July 21, 2011
Taser Death: Alonzo Ashley (Denver, CO)
Denver police said that officers used a Taser on Ashley but that the device was ineffective and he continued to struggle with officers until he was finally held down.
Police were called to the zoo at 5:02 p.m. Monday after the man threatened his girlfriend and attacked a zoo security guard. After arriving, officers contacted Ashley, who was acting irrationally, and he repeatedly refused to comply with officers' commands, police said.
When police attempted to restrain Ashley, he attacked the officers and zoo security guards — hitting one officer and biting another officer and a security guard, police said. At this point officers used a taser gun on the young man.
Family members say that Ashley was "a positive kid."
Officers later called paramedics to examine the man, citing his "unusual behavior and extraordinary strength." While waiting for the paramedics, he started to convulse and stopped breathing, police said. He was taken to Presbyterian/St. Luke's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Some community members, including civil rights activist Alvertis Simmons, the Rev. Patrick Demmer and Pastor Reginald Holmes, announced tonight they plan to hold a rally outside the Denver Zoo entrance beginning at 2 p.m. Friday.
Simmons said in an e-mail, "The killing of this Black man is questionable at least and suspicious at best."