Judicial Accountability Will Bring Police Accountability
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California May 23, 2005
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______________________________________________________Judicial AccountabilityWill Bring Police AccountabilityArrested Man Dies After Two Taser Shockings
May 19, 2005
A 55-year-old 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 TimesTape shows 5 Taser shocks in 1 minuteLATEEF MUNGINAtlanta Journal-ConstitutionHis 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 lost consciousness.
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 forward."
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.
"He 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 home.
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.
He was 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.
One 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.
Within one 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 an ambulance.
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 Law.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 difference!--------------------------------J.A.I.L.- Judicial Accountability Initiative Law - www.jail4judges.org
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