August 13, 2011

Taser Death: Everette Howard (Cincinnati, OH)

It happened again. This time a 18-year old Black man with a promising future was put to death by a taser-happy cop on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Everette Howard was captain of his wrestling and football teams during his senior year at North College Hill High School. He was also a standout academically ... finishing in the top 10% of his senior class.

He was attending the University of Cincinnati for a college preparatory class. He was scheduled to make the move to Williamsburg (KY) in a few weeks to begin his freshman year at the University of Cumberlands.

He didn't deserve to die.

University of Cincinnati assistant police chief, Jeff Corcoran, said campus police were called to a the Turner Hall dorm room in the early hours of the morning over a report on an assault.   Click here to see the complete UC Police Department (UCPD) report.

When they arrived they saw Everette who police said appeared angry and agitated.

Corcoran says officers ordered the teen to back off, but he refused. He was then killed by UCPD officer Rick Haas ... who may have been too eager to use his taser gun.

The young teenager was unarmed. He was not a threat to the university cop who pumped 50,000 volts of electricity from his taser gun into the young man's body.

When he collapsed to the ground Officer Haas checked his condition, and in his report said he appeared incoherent and seemed to have an 'altered mental status'.   The police are always quick to insinuate that drugs are involved after any taser-related killing.  That seems to be in their procedural playbook for these incidents.   No evidence of drugs ... just call it an 'altered mental status'.

Paramedics attended the stricken student and while they were with him he went into cardiac arrest. He was later pronounced dead at hospital.

Two investigations have been launched because of the incident.
  1. An internal investigation will look into the use of force by Officer Haas, who was immediately placed on mandatory administrative leave.  Here are details from the initial report.
  2. The second investigation is trying to determine what initiated the original 911 call and whether an assault has taken place.
University chiefs have also suspended the use of Tasers until it can determine what caused the teen's death.  An autopsy has been ordered.
'I want to emphasize we don't know what the cause of the death is at this point,' Corcoran said.
There have been no arrests or criminal charges filed. The only one who needs to be arrested in this case is UCPD Officer Rick Haas -- the UC campus cop with the trigger-happy taser gun.
'We are extremely unhappy and upset at the outcome of this call,' Corcoran said. 'No one wants to see the death of an 18-year-old. It was not anyone's intention. The officer is very distraught.'
Ironically, this was not the first time that Mr. Howard had been tased by law enforcement officers. North College Hill Police electrocuted him back in 2009. Click here to see the North College Hill police reports on the incident.


Unknown said...

All - Here is an interview with ACLU officials in Cincinnati talking about the investigation of this taser-killing.

Unknown said...

All - Taser shock has not been ruled out as a cause of death for a high school student shocked with a stun gun by University of Cincinnati police officers.

Read more:

Unknown said...

Hamilton County coroner is unable to determine a cause of death (see full story).

...ya' think that the 50,000 volts of electricity from the taser gun may have been a cause?