Doctors told police that Jairious McGhee apparently was suffering from viral meningitis when he was taken to Tampa General Hospital for psychiatric evaluation Saturday, April 2. Viral meningitis is a fairly common disease caused by a number of viruses. Symptoms can include a high fever and severe headache; it's serious but rarely fatal.
Here is how police are spinning the story. They say that a motorist flagged down Officer Greg Preyor about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, to report a crazy man was beating on cars. Preyor approached McGhee, and asked whether he was OK. McGhee had urinated on himself, and had bloodshot eyes and dry lips.
Commonsense tells me that McGhee wasn't 'OK'. However, instead of expressing concern for the health of the unarmed young man ... Officer Preyor decided to escalate the situation.
Of course McGhee isn't able to tell his side of the story. He's dead.
The police eventually took McGhee to the Tampa General Hospital. He had a 105-degree temperature when he got to the hospital. He was dead less than 24 hours later.
The police have already done their own internal investigation. They've determined Preyor's deployment of his Taser was appropriate. The police indicate that "the level of force used was entirely determined by the actions of Mr. McGhee."
"He hugged and kissed me and said, 'Mom, I love you. I'll see you when you get back,'" Melody Thompson said.Thompson disputes the police account. She said her son was smart and energetic. A chef, he hoped to open an international cuisine restaurant.
"He was a loving, kind boy," Thompson said. "He got along with everybody."