Posted in: Odd + Funny

Man tased 19 times and dies, jury finds force not excessive

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A Tennessee jury has found that police did not use excessive force in the case of the man who died after being tased a staggering 19 times.

The victim, 21 year old Patrick Lee was tased by police for resisting arrest outside a nightclub. Reports said that he was “acting strangely” and was under the influence of LSD at the time.

According to local reports, Lee’s parents sued the officers, the local Government authority, and Taser International citing wrongful death. The case against the local Government and Taser International were dismissed in 2006.

A lawyer for the officers claimed that they “were doing their best with the tools they were given.”

Experts warn that even being tased once can pose a health risk, and even the manufacturer Taser International states that for a subject in a state known as excited delirium, repeated or prolonged stuns with the Taser can contribute to “significant and potentially fatal health risks.”

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57 Responses to “Man tased 19 times and dies, jury finds force not excessive”

  1. matpacker

    My work has actually been campaigning in Australia to raise awareness of this sort of thing so that the police force doesn't have to deal with the potential problems that can come from tazering someone.

    When someone is tazered there can be existing, undiagnosed heart problems that will basically end up killing someone when they are tazered. There's been numerous cases around the world of this happening.

    Our company makes the smallest external defibrillator in the world and it would sit easily on the utility belt of a police man / woman and they would easily be able to revive someone in the event of heart failure.

  2. Pigs

    Did you fail at the real world?

    Come to the police academy!

  3. Thomas

    hahaha … can we see a citation for the last time that someone died after being hit with a baton (without the officer being fired / charged / sued). Willful ignorance.

  4. Agile Cyborg

    A 'strange' man was Tased 19 times till dead by so-called 'trained' law-enforcement?

    The excess here is staggering and rivals what we see coming from Muslim countries. I'm thinking these cops pose a threat to public safety in a far more corrupt way than any criminal enterprise is capable of.

    Jason Creagan, Jonathan Mays and Jaime Scruggs are terrorizing morons and the jury that allowed these idiots off the plantation were obviously just as corrupt.

    This is justice in the third degree and these cops knew exactly what they were doing- unless they were all brain-dead which is highly likely.

  5. Brent

    Look at it this way… if he was resisting in any way that made the officers feel threatened and a taser was not available, they could have just shot him and would have been well within their rights. Now in this case the outcome would have been the same, but in the other majority of cases, the people were allowed to live BECAUSE they were tased rather than shot.

    As a future police officer myself, I can tell you that every cop has one thing on their mind. Coming home to their family safely at the end of the day.

  6. Brent

    Yes! Come to the police academy where you HAVE to be tased before you can carry a taser.

  7. Mike

    I'm in law enforcement and this is an extremely vague article. You say it's brutal, unprofessional, etc but what it doesn't state is what happened the first however many taser hits. We've had incidents in the jail where people were coming down from being on psychodelics just hours from being taken into custody. We've hit them 6 or 7 times with practically no effect. People need to quit looking at everything from the media's point-of-view and start checking their facts and looking at the broad perspective. If he was down on the first, then ok. But if not, I'd keep tasing him til he stopped being combative and started complying. I guarantee they weren't able to frisk the suspect so they had no clue if he had a knife or gun. And people acting 'strange' give you a reason to be cautious. It's easy to blame the police when your own life isn't in potential danger.

  8. Mike

    And by “hit them 6 or 7 times,” I am referring to use-of-force with a taser. It doesn't work the same on everyone. Just like OC spray.

  9. Mike

    So if a man was acting strange and resisting you if you were a cop, you had no proof that he was weaponless, you would just try to talk him down. LSD doesn't quite allow a person's mind to work that way. You have no clue what took place, no video, just a vaguely written article. You are just as ignorant to the facts as the person who wrote this article. You are the type of individual who would praise the police for shooting a man who was trying to rob you and criticize them for doing it if someone else was involved.

  10. Coffeerox

    Shut the frak up, nobody here is even taking you seriously.

