August 20, 2010

Taser Autopsy: Coroner Lists Death of Michael Ford as 'Accidental'

The Oakland County Medical Examiner completed their autopsy of 50-year old Michael Ford. Villagers may recall that Ford was taken off life support earlier this week after a confrontation with Livonia Police Department that resulted in a taser gun being used on him. After being tased ... Ford violently hit his head on the ground. The coroner says that the cause of death was the blunt force head injury ... an accident ... not the use of the taser. [SOURCE]

Livonia Police Deputy Chief Curtis Caid jumped all over the coroner's decision to put distance between the actions of his officers and the death:

We extend our sympathies to the Ford family for their loss,” he said, but “claims that police used extensive force are proven to be inaccurate by the results of the autopsy, by the medical records and the hospital.”
He said Ford was not beaten as has been alleged by family members, and that if Ford had listened to police, the incident would have been a non-event.

Police said Ford was electrocuted with a taser gun when he approached a police cruiser. They said he ignored commands to drop to the ground and believed he had knives in each hand.

At this point we have no independent confirmation that any weapons were found on Ford ... much less "knives in each hand". The unidentifed officer who killed Ford is currently on desk duty.

Vervena Johnson, a friend of Ford’s, said he was a special person and not at all like he’s been portrayed.

He was one of the sweetest, nicest people you could meet,” she said.


Karen Swim, Words For Hire said...

So, exactly how many more people need to die by taser before the issue is addressed on a national basis?

Villager said...

Karen - I 'spose that it will take a high-profile victim before things are addressed at national level.

I'm only tracking one small part of the issue: taser-related deaths.

Perhaps there are other aspects of the taser issue that would be more sexy for national legislators and civil rights organizations.