The sudden death of a 22-year-old Hempstead man, Terrelle Houston, in June was ruled a homicide caused by an enlarged heart, drug intoxication and three jolts from a Taser, an autopsy report concluded after a three-month probe.[LINK]
Only one of those three factors fits the definition of homicide: the taser.
If Mr. Houston was taking drugs, then it's not likely that that day was the first time he ever took drugs. And unless someone jammed the drugs into him, then they have nothing to do with it being a homicide.
If Mr. Houston had an enlarged heart, he probably had the enlarged heart for months or years. And it's not a homicide by way of an enlarged heart.
He was tasered, had "difficulty breathing" (sound familar?), and died.
After Houston was zapped three times by the Taser, he appeared to gasp for breath, and CPR was administered by an officer and EMS employees. He later died...
Do you think that Taser International will come right out and state that tasers, when used on people that may be under the influence of drugs, have an unacceptable risk of death ?
Do you think that Taser International will come right out and explain why tasers, that they have repeatedly claimed have no effect on the heart, somehow find the weaknesses in anyone's heart - weaknesses not otherwise not known until post-taser, postmortem?
So the ruling's wording defies logic. If it's a homicide, then it was caused by the taser. The other elements (drugs, heart condition) can be listed as contributing factors. But it's the taser that killed him; on that day, at that time.