Will Bring Police
Arrested Man Dies After Two Taser
man arrested Monday on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled
substance died Tuesday after being shocked twice with a Taser stun gun by San
Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, authorities said.
Leroy Pierson was
seen acting strangely near an intersection, officials said, and was shocked when
he became combative. He was taken to Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Fontana,
where he died.
Copyright 2005, The Los Angeles Times
Tape shows 5 Taser shocks in 1
His last words were: "Don't kill me, man. Don't kill me."
A videotape of the struggle between Frederick Williams and Gwinnett
County Sheriff's deputies shows he was struck with a Taser stun gun five times
within one minute. Within four minutes, the 31-year-old Lawrenceville man had
The tape, filmed at the Gwinnett County jail, was
part of an 11-month investigatory file that District Attorney Danny Porter's
office released this week. The file became public after Porter announced he will
not press criminal charges against deputies involved in the incident. Porter
asked the grand jury to consider the case this week.
"The evidence and
particularly the videotape raised questions that were most appropriately
answered by the grand jury," Porter said. "The grand jury declined to go
Melvin Johnson, an attorney representing Williams' wife and
four children, has seen the videotape.
He said he disagrees with the
district attorney's decision. He has asked the FBI to investigate.
was pleading for his life," Johnson said. "They claim they were trying to
immobilize him but he was already in handcuffs. They were clearly trying to
inflict pain on a person they thought had injured one of their fellow officers."
Williams was arrested May 25, 2004, during a domestic disturbance at his
According to police reports, Williams' family said he refused to
take his epilepsy medication and was acting violent and irrational.
Williams got into an altercation with the first officer arriving on the
scene, Gwinnett police Officer R.E. Kenyon. According to an incident report,
Williams charged the officer and grabbed his baton as Kenyon tried to strike
him. The two struggled over the baton and Kenyon lost his balance, falling to
the ground, bloodying his nose.
Kenyon called for backup over his police
radio. Several officers arrived and tackled and subdued Williams.
taken to the jail, where deputies were alerted that they had a "delta," Gwinnett
law enforcement slang meaning a combative inmate.
About 11 deputies were
standing at the back door of the jail as an officer dropped Williams off,
including a deputy who was videotaping the episode.
Williams, his arms
handcuffed behind his back, his feet bound, was rocking back and forth in the
back of the police car as deputies approached. The deputies grabbed him out of
the car and carried him into the jail. As they were carrying him, Williams
pleaded with deputies not to kill him. It was his last audible comment.
They carried him through the jail entrance to an area where restraint
chairs are located. They placed him in a chair that resembles an adult-sized car
seat used to immobilize combative inmates.
Williams appeared to be
attempting to free himself from the chair, surrounded by deputies.
deputy wrapped his arm around Williams' head and chin. Others were holding his
arms and legs as Deputy Michael Mustachio applied the Taser to his chest.
One deputy commands Williams to stop resisting.
"Do you want
another one?" Mustachio said, referring to the stun gun.
minute, Williams was shocked a total of five times.
His handcuffs were
not removed until after he lost consciousness.
Once it was clear that
Williams was unconscious, deputies began to administer aid. Someone called for
Williams never regained consciousness and was pronounced
dead two days later.
Gwinnett police Detective Steve Shaw investigated
the incident and concluded that deputies did not violate the Sheriff's
Department policy or any laws.
Several years ago, Mr. Branson, the founder of
J.A.I.L., was tasered three intervals by L.A.P.D. for a constant
thirty seconds each interval (which LAPD admits),
while Ron was locked up behind bars, for refusing to give up his rights
guaranteed by the Constitution when officers demanded that he undress himself
naked before them for a strip search. (At no time was the warrantless
arrest examined for probable cause.) After each interval, Ron was asked if
he "now submits" to which he responded each time that he stands on his
constitutional rights. It's nothing short of a miracle that Ron lived through
that minute and a half of electrical torture which was
considered within department policy and done with impunity! And this policy will
continue until the People put an end to rule by "policy" and enforce the Rule of
When Mr. Branson was brought out of the cell
six days later for so-called "arraignment,"
never having had a probable cause determination for the
arrest as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, the first words out of the mouth
of the court Commissioner --not a judge-- was "I hear you gave the
police a hard time!" Standing upon one's God-given unalienable rights is
interpreted as "giving the police a hard time."
When J.A.I.L. becomes law, we should see an end to
this, and other barbaric police policies that are routinely covered up by
the judiciary. A judiciary accountable to the People will make a