Saturday, August 16, 2008

Police investigating whether man died from police Taser

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (WSVN) -- "A South Florida man has died after, witnessed said, police used a Taser on him early Friday morning.

The incident occurred around 3:30 a.m. in the area of Southwest 107th Avenue and 146th Terrace. According to a witness, Kenneth Oliver was under the influence, knocking on people's doors, while screaming for help.

Someone called police to the scene who tried to get the 45-year-old to comply but were unable to. "When the police came, I told them, you know, 'He's under the influence, so you guys should be careful,'" said Paul Severence, a neighbor who witnessed the incident.

According to Severence, police told Oliver to get down and put his hands behind his back. Apparently, Oliver didn't put his hands behind his back quick enough and Severence said he watched police use a Taser three times. "They Tased him three different times. They just kept Tasing him. I told the police, 'You're going to kill that man,' so after they did it a third time, I just walked away," said Severence.

Severence said his friend saw police shock Oliver a fourth time."

It is a strange mechanism, this human body of ours. While back I watched several officers tasering a hobo who thought himself to be somewhat messianic and was ducking in and out of heavy traffic shouting praises to the Lord, his father. He'd take a hit, bark "ouch", shrug off the dangling wires then continue along his merry traipse. They finally had to resort to simply smacking him down and cuffing his wriggling and quite odious self. He didn't seem to be under the influence of anything other than a god-complex, but the bottom line is we really don't know what a good tasering will do to any one individual. This hobo was no youngster, mind you, and didn't really seem to care all that much about sucking up some volts, while others do the herky-jerky then drop dead.

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