August 25, 2011

Taser Autopsy of Kevin Campbell Claims Death Caused by 'Cocaine-Related Excited Delirium'

The powers-that-be in Tallahassee claim that the 50,000 volts of electricity shot into the body of Kevin Campbell wasn't the cause of his death back in April. The autopsy report of Kevin Campbell noted the presence of cocaine in Campbell’s blood, urine, and brain, as well as significantly elevated body temperature. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death as “cocaine-related excited delirium.”

I'm not the only one who doubts that excited delirium is a legitimate cause of death in these taser-related deaths.

5 comments:

Russ said...

Educate yourself on the subject and read the book "Excited Delirium Syndrome" it is very commmon among cocaine users. I am well versed in martial arts, boxing, wrestling and arrest and control tactics; however, when attempting to control a drug user the Taser is best by far. It shortens the struggle and allows police to get the person help. The longer the struggle the worse the metabolic changes and risk of death. Please read the book. It is a quick read and very informative.

Villager said...

Russ - I will see if the book is in our local library. Thank you for the reference.

Your comment seems to be part of the problem. You seem to want to use the taser "to shorten the struggle" or as a means of convenience rather than as a means of protecting a life.

As a result ... people are dying from improper use of the tasers around the nation. They are dying at a rate of about one per week. That seems excessive to me...

Russ said...

Without a doubt there are police that use excessive or unreasonable force. Police whom do the job right hate it because people paint us all with the same brush, just like ignorant people have prejudicial beliefs about people due to their race.
Shortening the struggle is not for convenience when dealing with excited delirium and drug induced delirium. Rapid control and sedation is key to their lives being saved. The only ways to take a person into custody for medical or legal reasons in one of these states are overwhelming force (multiple bodies), carotid restraint and Taser device because pain compliance doesn't work. Of course, when reasonable and verbal compliance fails and an exigency exists. I hate when officers jump straight to Taser devices when not trying verbal: the 5 step hard style at least and when safe control holds, OC etc before Taser devices.
As far as people dying from the Taser devices, I'm not convinced of that yet, but I am open to reading some cases in support of your position. Please recommend a few of your most convincing cases. I'm not asking for deaths from secondary injuries such as falls, drug intoxication, etc. I won't be convinced if drugs, especially cocaine are involved as that crap kills people daily. Have any medical examiners ruled the Taser device as the cause of death yet? If so please feed me the link, I am very willing to explore your position. I think last I heard Taser Int agreed that there is a 1 in 100,000 chance of it effecting the human heart primarily to pre-existing heart conditions.

Also I am curious as to how many arrest related deaths are now happening in comparison to just before the Taser devices came into use.

Villager said...

Russ - Tasers ruled as the cause of death? Here are some examples:

Ronald Hasse

Brandon Bethea

Robert Mitchell

There is no question that Taser International has been very successful in keeping its product out of harm's way by insisting that the taser is usually only a 'contributing factor' to taser-related deaths in America. However, I tend to agree with Amnesty International. Something isn't kosher.

After all, didn't the tobacco industry get away with the fiction that smoking cigerattes had nothing to do with cancer for generations?

Danita Campbell said...

Kevin Campbell is my brother. We hired an independent pathologist to review the results of his autopsy. The results were inconclusive, meaning that one could not definitively say that it was the effects of being tasered multiple times or the levels of cocaine in his system that caused his death. According to eyewitnesses, Kevin was neither violent or noncompliant so the use of a taser was unnecessary. My honest opinion is that the officers who responded were not trained in how to handle people who are under the influence or in the throes of "Excited Delirium Syndrome". I don not lump all cops into a bunch and say they abuse authority. That would be just as ignorant as people who say that al black women are angry. I do however have a problem with the so called blue wall and the budget cuts that deny officers the training and equipment they desperately need. My brother could still be alive today if those 5 officers had a better understanding of how to respond to 911 calls about a person in need of medical assistance due to drug use.