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Man dies after San Bernardino police use Taser on him

A 19-year-old San Bernardino man died early this morning after police officers used a Taser on him at a board and care facility, according to the San Bernardino Police Department.

The officers had gone to the facility in the 300 block of S. Arrowhead Ave. about 11:30 p.m. Friday to investigate a fight involving three people, according to news release.

After the officers separated the people, "one of the subjects became combative and a Taser was deployed to control him," the release said.

Paramedics arrived within minutes to treat the man, who was having difficulty breathing. The man, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead about an hour later, police said.

-- Joe Mozingo

Comments () | Archives (42)

polices now in days have no respect for innocent people. bak in the days polices kept our community safe now they terrorized the community, they have kill over 50 people just this year.

Wow yet another use of non lethal force that kills someone. In a board and care home. A 19 year old??? The problem with tazers is that police all over the country brag about the tazer as a non lethal force instrument that replaces using a gun. The other problem is that police officers are more and more using it for situations that they would never have used a gun. Some are using tazers as a punishment tool.

As a man at 30 yrs old found out that I was unfortunately born with heart disease I am one of those ones who cops use a tazer on and then die because I was unfortunately born with genes I could not know were bad until something bad happens.

Tazers should not be routinely used and people less fortunately born with certain conditions should not have to die because cops think most people will only be screwed with because we disrespected them.

Tasers are lethal weapons.

Neither Taser nor any police department tests tasers in real world conditions. How about testing tasers on cops after they run a 100 yard dash with peak adrenaline levels?

So Taser markets these things as non-lethal, cops think they have some Star Trek "stun gun," and people keep dying. Dangerous little tech toys have replaced actual police work.

If he was proven to be unarmed, does that constitute unreasonable use of force?

Sorry previous posters, but nobody said tasers were non-lethal. Police departments define them as "less than lethal," meaning that you have a better chance of surviving a blast from a taser than a firearm.

ANOTHER taser death ...hate to think how many extra-judicial killings the fuzz could pull off if they were "lethal" weapons.

I want to hear more about the circumstances before I agree that it was unreasonable force. I also want to know the results of the tox report.

Yet another killing by taser.

A Taser is a DEADLY weapon. Just because it doesn't always kill, doesn't make it "nonlethal". A gun is "nonlethal", too, if aimed at the legs.

How can anyone claim that electrocuting someone with 50,000 volts is "nonlethal". How could a Taser user possibly know whether the victim had a bad heart or was prone to stroke?

Any financial liability from this incident should be the responsibility of the department and the police that fired the Taser instead of the tax-payers. If the tax-payers would just stop writing checks, these incidents would happen with a lot less frequency, if at all.

Don't run or become combative with cops and you won't have to worry about getting tased.

I am sorry, but all you previous commentators are idiots. First of all, yes we use tasers on combative suspects. Whatever police action taken because you DO NOT LISTEN and then furthermore go beyond that and get AGGRESSIVE AND COMBATIVE is entirely on your shoulders. We put ourselves in the line of danger everyday, and will not put up with bullshit when people decide to turn around and fight us. If you ask for a fight, you will get one. This person was obviously not innocent, it says in the article that police responded to INVESTIGATE A FIGHT and then had to tase him because he became COMBATIVE. Maybe you can read the article next time before you make your predetermined judgement about what happened.

Second of all, we all get tased in the Police Academy so we know damn well how it feels like.

To you "Cop" -
You are 100% exactly right. You said "If you ask for it, you'll get it". And that's the bottom line.

To the mentally challenged peace officer above who posted under the alias "cop," you are the only individual on this thread who is an idiot. I find it to be rather hilarious how are you are quick to defend your brethren without any first-hand knowledge of the events which took place. You are most likely an uneducated chump who thrives on having power over others, like most of the pigs who join law enforcement.

To Mr. Cop,

Your comments on the subject betray something I have suspected a long time ago. Cops become cops because they are inherently violent people and they attracted to the profession because they can be violent without fear of retribution. Accusing all the other readers of being idiots is an insult to your community. Don't forget who your real employer is-you are not the law, you are just a tool of the law.

Was the Rodney King beating justified? Was the cop who killed the kid on the BART station at point blank range justified? Cops like to beat up the weak.

The great thing is that now we have cameras and recorders. Every time I have a run in with a cop I make it a policy to record the whole conversation on my phone. I encourage everyone who runs into the police to do the same. Thugs are thugs uniform or not and no one is about the law.

