Texas Rangers Investigate Death of Man Tasted by Frisco Police
Texas Rangers and the Collin County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the death of a man who was chased and shocked by Frisco police officers.
According to a Sept. 30 news release from the Frisco Police Department, officers responded to a report of a man attempting to use fraudulent identification to purchase a car from a local dealership in the 9600 block of the State Highway 121. When officers attempted to arrest the man, he fled, according to the department. Officers chased him, telling the man that if he didn’t stop, they would tase him.
The department says the man did not comply, so one of the officers deployed his taser. The shot was ineffective as it did not make full contact. It was then that another officer pulled out his taser and zapped the fleeing man. The officer’s shot knocked the man down and hit his head on the ground. The man was seriously injured in the fall, police said, and Frisco firefighters transferred him to a nearby hospital. Despite his care, he died on September 29.
The Frisco PD’s policies on critical incidents call for an outside investigation by the Texas Rangers and the Collin County District Attorney’s Office. Both have been investigating the incident since the day it happened.
The ministry says it cannot comment further due to the ongoing investigation. He said in his press release: “Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this incident, including the officers and family members of the deceased.”
Tasers are just one of many non-lethal weapons used by police that have come under scrutiny over the years. There have been stories from across the country of people who have been tasered, who have fallen to the ground, and who have suffered traumatic or fatal brain injuries.
In 2014, an Ohio man won a $2.25 million settlement in a lawsuit against his local police department for brain damage he suffered after cops tasered him, knocking him down and bump your head. Matthew Hook, who was 23 at the time, was fleeing police after he was seen driving a stolen van, according to the Associated press. An officer tagged Hook as he tried to scale a fence to get away. That’s when Hook fell and hit his head, causing brain damage that his family at the time said made him emotionally unstable and required constant medical attention.
A report in the Journal of Forensic and Forensic Medicine in 2016 found that electrical weapons like tasers posed “a small but real risk of death from fatal traumatic brain injury.”
“While they generally reduce morbidity and mortality, electric weapons have risks associated with their use, including eye injuries and falls,” the report said. “With sufficient probe spread, an uncontrolled fall to the ground usually occurs with the possibility of fatal brain injury.”
The researchers initially found 24 cases that met their criteria. They excluded five of those cases because they appeared to involve intentional jumps, instead of accidental falls caused by the use of an electrical weapon. Of 19 cases, the researchers wrote: “We found 16 probable cases of fatal brain damage induced by electronic control of electrical weapons.