Derrick Humbert, 38, became the 55th Floridian to die from a Taser. He was riding his bicycle and officers asked him to stop. Instead, he rode around the corner and fled through a yard. The officers in pursuit tased him as he tried to scramble over a fence, shooting 50,000 volts of electricity into his body. 28 minutes later, he was in a coma in the ambulance, and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
It wasn’t clear why Derrick fled, although he may have been worried about some unpaid fines.
Derrick’s death moves him to the epicenter of a growing national debate over the use of Tasers. Taser International says their product saves lives. The Department of Defense and Amnesty International has investigated some the deaths and found that a number of the victims had underlying heart issues and/or drug use. Critics take issue with to the manufacturer’s aggressive marketing that overhypes the product’s safety, encouraging officers to “Taser early, taser often,” that has lead to their over-reliance by law enforcement.
What do you think?
Use of ‘nonlethal’ force may be a factor in many deaths [St. Petersburg Times]