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Friday, April 10, 2009

15-year-old dies after being Tasered by police

Robert Mitchell, 15, unarmed

April 10, 2009

A 15-year-old male who ran from police died after an officer used an electronic stun gun on him during a confrontation, Warren police said today.

The teen, whose name isn't being released because he is a minor, died about an hour after officers tried to pull over the vehicle he was riding in because of an expired license plate, said Deputy Commissioner Jere Green.

"For some unknown reason, he ran. He bolted across 8 Mile" into Detroit's east side, Green said.
Officers chased the teen south on Pelkey into an abandoned home, Green said. The teen resisted and got into a physical altercation with the officers, he said.

"He was Tasered once by one of our officers," Green said. "After that, he became unresponsive."
Officers administered CPR and the teen was rushed to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital's Warren campus, where he died at 10:17 a.m.

"It just turned bad, fast," Green said. "It's a sad situation."

Green said of the four officers at the scene, two have been placed on administrative leave because they are emotionally shaken by the incident.

Family members told police that the teen had some medical issues. An autopsy is being conducted by the Macomb County Medical Examiner's Office this weekend to determine the exact cause of death.

Green said the teen had no outstanding warrants or other issues that explained why he ran when pulled over. Two other people -- a 19-year-old man and 37-year-old woman -- also were in the car. Both cooperated with officers; they, too, said they didn't know why the teen ran, Green said.

Detroit Police spokesman James Tate earlier today said his department would handle the death investigation. Green said that investigation instead will be handled by Macomb officials.

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