Sunday, January 28, 2007

A curious tale

In my day job, some interesting stories come across my e-mail. Take this one, for example: from The Advocate - Louisiana.

Report: Officers followed policies in subduing man

Published: Jan 24, 2007

LAFAYETTE, LA - Police officers did not violate any department policies and procedures in the Dec. 17 death of a man who died hours after officers used a Taser stun gun to subdue him, a Lafayette police spokesman said in a news release issued Tuesday.

Forensic reports from the Lafayette Parish Coroner's Office found MR. SMITH of X-TOWN died as a result of "cocaine-induced excited delirium," Cpl. Paul Mouton said. The department's policy on the use of stun gun devices was scheduled to go before the Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday night.

MR. SMITH was involved at a disturbance at a Waffle House on Northwest Evangeline Thruway. He was naked and confronting a female employee, police said.

A male employee managed to subdue MR. SMITH, but when police arrived, MR. SMITH began to resist again, police said. MR. SMITH was eventually subdued by the use of a Taser stun gun - an electrical stunning device - then taken to a local hospital, which is automatically required under the department's policy.

He died later that day at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

Police conducted an administrative inquiry into MR. SMITH's death. The inquiry is a normal procedure whenever a person is injured or dies while in police custody, Chief Jim Craft said shortly after the man's death.

MR. SMITH was naked and causing a disturbance about 5:10 a.m. on that Sunday. His leg had been broken and the bone was sticking out of his skin from an earlier jump from the second story of a Motel 6 on Evangeline Thruway. After jumping, police said, MR. SMITH removed his clothes in the hotel lobby before hitching a ride down the street to the Waffle House.

The initial investigation had pointed to MR. SMITH being on some sort of mind-altering substance, Craft said. "We don't think the Taser caused his death," Craft said. Police policy requires officers to be trained in the use of stun
guns, also known as an "electro-muscular disruption device," before using such a device.


Now, my question is NOT whether it was cocaine or Taser that done him in, which was the sender of the e-mail's concern. It seems obvious to me, combine a bunch of cocaine with tasering, and it's goodbye cruel world.

No, my question is, who would let a naked, drugged-up man with his bone sticking out of his leg ('cause he just jumped out of the second floor of a Motel 6) "hitch a ride" to the Waffle House with them?

Sometimes you've just got to wonder.

p.s. I changed the man's name -- this is a true story.

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Pat - I'm with you - WTF was that person thinking???

No way I'd let a raving nekkid man, with an obviously broken leg into my car. (Although, I would call the police and an ambulance, and kind of hang around to see that he got help).

As for his death, who knows? The break in his leg could have throw a blod clot for all we know. Whatever he was on and the taser could have been a bad mix.