April 29, 2011

Taser Death: Jairious McGhee (Tampa FL)

It happened again! This time a Tampa police officer decided that the best way to deal with a young man suffering from viral meningitis was to electrocute him with 50,000 volts of electricity from a taser gun. [SOURCE]

Doctors told police that Jairious McGhee apparently was suffering from viral meningitis when he was taken to Tampa General Hospital for psychiatric evaluation Saturday, April 2. Viral meningitis is a fairly common disease caused by a number of viruses. Symptoms can include a high fever and severe headache; it's serious but rarely fatal.

Here is how police are spinning the story. They say that a motorist flagged down Officer Greg Preyor about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, to report a crazy man was beating on cars.  Preyor approached McGhee, and asked whether he was OK. McGhee had urinated on himself, and had bloodshot eyes and dry lips.

Commonsense tells me that McGhee wasn't 'OK'. However, instead of expressing concern for the health of the unarmed young man ... Officer Preyor decided to escalate the situation.

Police say that McGhee lunged at Preyor and tried to punch the officer, who fired his Taser, striking McGhee in the chest. McGhee remained aggressive, so Preyor pointed his gun at the ground and told him to calm down.

Of course McGhee isn't able to tell his side of the story. He's dead.

The police eventually took McGhee to the Tampa General Hospital. He had a 105-degree temperature when he got to the hospital. He was dead less than 24 hours later.

The police have already done their own internal investigation. They've determined Preyor's deployment of his Taser was appropriate. The police indicate that "the level of force used was entirely determined by the actions of Mr. McGhee."

Jairious McGhee
McGhee's mother doesn't believe he had the disease. She said he appeared healthy hours before the incident.
"He hugged and kissed me and said, 'Mom, I love you. I'll see you when you get back,'" Melody Thompson said.
Thompson disputes the police account. She said her son was smart and energetic. A chef, he hoped to open an international cuisine restaurant.
"He was a loving, kind boy," Thompson said. "He got along with everybody."


Miriam said...

I don't know if this will make a difference (everytime I hear someone offering up a solution that "they" should do, I know its going nowhere):

but anyway, I wish comedians, actors, spokespeople, etc would get paid by some philanthropist whenver they mentioned the evils of taser guns. I wish a big stink could be made about it so its use will end.

If its something that only effects the Black community, the rest of the US will not hear about it. A stink needs to be made.

Jack O'Brians said...

But as Preyer radioed for backup, McGhee lunged at him again, McElroy said. Preyer knocked him to the ground with a leg sweep and handcuffed him.

Preyer and three other officers took McGhee to the hospital.

plumber tampa

Villager said...

Miriam - Your comment is well-taken. I think that it will take a celebrity or a woman (perhaps blonde) being killed by a taser gun before an outraged public will be turned to action.

Rob said...

Now what? Now that they have determined via an autopsy that Jairious McGhee died of methylone poisoning from ingesting "bath salts" which are illegal in Florida and cause exactly the kind of symptoms he was exhibiting, are YOU going to recognize what a reactionary, accusational, IDIOT you were by prematurely blaming his death on a tazer?

Mirian said...

It's uncertain with human knowledge what really happened but The Creator, All seeing Eye' JESUS the Christ' the creator of all will do the final judging. Jesus seperates the intent from the thought. He knows the very thought of the one who pulled the taser and his intent of what was to happen. He purposefully aimed it where the life ends. I pray for his soul and the heart of his family that they should never experience the loss of a loved one at the hands of an enemy who has taken an oath to protect. It's unfortunant that Jarious had to die to gain popularity. He finished his course. when he struggled for years to complete his education. That was his end not life as we know it, but here.Now he lives eternally.

Mirian said...

It's unfortunant that a promising chef 's life dream will not be shared with his family. I'm one that will not have the opportunity to taste the works of a family chef. It is also unfortunant that a son,brother'nephew,grandchild,or cousin will not walk out life,s dream of walking across the stage to receive his diploma with those who worked with him even on that day. Promotions don't come from the east'south or west but from God(,Jesus)
I am glad that Jairious accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and was baptized at an early age.
Now for the officer who has to face Judgement, not from man but The Man JESUS. he knows the intent from the thought and he will seperate them and him. I pray for the soul of the officer and his family. We must reap what we sow whether in ourselves,sons'daughters'parents,wives'husbands, or cousins. If officer P can sleep at night then his intentions will not go unpunished. We may never know humanly what happened but Spiritually we know that all things work together for the good of them who love the LORD,Jesus and are the Called. Jarious was called according to God,s purpose. we can change that but things will change for Office P.

Villager said...

Jack - I continue to wonder if Officer Preyer needed to pump the young man with 50,000 volts of fatal electricity from his taser gun?

Rob - My purpose is to share information about taser-related deaths. My hope is that by seeing how often these tragedies are occurring the police will think twice before using the deadly tasers out of ignorance, poor training or laziness.

Villager said...

All - The medical examiner down in Florida indicates that Mr. McGhee died from ingesting 'bath salts', not electrocution-by-taser. You can read the story and make up your own mind.