October 16, 2009

Officer Stephanie Phillips Not Disciplined by Police Chief for Taser-Killing of Michael Jacobs

You begin to wonder what it will take to hold a police officer responsible for involvment in the taser-killing of a citizen. The medical examiner in Fort Worth ruled that the death of Michael Jacobs was due to homicide. However, police officer Stephanie Phillips, who used a taser on the mentally ill man twice while i his family's front yard, will not be disciplined and remains on patrol. [SOURCE]

Police Chief Jeff Halstead said the administrative investigation into the April 18 death of Jacobs is closed but declined to comment on it. He said he turned it over to the district attorney and expects a grand jury to review the case next month.

If Officer Stephanie A. Phillips were to be indicted or convicted, the 17-year police veteran would face disciplinary action, Halstead said.

Jacobs' family had called police that day to report a disturbance because he had not been taking his medication for bipolar disorder, relatives have said. Officers said he became combative.

In August the medical examiner ruled that Jacobs' death was a homicide. Phillips stunned the 24-year-old with her taser gun twice — the first time for 49 seconds and the second time for 5 seconds, with a 1-second interval between the shocks. Tasers issue a 50,000-volt shock that over-stimulates the nervous system and causes muscles to lock up, temporarily immobilizing a person. Jacobs died an hour after police used the taser gun.

Jacobs' family believes that not disciplining the officer is a "true miscarriage of justice," said the Rev. Kyev Tatum, a family spokesman.

"We're saddened, disappointed, disheartened, angry, upset, insulted and offended," Tatum said Friday after hearing about the police chief's comments.

"Michael Jacobs was not a criminal. He was a young man who needed mental help," he said.
I guess that the next step is to hear from the grand jury. Will they do the right thing?

No comments: