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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Teen hit by Taser died of cardiac arrest - Doctor finds no pre-existing heart problems in youth who was shocked by police officer at grocery store

Don't believe the taser manufacturer would target a medical examiner? See "Judge rules for taser in cause-of-death decisions"

July 4, 2008
By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Franco OrdoƱez
The Charlotte Observer

A 17-year-old shocked with a Taser by police after an altercation at a northern Charlotte grocery store died from cardiac arrest, according to an autopsy released Friday.

Darryl Wayne Turner's heart was pumping so fast and chaotically from the Taser shot and stress of the confrontation that it stopped pumping blood properly. He died of acute ventricular dysrhythmia and ventricular fibrillation, according to the Mecklenburg medical examiner's office.

Turner was the first Taser-related fatality in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's history and the youngest in the Carolinas this decade.

Police confronted an “agitated” Turner on March 20 during an argument with his manager of a Prosperity Church Road grocery store. Police said Turner threw something at a manager, ignored commands and advanced toward Officer Jerry Dawson Jr., who deployed a Taser. The energy weapon struck Turner in the chest, and he fell to the carpeted floor.

“This lethal disturbance in the heart rhythm was precipitated by the agitated state and associated stress as well as the use of the conducted energy weapon (Taser) designed for incapacitation through electro-muscular disruption,” Dr. Thomas Owens wrote in the autopsy.

Owens found no pre-existing heart problems.

Turner worked at the Food Lion store, where he was a cashier and bagged groceries. Documents state he was asked by a manager to leave the store but refused. Police said Officer Jerry Dawson Jr., a 15-year veteran, fired his Taser to get Turner under control after the teen advanced toward him. An attorney representing the family says he talked to a witness who refutes the account.

An April study by the Taser Safety Project found that the improper use of Tasers has contributed to the deaths of at least 11 people in North Carolina over the past four years. The autopsy cites a National Institute of Justice study that concludes that while Tasers devices are not risk-free, there is “no conclusive medical evidence” indicating a high risk of serious injury.


Anonymous said...

RCMP have issued new gidelings for the use of tasers, acknowldging it can be deadly but still a good alternative to a gun.

Automated External Defibrillators Pads said...

This is really surprising to hear that someone has due to shock. But is common phenomenon, I have seen many people died due cardiac arrests even though they don't have any cardiac failure history.

Best Bank Rates said...

I read once on internet only, a 24 yrs old guy in Australia collapsed when he was on morning walk. Later he died and the reason was heart fail. Even young people could have heart attacks...