December 1, 2010

Taser Death: Rodney Green (Waco TX)

Waco police officers used multiple taser shots on a man who was already dazed and confused from a non-injury car accident. 36-year old Rodney Green was unarmed and simply heading home to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family. He wasn't attacking or posing any threat to police officers who approached him.  From all accounts, he was simply dazed and confused after his car hit a nearby pole. The accident occurred at 6:30pm ... this wasn't some late-night escapade.

Instead of helping Green, the unidentified Waco police officers decided to electrocute him three times with 50,000 volts of electricity from their taser guns in less than six minutes. Thanksgiving Day (when this taser-killing occurred) wasn't such a good holiday for Green or his family.

Watch the video report from the local news station

The police spin indicates that the first unidentified officer arrived and encountered Green and began trying to identify him as well as asking questions of him.
"He was not responding to her in a normal way and was not answering her questions. Whenever she noticed him she immediately called for an assisting officer to come out with her," said Sargent Melvin Roseborough with the Waco Police Department.
When the second unidentified officer arrived they tried talking to Green again but he was acting strangely and still continued to try to walk out into oncoming traffic. That's when officers say they had to fire a taser at him.  All in all, it appears that three taser shots were taken in a span of six minutes.  I guess the idea of simply diverting the flow of traffic didn't occur to them. Their first reaction was to electrocute the young Black man.   Shyt, if there had been a wandering deer on that Waco road ... the police would have stopped or diverted the traffic.   Why doesn't an African American citizen get the same consideration?
"Since he was trying to walk out into traffic the officers were afraid for his safety, as well as their own," said Roseborough.
A third unidenfied officer arrived on scene to help get Green under control. The officer was able to place leg restraints on him, but he broke them into separate pieces. Police were finally able to bring him under control, and one officer noticed that the subject was no longer responding to them verbally or physically.

In other words, they figured out that they had screwed this one up completely. A citizen who needed their assistance was dead ... and for no justifiable reason. Why did the first two unidentified cops feel a need to brandish their weapon in the first place. Green was unarmed and dazed. How was he a threat to the officers?

The officers immediately requested paramedics and tried to revive him until the paramedics arrived. Green was transported to a Hillcrest Hospital and arrived in critical and unstable condition. Emergency room staff continued perform life saving measures until he was pronounced dead at 10:24 p.m.

Of course, it didn't take any time at all for the police to begin to blame the victim. They found no drugs, no drug paraphernalia, no criminal record or any other on-the-scene justification for killing Green. However, that didn't stop them for denigrating his reputation to the news media.
The police official in the above video poses a couple of rhetorical questions, "Was there an underlying medical condition, was there something in his system? What actually caused this individual to pass on us?"
From my perspective it looks like the answer to the second question is self-evident. He died because trigger-happy police officers went 'Rambo' on him with their taser guns instead of adhering to their motto of 'Protect and Serve'. Rodney Green had no protection from the Waco Police Department.

The family of Rodney Green is being more patient as they await answers on why their son is dead.

All of the unidentified officers involved have been put on administrative leave with pay while the investigation is pending.

Please let this blog know if you have any updated information on this taser-related killing.


Anonymous said...

Wow, thank you Villager for your continued spotlight on this issue. Your dedication is wonderful. I definitely want to follow this case.

Villager said...

Symphony - I would prefer that the frequency of these deaths would drop. Instead we continue to see taser-related deaths in America each and every week. I see them happening in Canada, Australia and France as well.

When is enough going to be enough?

Villager said...

DaBoot - I'm very sorry for your loss. Obviously, I'm reading about the situation for thousands of miles away ... but, the questions that you raise are the same ones that are in my mind. If there had been drugs involved you can bet that the police would have said so LOUDLY and OFTEN. That is their usual modus operandi in these taser-deaths.

Mr. Green was unarmed. He hadn't hurt anyone except himself. He needed HELP and ASSISTANCE from the police. Instead they killed him with multiple jolts from their taser guns.

If you hear anything new in your local media about this case ... please share it with us. My email address is

DaBoot said...

The funeral is tomorrow and Rodney's body has been returned but they have not received the autopsy results. I know they didn't find any drugs in the vehicle or on his person so that leads me to believe there was no drugs. They did release the names of the officers and the first was a female which doesnt necessarily mean anything. But potentially means she acted more out of fear. Even with that they are saying the only way he could have broken the ankle cuffs was to be on PCP. I hate people making judgements when they have no clue. My question of the day, after leaving the viewing was why didnt they call EMTs immediately? Why wait until he was dead. Thank you for bringing light to the situation again.

facedown said...

Today was Rodney's service and it was a celebration of his life and his faith in Jesus. The church was filled with family and friends who loved him very much. Testimony after testimony was shared of his journey in the grace and mercy of the Lord.

Psalm 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all."

Rodney is with the Lord now, and he would tell us not to weep for him - for he has been delivered into the arms of his greatest desire...face to face with Jesus.

Villager said...

Facedown and DaBoot - Thank you both for sharing your perspectives as people that knew Rodney Green personally. He is at rest ... and hopefully, his death will have a greater meaning by opening our eyes to the ways that tasers can be misused by the police.