February 17, 2009

Update on Lakewood Taser Death

Click here for our prior posting

Lots of Speculation out there. All the speculation about the deceased being on drugs has no basis. We will know that after today's autopsy. We should also know the cause of death. We had an anonymous poster send us information claiming that she was the fiance of this man, was present at the event and that that she had been with him all day and he had not taken anything but cold medicine. We have no information on this mans size. We do know he was black from the LASD press release and that multiple taser"s" were used per the press release. We have also checked his name (from the story below) and we know that the only residence address that shows up for him is near the 10 freeway and LA Brea Ave. in Los Angeles. So its not clear what he was doing near Del Amo and Bellflower Blvd. at the time of the incident. We do not know how many Sheriff's were present or if video or pictures were taken or who the witnesses were. LASD has not posted its taser policy if they even have one. Figures. It is also not known what taser training the Lakewood deputies involved had. All we could find of interest was a 2002 press release from taser regarding LASD purchases of "292 additional ADVANCED TASER® M26 less-lethal weapons" and this report from Merrick Bob of the "Police Assessment Resource Center" (he also investigates LASD "events gone wrong") on the November 2006 UCLA Library taser event which looks pretty detailed as far as Taser policy and use guidelines. All we know from the Oakland BART shooting and many others is that you better have video of the entire event as close calls on excessive use of force usually are made in favor of the cops as far as most juries that have decided the issue as most juries think cops never make mistakes as this story documents quite well. As we said before if you see LASD grab your video camera. It is not clear who it may help in the end but we do know that it changes jurors perceptions of the event. Its not perfect as we know the jurors are not in the "heat of the moment" and are second guessing what was done but we do think having an objective "eye" on the police operation never hurts the truth.

Man who died after being Tasered is ID'd
From wire service reports
Posted: 02/17/2009 06:37:24 AM PST

LAKEWOOD - Authorities today identified a man who died after being pepper-sprayed and shocked with a Taser by sheriff's deputies in Lakewood.

An autopsy was pending today to determine the cause of death of Chenard Kierre Winfield, 32, of Los Angeles, said coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz.

Deputy Art Spencer said the sheriff's department got a report of a disturbance or fight near Silva Street and Dunrobin Avenue about 10:15 p.m. Saturday.

Deputies found a "very large" man running naked in the street, who then "advanced on the deputies in a threatening manner," prompting them to use pepper spray and at least one Taser stun gun on the man, Spencer said.

Once the man was handcuffed, deputies noticed that he was not breathing and started cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, according to Spencer.

Winfield was declared dead at a hospital, Dietz said.

A video crew at the scene reported that law enforcement officers, talking via radio, described the man as possibly under the influence of PCP.

According to an Amnesty International report in December, 334 people shocked with Tasers by law enforcement died in the United States between June 2001 and August 2008.

California and Florida were the states with the highest numbers of law- enforcement-related Taser deaths during the seven-year period under study --55 and 52, respectively.

Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | www.LAAG.us | Lakewood, CA
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