June 8, 2010

Taser Death: Terrelle Houston (Hempstead, TX)

Terrelle Leray Houston was a 22-year old man who went to visit his estranged wife on Tuesday, June 9th in violation of a restraining order. Hemptead police officers ... including Sgt. Byron Fausset ... received two 911 calls and arrived at the complex to investigate. Upon their arrival, police learned the people involved with the disturbance left the area.

One person was still around ... Terrelle Houston. Houston did what any young Black male in America would do when the flashing lights of a police vehicle approaches and you know you are in the wrong place ... he took off running. He was unarmed. He was not dangerous to anyone. He simply took off running.

"Upon officers' arrival, the suspect fled," Chief David Hartley said. "Was chased by officers, was tased and the suspect did not recover."
Terrelle Houston's life ended that night when Sgt. Byron Fausset decided to implement pre-judicial electrocution with this taser gun. After officers noticed that Mr. Houston was having difficulty breathing, he was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His wife is mourning his loss.

Some witnesses said Houston was wet when he got shocked.

"They hit him with the Taser four times while he was already wet," witness Dex Lewis said. "It been raining out here just about all day."
Community activist Quanell X said the death could have been prevented.

"This young man had no previous medical conditions. He was in good shape. He did run from the law enforcement officer, but that is still no excuse to tase a brother in a puddle of water multiple times, causing his death," Quanell X said.
Police and the Texas Rangers are investigating the incident.

There doesn't seem to be muct to investigate. A young man tried to visit his wife. Sgt. Byron Fausset electrocuted him in violation of recent federal ruling that order police not electrocute people with their tasers unless they pose an immediate threat?

His widow is calling on law enforcement agencies statewide to temporarily stop using stun guns. The taser-killing happened right in front of her eyes. She questions the response he got after losing his breath.

"I just seen when he was running, and he slipped, and when he fell to the ground, the man was just Tasing him," said Calvinette Houston.
She will never forget the scene she saw on Tuesday night. Not only questioning the amount of force used against her husband, Terrell Houston, but what happened after he was subdued.

"And then he waited maybe 20 minutes before he called EMS," she said. "And it took EMS 15 minutes to get here."
Sgt. Byron Fausset, who used his taser multiple times to kill Terrelle Houston, is on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

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