An Ohio family plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit after their 19-year-old son was killed after being shocked by a Taser. The family did not receive a coroner's report regarding the incident until 10 months after his death. According to their lawyer, the report only made them more upset because it failed to provide satisfactory answers to the family's questions about how their son died.
The victim died after being shocked by a Taser during a confrontation with police employed by the University of Cincinnati. Witnesses say the victim began "shaking violently" after the attack, whereas a shock from a Taser typically makes a target's body go limp. The family's attorney said he is still waiting for more information about the incident from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification. He intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit to secure compensation for the victim's family, but explained that he needs more information before he can name a defendant.
Despite months of testing and analysis, the coroner assigned to the case was unable to determine what caused the victim's death. He explained that the cardiac pathology expert is still examining records to see if the Taser could have contributed to the death, but the family's attorney is doubtful that this could result in any physical evidence, explaining that electricity typically does not show "telltale" damage to the heart. However, a recent scientific study found that Taser attacks can cause a heart's rhythm to be fatally disrupted.
The coroner's report did reveal one key piece of evidence, the attorney explained. The victim had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death. The attorney called the discovery "very, very helpful and important."
The debate about Taser usage has been raging for years. This man's death will only cause the debate to intensify. Police should not be using weapons to restrain people that can lead to accidental deaths.
Source: Cincinnati.com, "'Unknown' cause of death after Taser shock," Janice Morse, June 6, 2012