December 22, 2010

Taser Death: Christopher Knight (Brunswick, GA)

It happened again. There are few things in life that occur more regularly than a taser-related death in America. This time Christopher Knight, 35, ended a bad day by being electrocuted to death while sitting in the backseat of a police cruiser. [SOURCE]

It seems that Knight was involved in a traffic accident on December 20. Glynn County police officers arrived at the scene and indicate that Knight appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and was driving with a suspended driver's license.

Knight was arrested, and police said that as officers tried to place him in the back of a patrol car, he refused to cooperate and would not place his feet and legs in the car.

Police said Knight eventually complied, but later became violent and began kicking the rear door and window of the police cruiser "with great force."

Police said that to gain control of Knight to prevent him from harming himself, to prevent him from further damaging the vehicle and to reduce the potential of being harmed, an unidentified officer electrocuted him with a taser gun blast.

Officers said they saw that Knight did not immediately recover as expected, and he stopped breathing. Officers said they began CPR and called for rescuers.

Knight was taken to the Southeast Georgia Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The police quickly gave out their side of the storyWe will never get Knight's side of the story. He's dead. It appears that he was an unarmed man who was acting in a disrespectful manner to the police and their car. Knight was unarmed. He was in handcuffs. And now he will never see the sun rise again.

The penalty for being disrespectful to the police or their car's backseat should NEVER be death. But, the easy way that the taser comes off the hip of so many police officers is resulting in more and more death. Something is wrong.

What say u?


Gunfighter said...

I say that Knight shouldn't have tried to kick his way out of the polce car. The use of force may be applied to suspects who are trying to escape while using force. The use of the taser appears to be appropriate.

Villager said...

Gunfighter - Where was he going to go? He was UNARMED. He was HANDCUFFED and sitting in back seat of the police cruiser. Where was he going to go?

Those 2 facts make the use of the taser very questionable in my mind. I think that the police had pre-determined their attitude against Mr. Knight because of his prior police record.

Gunfighter said...

I wonder what you think that the officers on the scene should have done? Should they have let him kick his way out of the car? Should they have let him continue to damage public property? Should they have let hime escape?

No, they shouldn't have. They should have done what they did, and used force to stop the suspects violent behavior.

They used appropriate force, unfortunately the suspect died. Unfortunate, yes, but not crime. Not a conspiracy.

Villager said...

Gunfighter - If the choice is to kill a person or have him damage the backseat of a patrol car ... then I go for the damage to the car.

It is unlikely that a handcuffed man surrounded by multiple police officers is going to escape. So that hardly seems a good justification for homicide-by-taser.

I'm not a trained LEO ... so I don't know the alternative options. What I do know: This man didn't have to die that day.