  11. DoubleU

    I'd tase the guy… but under NO circumstances… not even Brock Lesner on crack, PCP & LSD needs to be tased 19 TIMES. The argument isn't with him being tased… its with the excessive nature of this that led to his death. The article doesn't need to be well written for you to see that 1 man being tased 19 times is excessive. IDIOT

  12. a

    You're right. The lives of the citizens you are paid to protect mean nothing.

  13. Sarcasm is good for the soul

    Yep. There shouldn't be _any_ police. All they do is oppress people. People should be free to do whatever they want, when they want, to whomever they want. If it includes murder… oh well! At least we'd be free.

    Down with laws!! Anarchy for everyone!!!

    (Now, are you liberals all happy?)

  14. Trav

    As a future police officer, I hope you come to terms with the industry you're subscribing yourself to. Enforcing laws and habits that duly take away the liberty of the citizens you're supposed to serve. And don't use an excuse of,” Well the law is the law.” Thats cowardice. Laws are currently and in the process of being passed that are not in favor of the citizen's liberties. Did this guy willfully attack another citizen and due harm, did he rip a baton off of an officer and beat an officer 19 times before being tazed? Did he even come close to causing said harm? Oh yeah, I forget, common sense goes out the door when you're a cop.

    Thats why we call them pigs, no one calls them peace officers.

  15. PennyM

    Surely the police are taught ways to deal with these sorts of people that are not violent and possibly fatal. If not, then they should. Police are supposed to control violence not have a monopoly on it.

  16. cody

    bs i was on lsd once lol and got tated 36 times im alright ( fallover into comma)

  17. Joe

    Um, it makes sense to me. I think Coffeerox is the idiot here.

  18. Ben

    “We've hit them 6 or 7 times with practically no effect”. Then you keep hitting then 20,30,40 times, until they die? How dumb is that? If you see it is not working try something else. What kind of morron does something 19 times if this has not worked the first couple of times?

    And since since when “acting strangely” is a crime? For god's sake, that country is full of people acting strangely (look at our previosu president), is that worth getting tasered? What's next, getting tasered to death because “your T-shirt looks ugly”?

    Cops are people who where not clever enough to get a decent job or go to college but they end-up with the power of making life and death decisions, how stupid is that? People spend thousands of dollars looking for the best surgeons, but they don't care giving a gun to a moron on a power trip.

    That country has issues.

  19. Dan

    @Trav:

    You've GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. Look – what these cops did was grossly excessive. It seems the jury are the only ones who don't think so but let me tell you something. Without the police our country would be INSANE. We most definitely wouldn't be the only superpower left in the world without some kind of law enforcement so before you go off calling them pigs you'd best realize that you may need their help one day. Even if you say “F the police!” you've got to keep in mind that your anger should be directed at your lawmakers and NOT the police. It's your lawmakers who make the laws the police officers enforce. The cops are merely doing what they deem necessary to maintain order. If you don't like the way they do it then why don't YOU become a cop?

    Why am I even bothering? You're probably just some punk who gets brave when they're in front of a keyboard. Better luck next time LOSER.

  20. Comma Police

    You fell into a comma, but your use of them is sorely lacking.

  21. Snarkasm 2

    THERE you go!!
    I like the anarchist (Utah Phillips?) who said that 'good people don't need cops to tell them what to do & bad people don't respect them anyway, so what the hell good are they?'

  22. Snarkasm 2

    HUH?
    are you saying that being stoned on acid was just as likely to kill him as 19 taser hits, so we don't really know?
    not likely.
    vague as the article may be, the bottom line is: 'acting strangely' is now a capital crime (LSD or otherwise) because its not excessive for cops to bypass judge & jury and execute a person 'acting strangely' on their own say-so. if that's not excessive then what WOULD be? giving him CPR & then tasing him to death again?

