May 6, 2010

Taser Death: Daniel Joseph Barga (Cornelius, OR)

Our blog missed this taser-related killing when it first occurred last month. We now have 72 people dead as a result of being shot by taser guns in America over the past 16 months. That is an average of a death per week. Despite the taser-incident at the Philadelphia Phillies baseball field the other day ... this ain't no joking matter. People are dying!

Daniel Joseph Barga died on April 10, after being taken into custody by Oregon police officers from Cornelius and nearby Forest Grove. [SOURCE]

Cornelius Officer Mark Jansen, a 14-year law enforcement veteran and Taser instructor with the department, Forest Grove Police Sgt. Dean Foster, a 25-year law enforcement veteran, and Officer Scott King, a nine-year law enforcement veteran, were suspended from duty while the investigation into the death of Barga took place.

Police were called to a house at about 3 a.m. April 10, after a report of a disturbance in the backyard. The homeowner told Jansen that a partially clothed man had confronted him, and was behaving erratically and threatening violence.

Jansen found Barga in the backyard covered with blood and refusing to cooperate. Jansen used a Taser, which delivers a 50,000-volt shock, in an effort to subdue Barga, police said.

Barga reportedly resisted as Jansen tried to wrestle him to the ground, according to police. Barga then bolted and ran, not following Jansen's commands to stop, police said.

Foster and King were called to assist and joined the chase after Barga, police said. The officers continued attempts to stop Barga, using Tasers and pepper spray, but he resisted, police said. He then stopped breathing while being taken into custody.

Medics transported Barga to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Human life doesn't mean much in Washington County, Oregon. The County District Attorney, Bob Hermann, doesn't feel that there was any criminal conduct on the officers' part. Hermann and his investigators determined that there was no reason for the officers to remain on suspension, especially because they are from small agencies with a high need for officers. Cornelius has 13 sworn officers; and Forest Grove has 17 sworn officers.

"I can't wait to get an officer back," said Cornelius Police Chief Paul Rubenstein. "There's no indication of wrongdoing on any of the officers' sides. We want to know why someone died just like everyone else."
Police say they believe Barga was under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms at the time of his death, but the results from the toxicology test still may not be available for weeks, authorities said.

Tasers are killing Americans all over the nation ... and all we do is laugh. Very sad...


Gunfighter said...

I haven't heard any laughter, but what I haven't seen is any wrongdoing on the part of the officers involved in the incident.

From what I read, Barga was clearly resisting the officers while they were atempting to lawfully detain him. Further, he attempted to evade arrest by flight. In practically any use of force module used anywhere in the United States, physical force would be authorized to subdue the subject. Againm using pretty much any use of force module, the use of a Taser would be appropriate for the situation described in your post.

Too bad for the dead guy and his family, they have my sympathy.

Villager said...

Gunfighter - I appreciate you for sharing your insights with me (and our blog readers). I continue to think that something is wrong if these taser guns are resulting in weekly deaths. The taser gun simply isn't as safe as the manufacturer claims...

Leggy Liz The Media Assassin said...

I think this race is insane. As a black person who just turned 33 I'm tired, so, so tired. I can't believe I've had to be assigned to this CRAP TEAM.

Bottomline what would you do in this situation?

I am so sick and tired of the CRIMINAL aspect of our communities being so clear, and we act like NEGATIVITY will not befall us. Are you CRAZY?

Black men kill Black men EVERYDAY and it's IGNORED by us.

Maybe we should focus on telling Black men that they can't be the "gingerbread man". I'm so sick and tired of hearing about these cases where black men are running from the law. And then as a community we will act like this is some Civil Rights era. We will act as though Black men are SCARED of each other more then the police.

In my 33 years, I can cry, I can cry because I can now see why Black people are INSIGNIFICANT, it's because we are INSIGNIFICANT to each other and won't be honest with each other. The only time we get rallied up is when someone dies.............WORTHLESS

Villager said...

Leggy Liz - I feel your pain. I agree that we have far to go within the Black community and the issue of so-called 'Black-on-Black' crime is a big one. I've blogged on it in the past.

I acknowledge that I miss a lot of topics. I'm just a single blogger and I try hard to consistently add content to this blog. Somehow, I began tracking these taser-related killings. I thought that the issue was going to be race-based ... but the issue is more pervasive than that.

Anyhow, please let me know what issue(s) in the Black community you would like this blog to cover more in the coming days and weeks?

G said...

Respectfully... The poor kid was hopped up on a lot of mushrooms, his body couldn't withstand the effects of the taser AND the drugs.

kevin haggard said...

I knew Daniel well and I don't see why cops have tazer that can kill I'm sad to know that happen and hope the beat for his family. Fu k the police