from a misbeat of their heart. [SOURCE]

Gunson said Barga would not have died if he hadn't used the mushrooms. [NOTE: Personally, I think that Barga wouldn't have died if the police didn't overreact and shoot him up with taser guns over and over and over again ... but, that's just me!]

Excited delirium cases are generally seen in people who are schizophrenic, experience manic phases or who have used cocaine, methamphetamine or mushrooms, Gunson said. People who are experiencing excited delirium become stimulated, Gunson said, and often become extremely warm with increased sweating.

Gunson said excited delirium can be part of a restraint death, such as when officers restrain suspects on the ground to handcuff them. But, Gunson said, there was no evidence of a restraint death in Barga's case. Gunson said the medical examiner's office carefully reviews what witnesses, police and medics say to determine whether a person died from restraint because there often isn't evidence on the body.

Barga died after being taken into custody following a disturbance in the backyard of a upper-income home in Cornelius. Cornelius police officer Mark Jansen found Barga in the backyard covered with blood and refusing to cooperate, police said. Jansen used a Taser, which delivers a 50,000-volt shock, in an effort to subdue Barga, police said. Barga died while in Jansen's custody.

We still await final word from the county prosecutor about whether or not criminal charges will be filed agains the police officers involved in this case.

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