  23. Haysoos

    Look, the guy was wacked IN PUBLIC ON AN ILLEGAL DRUG and he was STRUGGLING WITH THE COPS. There is nothing wrongful about them trying to tase an unruly person. The cops didn't make him take LSD, go to a night club and resist arrest, he did that on his own. In this crazy place called the adult world, your actions have consequences. If he hadn't taken LSD (illegal), he might not have had a crazy reaction to being tazed. If he wasn't at the night club, the cops would have never been involved. If he hadn't resisted arrest, he might not have been tazed at all.

    Stop putting off personal responsibility like its somehow a constitutional right to run amok in public businesses cracked out on illegal drugs. How would you handle having to subdue and arrest someone that is flying high on acid and extremely combative, likely trying to attack you? Ask him nicely for hours while he ruins someones business? Now, I HATE cops. H_A_T_E because of the shady stuff that is pulled. But I'm also not a complete moron in assuming that there is never a situation that a cop might have to tase someone 19 times, I've seen it right outside my apartment one time in california. Guy was hit with the taser as he stepped onto the apartment property, and managed to work his way 40-50 feet while being tased (repeatedly) and fighting two cops trying to simply handcuff him. I'd say they tased him well over 30 times. Was that brutality? How else are they going to uphold the law?

  24. Lazlo Toth

    Uhh, Trevor, are you seriously trying to tell us that this was an LSD fatality!? LSD has an LD-50 (that, for the ignorant, is a dose of a toxic high enough to kill 50% of recipients) that is THIRTY TIMES that of a “heroic” dose. You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

  25. Lazlo Toth

    Let's play a little word game, here, DoubleU. It's called “Bad Comparisons.”

    Crack, PCP… and LSD.
    Apples, oranges… and a tennis ball.
    Dell, Hewlett-Packard… and my little sister's lemonade stand.
    Bullets, landmines… and a paperclip.
    Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell… and DoubleU.

  26. Lazlo Toth

    As a future police officer yourself, I suspect you're going to support a lot of human rights abuses that I think you should be hanged for. Have fun, droogie.

  27. Lazlo Toth

    “Psychedelics,” my dear highly trained law enforcement professional. “Psychedelics.”

    Also, people acting “strange” don't give you a reason to TAZE THEM NINETEEN FREAKING TIMES.

  28. Haysoos

    Also, there is no way that the cops could know it would be fatal. Fatalities due to tasers are a 1 in 1,000,000 or more chance. The owner of the company gets tased 3-4 times a year as a demonstration of it's non-destructive nature. Before tasers, cops had sticks and guns, and would have to intimidate the person to give up, fight them, or let them go. Since letting them go isn't an option, this acid tripper would have likely had to be controlled with a baton, but then theres the chance that he could severly injure the officers, possibly taking their guns and shooting innocent bystanders. He's on acid, theres no telling what he saw.

    But thanks to tasers, the number of fatalities and injuries associated with people resisting arrest have greatly been reduced. That is including the perpetrators. If the cops didn't have tasers, and the acid tripper acted as if he had a weapon, they would have had to have shot him, leading to his death anyways.

    This is a freak occurance. Should we stop using them and go back to beating people with sticks in dangerous close quarters situations because tasers aren't perfect? No, thats the thought process of a child, or an adult that will never succeed. As I said, I HATE cops and will rally against real brutality, but taking a tough situation like this and incorrectly labeling it brutality just undermines the work of people fighting REAL cases of brutality, like the BART cop that shot a guy point blank in the back in a subway station.

  29. Haysoos

    I like this, a real solution to a real problem. Saying that tasers are dangerous because of isolated incidents like this is a knee jerk reaction that does more harm than good. Addressing the issue directly like this is the intelligent way to go as opposed to demonizing a powerful tool that has saved more lives than it has taken. You sir, are awesome.

  30. Haysoos

    What is the cop supposed to do if he tasers the guy once, but the guy is still trying to resist arrest…? Ask him nicely…? Maybe we should just let people do acid and flip out in public places and businesses?

