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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Man shot with Taser by Minneapolis police dies

September 18, 2010
Minneapolis Star Tribune

A 28-year-old man shot with a Taser gun by Minneapolis police died Friday night, police said Saturday.

David Cornelius Smith had been on life support at Hennepin County Medical Center since the Sept. 9 incident. He was declared brain dead and life support equipment was to be disconnected Friday night, his uncle, Larry Smith of Oak Park, Ill. said. David Smith died at about 9:30 p.m., said police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Garcia.

About 3:45 p.m. Sept. 9, after police were called to the YMCA at 30 S. 9th St. on a report of a man who was disturbing patrons in the sixth-floor gym.

When officers Timothy Gorman and Timothy Callahan tried to physically remove Smith from the Y, he fought with them for several minutes, injuring one of them slightly before he was shot with a Taser, police said. After he was arrested, he experienced a medical emergency and was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, police say. Gorman and Callahan, both department veterans, were placed on standard paid administrative leave.

Larry Smith said the initial jolt from the Taser caused David Smith to go into cardiac arrest. He said his nephew suffers from bipolar disorder. The family believes police did not handle the situation properly, Larry Smith said.

He added that the family was told that David Smith was handcuffed and restrained when he was Tasered, and that family members have seen marks on his back.

A native of Peoria, Ill., David Smith moved to the Twin Cities about eight years ago for a Job Corps position and decided to stay, his uncle said.

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