A man who died in police custody in December 2009 died from a combination of excited delirium, mental illness, methamphetamine use, obesity and subdual by police, medical examiners said Tuesday. Hatchel Pate Adams III, 36, died in the hospital after police responded to a complaint at his residence in the first block of Overlook Court in Hampton at about 11 p.m. December 10. Officers tried to talk to Adams, but he would not come to the door. When police were able to get inside the residence, Adams began swinging a Samurai sword at them. In response to the sword threat, officers tased Adams, but he was able to free himself from the taser probes. Officers tased him again and attempted to place him in custody, but he then stopped breathing. [LINK]
Let's review the causes of death listed above...
1) Excited delirium - nothing but meaningless words. A place-holder for ignorance. Too often associated with taser-associated deaths. The holistic-medicine of the In-Custody Death explanation-for-hire industry.
2) Mental illness is obviously not a direct cause of death. It's plain crazy to suggest otherwise.
3) I'd buy "methamphetamine use" provided it is of a lethal does and time-aligned with the death. Even it's use can be certainly be considered to be a contributing factor even in the absence of the dose and timing factors.
4) Obesity - at most a contributing factor, obviously not a cause of death.
5) Subdual by police - they used a taser, twice. Why is this listed in last place? WTF is with THAT?!
UPDATE - I've noticed that the five purported "causes" are listed in strict alphabetical order. Perhaps the choice of words (e.g. "subdual...", an odd choice) is intentional to achieve the ordering desired, while supporting the 'alphabetical' explanation. Or perhaps I'm reading too much into it...
Based on the report, only one of these factors (#5) is minute-by-minute time-aligned with the point where Mr. Adams stopped breathing. The others would have been going on for hours to years.
...the Taser shooting didn't violate any department policies and was ruled justified. "They were defending themselves from someone wielding a samurai sword at them." [LINK]
If that's true, then I agree. I'm not here to debate the rational and justification for responding as they did. I'm just curious about the taser deployments and the reported causes of death.
A Hampton police press release said the police and the medical examiner's office enlisted experts on excited delirium at the University of Miami to help investigate the death. [LINK]
Ah, that'll be Dr. Mash et al.
Some too-close connections have been uncovered between Taser International, via their sometimes-lawyer / sometimes ICD "expert" Mr. Micheal Brave, and Dr. "Excited Delirium" Mash at the University of Miami. If anyone is interested in these ethically-questionable Taser Internation-to-UoM connections, then review the following posts:
Tuesday, April 7, 2009 - Be Brave and Mash yer brain [LINK]
Saturday, April 18, 2009 - The University of Miami connection to Taser International [LINK]
These sorts of connections do little to enhance the on-stand credibility of Taser International's own bought-and-paid-for "experts", and the "external" "experts" at the UoM.