August 23, 2011

Taser Death: Joseph Lopez (Santa Barbara, CA)

I wonder if police officers think that mentally-ill people have 'cooties'? Sometimes it seems that way because the police are quick to pull out their taser guns to handle mentally-ill people. It happened again in Santa Barbara, CA. [SOURCE]

At 3:45 a.m. on August 12, authorities were notified that Joseph Novoa Lopez, 49, had died at Santa Barbara Psychiatric Health Facility after being forcibly removed from his residence at the New Faulding Hotel for causing a disturbance.

According to a press release from police spokesperson Sergeant Lorenzo Duarte, “An officer was flagged down by an employee of the Faulding Hotel reporting that an individual was destroying his room and throwing items out of the window into City Lot 11.”

The officer recognized Lopez -- an on again, off again homeless man with a history of mental illness -- from prior contacts, said Duarte.

Additional officers showed up to try and calm the 6-foot, 350-pound Lopez and place him on a 72-hour psychiatric hold, but he continued to resist when police moved to restrain him.

One officer pumped Lopez with 50,000 volts of electricity from his taser gun multiple times. Police were eventually able to gain control of Lopez and place him in handcuffs. Lopez was strapped to a gurney and transported to the hospital.

The county coroner’s office is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death, but the results won’t be available for a few weeks.


Sparky said...

I miss you Joe will see you when I die
The cops just broke my ankle as you knew before when you always listened. I am crying Peace to you and your family

Villager said...

Sparky - Our prayers join with yours for the family and friends of Mr. Lopez.

Sparky said...

the cops killed my lover I am so sad RIP Lawrece James Baumann 51 Santa barbara CA survived by father and daughter and many more my best regards