Despite the fact that a Taser was used to subdue an unruly man in Rhinebeck Wednesday morning, “there is no clear indication at this time that the taser was responsible for Mr. Healy’s death,” Dutchess County Sheriff’s Lt. John Watterson said Thursday. James Healy, 44, refused to leave a woman’s home during a domestic dispute early Wednesday. That’s when she called police and Dutchess County Sheriff’s personnel and State Police from Rhinebeck responded. Healy would not follow orders from the officers and after he fought violently with them, a sheriff’s deputy hit him with a Taser to subdue him. It was after that, that Healy had difficulty breathing, according to troopers, and was taken to the hospital where he died. [LINK]
What exactly would such clear indications look like?
Tasered, difficulty breathing, died - it's a very common pattern in taser associated deaths.
A taser, even if it was the sole cause of a person's death, leaves little in the way of postmortem clues.
The larger meta-pattern indicated by the taser's Curious Temporal Asymmetry [LINK] is worth considering.
If Sheriff Watterson knows of a reliable postmortem test for a taser death, then perhaps he should write a paper for the New England Journal of Medicine.
The coroner should certainly perform the postmortem test for VF (see [LINK]). But lack of clear evidence is a common trend with taser associated deaths. And given the possible death mechanisms (some essentially new to science), that's not surprising.
If they try to attribute it solely to drug use, then the lethal overdose and exact timing had better line up perfectly. Otherwise it is more then likely a whitewash.
By the way - the justifiability (legal and moral) of this death is an entirely different matter than the possible cause(s) of death.
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