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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Heart tumour, not Taser, killed teen: Judge

July 14, 2016
Dean Pritchard, Winnipeg Sun

Michael Langan, 17, Winnipeg, MB - July 22, 2008 - tasered 1 time - 2010 autopsy report concluded Langan's death was caused by a heart arrhythmia BROUGHT ON BY Taser shocks.  July 22, 2016 coroner's inquest attributes Langan's death to heart tumour called a hamartoma (first time I've ever seen "hamartoma" as a cause in a taser-related fatality) and a blood-alcohol level of .178.  Please see http://truthnottasers.blogspot.ca/2010/03/taser-killed-canadian-teen-michael.html

Michael Langan did not die as the result of being shocked by a police Taser, but from a unique combination of factors no one could have predicted, a judge ruled in an inquest report released Thursday.

Langan, 17, was shocked by a Taser and suffered a fatal heart attack following a confrontation with police July 22, 2008, on a William Avenue back lane near the National Microbiology Lab.

An inquest heard police were responding to reports of a suspect breaking into cars when officers pulled up within five feed of Langan, not knowing he was armed with a knife.

Officers testified Langan ignored their demands to drop his knife and was standing just an arm's length away from an officer still seated in the cruiser when the officer fired his Taser at Langan.

Langan fell to the ground, not breathing and unresponsive. Paramedics called to the scene could not resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead at hospital.

An autopsy revealed Langan had a rare, undiagnosed heart tumour called a hamartoma and a blood-alcohol level of .178. A doctor testified the heart tumour -- combined with alcohol, stress and exertion -- has been previously associated with sudden death.

"The death of such a young man was tragic, but nothing in the actions of the police or paramedics contributed to the death," Judge Killeen wrote in the report.

"The combination of stress, exertion and the hamartoma all contributed to the cardiac arrest," Killeen said. "The Taser is not a lethal force option like a handgun. No one could be expected to know that a person with a knife might also have a rare heart tumour."

Killeen said the police officer's use of the Taser was justified in the circumstsances.

"There's no explanation for why Mr. Langan did not drop the knife or flee," Killeen said. "The use of the Taser was appropriate given the threat presented and the failure if Mr. Langan to respond to the police by dropping the knife."

Killeen offered no recommendations to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.