June 30, 2011

Taser Death: Delric East (Montgomery County, MD)

Montgomery County police arrived at the scene of an auto accident earlier this week. Instead of helping the man involved in the accident the officers thought it would be a good idea to electrocute him with 50,000 volts of electricity from a taser gun.

Delric Tyrone East, 40, died at Suburban Hospital at 11:30 p.m., on Tuesday, June 29, about an hour after resisting county police and emergency crews, who were attempting to pull him from a 1993 two-door Cadillac he drove into a barrier.

The police claim that "became agitated and began to fight with rescue personnel." The police indicate that the taser was used to subdue the man so rescue workers could remove him from the vehicle.

Officers found what they believe to be a small vial of PCP in the car. Of course, the police like to make sure that the public knows that drugs are someplace in the vicinity whenever there is a taser-related death. It helps them pin the blame on something other than the electrocution itself as a cause of death. It should be interesting to see what the autopsy says about East's cause of death.

The four officers involved in the incident were placed on administrative leave. They have been identified as Officer David Courtemanche, a six-year veteran, Officer Michael Putman, a nine-year veteran, Officer Eric Hammelton, an eight-year veteran, and Sgt. Jeffrey Divers, a 19-year veteran.

Taser-related deaths in America continue to occur on a weekly basis. When will something be done?

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