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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cocaine, not police tasers, killed man, autopsy finds


Allegheny County medical examiner Dr. Karl Williams should just order himself two rubber stamps: one that says "Cause of Death Pending - Awaiting Toxicology Results" and another that says "Cause of Death - Excited Delirium Syndrome". Then he can just rubber stamp all the future "un"taser-related death certificates. I wonder who got to him.

See also Ruling in Cocaine Related Taser Deaths Splits Experts

See also Chad Cekas

See also Judge rules for Taser in cause-of-death decisions, which says: "Taser officials have repeatedly said that MEDICAL EXAMINERS WHO RULE AGAINST THE STUN GUN ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO JUDGE WHETHER A TASER WAS A FACTOR IN SOMEONE'S DEATH (emphasis mine). In court disputes, it often presents opposing testimony from company representatives, doctors and medical examiners paid by the firm. "The qualifications of a medical examiner depend on their professional and educational background as well as their level of understanding of Taser technology and the underlying effects of electricity upon the human body," [Steve] Tuttle said.

Which leads me to ask: What fabulous credentials, then, does Dr. Karl Williams possess that QUALIFY HIM to judge that the Taser was NOT a factor in someone's death?

September 24, 2008
Daniel Malloy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Cocaine, not police Tasers, killed a man who died in police custody in Swissvale in August, the Allegheny County medical examiner announced today. Dr. Karl Williams said Andre Thomas died of "agitated delirium" related to acute cocaine intoxication. He said there was no evidence to link the use of Tasers by police to the death. He also said there was no evidence of choking or asphyxiation. Mr. Thomas died as police struggled to restrain him after responding to calls for a neighborhood disturbance.

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