Two People Die from Tasers in Dekalb
Is this the right tool for police to use?
According to published reports in the AJC and the Associated Press….
A 40-year-old woman accused of stealing a car and fighting with police Friday is the second suspect this month to die after being tased by a DeKalb County police officer. Autopsies are still pending on both suspects to see if either suspect had a pre-existing medical condition, or drugs in their system, according to DeKalb Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish.
DeKalb County Police added Tasers to their arsenal just last year as a “less lethal” option for unruly suspects, aimed at reducing injuries to suspects and officers.
This was the second time DeKalb had turned to the stun guns. In 2005, then-DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones ordered police to stop using their Tasers after the manufacturer issued a warning that multiple or prolonged blasts could impair breathing and lead to death. On Monday, DeKalb officials wouldn’t say if they plan to stick with Tasers, only saying that both deaths are under investigation. Officers in Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb and Clayton counties now carry Tasers. In Atlanta, only officers on the SWAT team and other specialized units have Tasers.
The woman who died has been identified as Sukeba Jackson, a mother of four children including six month old twins. Her family appeared this morning on “Powertalk” with Lorraine Jacques White. Her sister Melanie Walker…
Meantime her brother Dennis Jackson expressed his dissatisfaction that the police had to use a taser on his sister.
Police say they received calls from the Brandon Hills Condos Friday night about a woman who was kicking in doors of some units and acting erratically. Jackson did take a car and was seen speeding away from the area half clothed when she ran into another car with police in pursuit. She was tased twice according to reports after refusing to obey police commands. Police say a short time later, Jackson became unresponsive. She was reportedly taken to DeKalb Medical Center, where she later died. Sukeba Jackson was known to have mental problems for which she was taking medication.
Earlier this month in DeKalb, Audreacus Davis died after being tased by Dekalb County police. According to a police report, officers tased him a total of five times, but each time he stood back up and fought with police. After paramedics gave him an unknown injection to calm him down, Davis became unresponsive and died.
There have been more than 400 deaths involving Tasers in the U.S. and 26 in Canada since 2001, according to a December 2008 study by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Three of the 400 deaths occurred in the Gwinnett County jail after deputies used Tasers on inmates.
IS THE TASER THE RIGHT WEAPON FOR POLICE TO USE IN DEKALB COUNTY? Answer the poll.