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Taser Death Watch 2009: 15-year-old Warren, MI boy

Damon's picture

Another 15-year-old has died after being tasered by the Warren Police Department of Warren, Michigan. You'll remember that not even a fully month ago another 15-year-old boy died after a tasering in Bay City, Michigan.

Warren -- A Detroit teenager who police say fled a traffic stop Friday died after being subdued with a Taser. He is the second Michigan teen to die following a Taser stun in less than a month.

Warren Police say they don't know why the 15-year-old bailed out of a Dodge Stratus he was riding in during the stop on Eight Mile near Schoenherr, leading officers on a half-block chase that ended in an abandoned house on Pelkey in Detroit.

The car was stopped for having an expired license plate.

In the scuffle, officers shocked the teen one time with a Taser, police said. Shortly after, he became unresponsive and died.

...

The Detroiter, whose name wasn't released Friday, is the second Michigan teen in less than a month to die after being zapped by a Taser. Bay City Police tasered 15-year-old Brett Elder last month after he tried to fight with them. He died shortly thereafter.

...

Since 2001, more than 330 people in the United States have died after being shocked by Tasers, said the human rights group. "Amnesty International acknowledges the importance of developing nonlethal or 'less lethal' force options" by police, the group said in a December report on Tasers and Taser-related deaths. "However, Amnesty International has serious concerns about the use of electro-shock devices in law enforcement, both as regards their safety and potential for misuse."

...

He was transferred to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Warren and was pronounced dead at 10:17 a.m. The teen was unarmed, police say.

The 19-year-old driver of the car the teen was riding in, along with a 37-year-old passenger, were questioned by police and released.

I'm with Amnesty International on this. Serious concerns, indeed. Perhaps, Tasering unarmed children doesn't exactly sound like the smartest thing in the world, huh?

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Submitted by hipparchia on

thanks for continuing to post on this. all-things-taser was one of my pet issues irl for sure, and in some of my past blogging, before healthcare took over most of my spare time.