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South Bay | Police State and Prisons

Another Taser Death from SJPD
by repost from Merc
Friday Feb 13th, 2009 8:43 AM
A man in his 20s died Wednesday night after being shot with a Taser by a San Jose police officer who was attempting to take him into custody. It is the sixth instance of someone dying after San Jose police deployed the electric stun gun on them.
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Man dies after being Tased by San Jose police
By Mark Gomez

Mercury News
Posted: 02/12/2009 06:08:32 AM PST

A man in his 20s died Wednesday night after being shot with a Taser by a San Jose police officer who was attempting to take him into custody.

It is the sixth instance of someone dying after San Jose police deployed the electric stun gun on them.

The man resisted arrest, tried to grab the officer's gun from its holster and fought with two police officers for several minutes before one of the officers shot him with a Taser, according to police.

After he was shot with a Taser, the man went into medical distress, police spokesman Enrique Garcia said. Officers performed CPR, but the man died at the scene. His name was not immediately released.

The officers, whose names were also not released Thursday, were treated at a hospital for injuries incurred in the struggle; one suffered facial lacerations and the other had a leg injury, Garcia said.

They had been dispatched to Story Road and Adrian Way at 10:24 p.m. and approached the man, who ran away. A resident in the 2200 block of Amador Drive reported someone in the backyard.

Garcia said the officers located the man and tried to take him into custody. He "resisted and got into a violent struggle with our officers," Garcia said.

The officers used their batons during the struggle, which lasted several minutes. One of the officers shot the man with a Taser.

In 2004, the San Jose Police Department armed every officer with stun guns, devices capable of temporarily disabling suspects by sending 50,000-volt jolts through their body, as an alternative to deadly force. The move came after San Jose police shot and killed a Vietnamese woman after they mistook her vegetable peeler for a large knife.

In four San Jose incidents where suspects died after being shot with a stun gun, family members filed lawsuits over the deaths. In December, San Jose officials agreed to pay $70,000 to the wife and child of a man who died in 2005 after being shot with a Taser by police, marking the city's first settlement over a fatality linked to the stun guns.

In mid-December, a San Jose man with psychiatric problems died outside of Valley Medical Center when a Campbell police officer fired his Taser while he was helping Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies control the situation.

The San Jose Police Department Homicide Unit is investigating Wednesday night's death, Garcia said. The Santa Clara County medical examiner's office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Investigators from San Jose Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office are also monitoring the case.

Contact Mark Gomez at mgomez [at] mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5869.

DEATHS INVOLVING TASERS IN SAN JOSE

Aug. 1, 2005: Brian Patrick O"Neal, 30. Police use Taser, pepper spray and batons to subdue him. The Santa Clara County medical examiner ruled O"Neal died from heart failure while high on methamphetamine and marijuana.

Nov. 18, 2005: Jose Angel Rios, 38, of Fresno. Police use pepper spray and Taser to subdue him. The medical examiner listed the use of Tasers, the man"s obesity and heart disease caused by cocaine as factors in the death. City has agreed to pay $70,000 to Rios" wife and child.

Jan. 25, 2006: Jorge Trujillo, 34, of San Jose. Beaten up by assailants and then police used Taser, pepper spray and batons on him to subdue him. The coroner concluded Tasers played a role in the death but that Trujillo likely would have died from injuries suffered during the beating.

May 25, 2006: Mongol motorcycle member Steve Salinas, 47. Police shot him with Taser. The coroner concluded Salinas, who was under the influence of PCP, died of cardiopulmonary arrest during a violent physical struggle but noted the cause of death could not be determined.

Sept. 2, 2008: Prince Swayzer III, 38. Struggles with police, shocked with a Taser and reportedly swallows a stash of drugs.

Feb. 11: Unidentified man. Police officer shoots him with a Taser during a struggle.