I think they should have just beat him with the baton and broke his legs! No loss in my book. What an idiot. It is really sad how people criticize the actions of law enforcement. When a cop does something wrong (Like legally wrong) i feel they should be properly punished, but when one is doing his/her job appropriately (according to state law and department policies) I feel that citizens should support their actions.

Let's not play the blame game.

Obviously there is something wrong with the system if 'non-lethal' force procedures are causing fatalities. Let's focus on changing protocol so we don't have to keep reading articles like this.

Yeah, let the cops just hold the criminals hands, and let the cops get hurt. Everyone that thinks like that should just go out on a ride-a-long with an officer for a couple of hours. I am so sick of everyone's self-entitled, no responsibility attitude. You screw up, suffer the consequences. Enough said.

JohBurgJen says "If you ask for it, you'll get it"...does that person deserve death for confronting an officer? NO he does NOT.

The cop on this board is talking about the same thing. The suspect deserve jail time or fines, BUT YOU DON'T DESERVE DEATH. The cops were sent to INVESTIGATE not pass judgement.

Tasers are definitely non-lethal...unless you torture someone by keeping your finger on the trigger for a long time. The cops punished him for being combative...that's the story. Shocked him for a long time because he deserved it.

Also, cops don't respond alone. So where's the other cops to subdue each party involved in the fight? If someone is aggressive...you can cuff them first to control the situation. But no, let's use our tasers because I haven't used it for a long time.

Ultimately, it's not even a question of whether tasers are lethal. It's whether tasers are even necessary.

It's true that cops put themselves in the line of danger everyday. But isn't it also true that we put cops through training so that they can adequately face that danger? Every police department puts recruits through academies, which, well, let's call them what they are: paramilitary boot camps.

If the taser is so effective, why are we as a society even wasting money on teaching combat techniques in police academies? Let's just issue the recruits some tasers and get on with the business of policing society.

If you need to use the taser to subdue a combative suspect, are you saying that your training is inadequate? Perhaps society shouldn't be licensing tasers; perhaps society should be probing into the effectiveness of the police academy training!

Suspects get confrontational. They get combative. But that's why you have your handcuffs, your gun, your stick, your knife, your mace, your fists and your boots. That's why you get a paycheck from the municipalities you serve. That's why you get a generous pension when you retire. That's why your family, in the event that they survive you, will be financially taken care of.

Sure, tasers are a non-lethal way to subdue a difficult suspect. But let's get to the real reason, shall we? Tasers afford cops protection from responsibility, it allows cops to shield themselves in that gray area between lawful and unlawful use of force.

Here's a proposal: if you find the job so hard that you have to rely on a taser, maybe you should just quit.

dear cop:
first of all, you are not the arbitrator of the law. you do not get to decide who is guilty and who is not. you only get to apprehend people who are suspected of guilt so that they can be brought before a court of law and a judge and jury can decide if they are guilty.

perhaps this man was combative. did he deserve to die for it? what if he was mentally ill?

perhaps people don't follow directions. should cops be allowed to tazer them? even if they are hearing impaired? even if they don't speak english? even if the cops give conflicting directions at the same time? and yes--i have seen this happen. i have seen cops give a man two sets of directions, at the same time, which the man could not possibly follow at the same time.

there are many good cops out there. but there are many that are powerhungry thugs in uniform.

cops love to isntigate and kill

Tasers are usually good. Nothing is perfect. If Rodney King had been tased, he wouldn't have gotten beaten and there wouldn't have been any riots.

Another one. I hope his family sues the hell out of the San Bernardino PD, and that they win enough money that the SB City Council reassesses the ultimate value of allowing this "nonlethal" weapon to be used by their employees. These menaces need to be banned, and the Police Chiefs who allow them, fired. It's probably about time a class action suit was brought against Taser International as well, for false advertising.

When will the public get enough of these kinds of stories and say "enough is enough?" These are not non-lethal weapons.

Once again, the "post hoc" logical error is being committed here by people who never learned how to think in school - as newspaper folks are only too happy to help them do.

"After this" does not prove "because of this". No one commenting here has the slightest evidence that the death was caused by the Taser.

Another note: No weapon of any kind is or ever can be called "non-lethal" - that's why the term is "less lethal", and less lethality is all we ever can reasonably hope for. Tasers *are* very well-tested, contrary to some ignorant claims made here, and they *save* lives every day.

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