October 6, 2010

Taser Death: Javon Rakestrau (Lafayette, LA) [VIDEO]

It happened again.  This time we learn that Lafayette Parish (LA) sheriff's deputy Chris Guidry electrocuted 28-year old Javon Rakestrau on Monday, October 4. The police evidently feel that near-lethal force with a taser gun is appropriate when someone doesn't show them proper respect.

Here is a video, released by the sheriff's office that provides some insights into the last moments of Rakestrau's life:

Sheriff's Office Lt. Craig Stansbury said there was nothing in the video that showed Rakestrau wanted to give up. Because he continued to resist, Guidry had no choice but to resort to using his taser gun. [SOURCE]

My experience tells me that there is ALWAYS a choice. In fact, the police department's 'use of force continuum' shows that there were a number of choices available to Mr. Guidry.

There are a number of people who live in the area who feel there are better ways to handle those situations. Gerald Hopkins, a friend of Rakestrau, said Guidry could have used better force. He said a taser gun should only be the penultimate choice for any officer.
"They're trained for situations like that," he said. "It was not proper force."
Capt. Kip Judice said an autopsy on Rakestrau's body was done Wednesday, but it will be about four to six weeks before they receive a final report. Guidry remains on paid administrative leave until a full review of the incident has been completed.

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