  31. Snarkasm 2

    Sorry, Mike, but we've all seen video of cops (maybe even just one cop) subduing a combative person with non-lethal force. So it can be done. But it truly seems that the use of lethal force is more & more becoming the first course of action, not the last. How 'bout this video of several Birmingham(?) cops wailing on a guy, kicking, punching, batoning, a clearly unconscious having just been thrown from a van following a high-speed chase? How 'bout the case of a transit cop who shot a kid New Years Day during a 'routine arrest'? There have been so many incidents of questionable use of force that people now follow cops around with video cameras. The video of this incident looks like an execution. But the cops call it a 'tragic accident'. The lawyers don't want to prosecute because it was 'just a routine arrest'. Holy Irony, Batman! That's exactly the problem! Too many people routinely 'suicide' or 'die of natural causes' while in custody or while being arrested.

  32. Haysoos

    Um, I've seen a guy travel 40-50 feet being tazed the whole time with two officers struggling with him between shots to get cuffs on him. This was right outside my apartment in california. He wasn't even on drugs. He was waiting for his ex (who had a restraining order) to come home, who he was stalking, and whom he had beaten to a pulp before. Should they have given up after the first tase and let the guy terrorize my apartment complex and attack his ex-wife?

    You dont know what you are talking about, even a little bit. You are ignorant and stupid, commenting on a situation that you would react to by curling into a ball and crying. Some things to remember, this was outside a nightclub, this was public intoxication, and the cops HAD to deal with it, they couldn't just walk away after the first tase didn't work. Secondly, would you rather them get nice and close to a guy who is seeing things that aren't real, considering they have GUNS STRAPPED TO THEIR SIDES? So they should risk the lives of EVERYONE WITHIN SHOOTING RANGE by going to close combat?

    I D I O T.
    Tell you what, the next time you are a cop, and have to arrest a person in public that is cracked out on LSD, then you can speak up.

  33. Haysoos

    What about the lives of the people in the area? If a cop has to go hand to hand with someone, there is always the chance they will get a hold of the officers gun. Given this guy was on LSD, theres no telling what he would shoot at.

    It's easy for people like you who never put yourself in a cops postition to criticize, you don't know shit about what you are talking about. I can watch pro football and point out how a quarter back passed to the wrong reciever, but thats easy for me to say witting on my couch eating nachos. No way could I have done any better if it was me on the field, and I bet everyone calling this excessive would shit themselves when confronted with having to subdue a perp that is behaving strangely and uncooperative. Or one of you would make a fatal mistake because you really don't know what it's like or the dangers involved past the obvious.

    I will be the first to call bullshit on cops. I get more pissed off about police absuing power than ANY OF YOU, but I'm not a complete moron, they have a job to do and I want them to do it. It's not a cushy job, it's a dangerous, dirty job, that occasionally puts them in very compromising situations. I'm not retarded, I know that every situation does not have a perfect, “make everyone happy” solution, nor do you often have time to figure out such a perfect solution. Sometimes it's tase him before you find out he has a gun or is cracked out on PCP. This situation was a dangerous one, with a chance of bystanders getting hurt. The officers did what they could.

    In the end, the guy deserved to die. I do drugs, AT HOME. RESPONSIBLY. He CHOSE to take LSD, he CHOSE to go out in public, and he CHOSE to fight the cops. He was a complete asshole for putting the cops into that situation. The cause of death was less likely than if they got into a fist fight because of the added dangers of close combat. YES, THATS RIGHT, if you look at the statistics, it is a fact that there is a higher chance of a fatality (cop, perp, or bystander) if the cop choses close quarters as opposed to the taser.

    You people are undermining the REAL fight against REAL police brutality.

  34. Haysoos

    Here here! Lots of praise for an intelligent person! Seriously, you rock, thank you for making so much sense! The stupidity of the comments here is infuriating. It's like you said, “You are the type of individual who would praise the police for shooting a man who was trying to rob you and criticize them for doing it if someone else was involved”, perfect point…

  35. Haysoos

    Tasers are fatal less often than the other “non-violent” methods, thats why they are issued and used as the main non-lethal weapon. Seriously, my wife is in corrections, I am well versed in all the “non-violent” training she's recieved and we've talked about law enforcement a lot, tasers, batons, whatever. YOU DON'T KNOW JACK SHIT, you are IGNORANT of any fact that relates to this case, so please shut up.

    The complications of subduing someone in close quarters are larger than the complications of using a taser instead. Because you don't know anything about this, you don't know that ANYTHING can be a weapon. You can hide 35 or more close combat weapons on yourself that only a trained law enforcement officer would be able to find, and only if you were already subdued. Also, when you get within arms reach of a perp, you are putting a gun within arms reach of them. Regardless of training, there is no way to guarrantee that perp will not be able to draw your gun. Aside from shooting you, they could also shoot everyone within sight. Something else morons like you never think of is collateral damage.

    Given the guys strange behaviour, they could not risk getting close enough to the guy because of the risk that he might get a gun. Then you've got a guy wacked out on LSD wielding a gun! So are you seriously saying that the officer should have put everyones lives in danger in the area to try to prevent a freak accident (lethal reaction to a taser) that occurs less than 1 in a million times?

    I am glad you aren't a police officer, you would get people killed…

  36. Haysoos

    What is that even supposed to mean? Lay off the weed bro, it's making you retarded.

  37. C20H25N3O

    Quite possibly the best internet pwn I've seen in a good long while.
    Anyone who thinks someone under the influence of LSD is violent and needs to be tased has never, never taken a trip.

    In any case, that's such a terrible idea… imagine the unending psychological damage caused by being tased once on acid.

  38. Ryan

    Well lets see, lets put myself in the shoes of a cop. The tools I have available to me are: A potentially fatal gun, a potentially fatal taser, a knight stick, extensive hand to hand combat training. Facing me is an unarmed, delirious suspect. What do I do?…..

  39. haysoosisaf4g

    Have you ever seen someone on Xanax and alcohol at the same time? No matter who you are you will be the most violent, unrational person than you have ever been in your life. Both of those DRUGS are legal. The point of a taser is the disrupt the electrical signals getting transmitted from the brain to the muscles, thus making your muscles contract without your control. It only takes several shocks from a taser to render ANYONE to the point of submission. If the police was not physically fit enough to tase the victim and wrestle them to the ground then they are not fit for duty and should be fired or moved to a desk job.

    Think about what went down here before you post. A man was tasered NINETEEN TIMES. He died as a result of the police officer being a dumb fuck. Thanks for making this world a little bit worse.

  40. Snarkasm 2

    Good points!
    Its like: In this crazy world where the 183rd waterboarding is the one that proves waterboarding works (WTF?), it must be OK to taser somebody 19 times.
    Right.
    Life is getting cheaper & cheaper on this planet.

  41. Rob

    We have had several but the news does not report it because it is not hot topic. As a matter of fact I am wrong, one was a fist fight where the officer hit the guy in the side with his fist once and another was a wrestling match where the police did not throw a single strike. One was weeks before we had a taser incident. Not one report in the news anywhere about the they guy that died after getting punched but the taser incident was news around the country before I got off work.

    The fact is if your heart problems combined with mental disorder/ drug use align so that a taser will put you over the edge, being physically restrained, pepper sprayed, hit with a baton or wrestled while you resist will kill you as fast as a taser. The only safe option is not not resist. When you get into a fight and lose, your mind will recognize physical exhaustion and stop at some point. Certain mental illness and drugs can keep a person from recognizing physical exhaustion and will continue to struggle until they go into cardiac arrest. Out of all the tools the police have, the taser is the least likely to cause injury or cardiac arrest. It just happens to be the one that is at the top of the BREAKING NEWS list so it is the only one you guys hear about.