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Inmate Dies In County Jail Tuesday After Being Tased

58-year-old suspect was tasered and later found dead in his cell. Thanks to photographer Craig Cannon for the picture.

A 58-year-old man, who was tased by Contra Costa Sheriff's deputies Tuesday afternoon for being uncooperative, was later found dead in a holding cell at county jail in Martinez. 

According to Sheriff's Department spokesman Jimmy Lee, the inmate was brought to the jail from Pinole Tuesday morning. He was in the intake area of the jail around 12:30 p.m. when he became "physically combative." He was escorted to a holding cell, where he continued to be uncooperative, Lee said. A deputy then used his taser on the inmate, who was moved to a safety cell and checked by medical staff. 

When deputies checked on the man around 2:30, Lee said, he was found to be unresponsive. Medical personnel were called in and CPR was applied. He was taken to county hospital in Martinez, where he was pronounced dead. 

Lee said the Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's office are investigating the incident. The jail was on lockdown all afternoon, but that has since been lifted. The intake area, which was also closed, has been reopened. 

Leslie Ries November 02, 2012 at 02:10 PM
The law says you must cooperate - if a person is physically combative he could harm other inmates or the police. I want protection for the police and if they need to use force to protect themselves and others than so be it. If someone is suspected of breaking the law they need to be a civilized human being and go through the legal process and exercise their rights through that system.
gwen monroe November 02, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Police officers are not supposed to make judgement calls regarding a person's guilt or innocence. They are entrusted to apprehend, and take into custody people who are accused, or are suspected of committing a crime. Thay have the right to detain anybody for up to 72 hours, even without chraging that person of a crime, this includes witnesses, as well as suspects, and people who are ultimately found not guilty of any crime.. I can understand an officer in the field's use of tazers, and firearms. But before a person even enters the county jail, he has been searched, and stripped of any and all personal items. So he, (or she), has no weapons. And there are other options, there are solitary holding cells, restraints. Once a person has been taken into custody, they are confined, out-numbered, and have no physical,(or otherwise)recourse or defense. I guess I was hoping that the rampant abuse of power shown by police using excessive force all around this country, that we all keep seeing and hearing about in the media would not touch the law enforcement professionals in my hometown, but sadly, we are not immune. By sheer definition, that man was in "custody" of the County jail. His health and welfare at this point are completely the responsibility of the on-duty officers working in the in-take portion of the jail. And his treatment is a direct result of their actions, or lack thereof.
gwen monroe November 02, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Every one of those officers that were on-duty at the time are responsible for his death. And that man is someone's brother, father, son or neighbor...someone just like you, and just like me.
Olen Stilwell Jr. November 02, 2012 at 11:16 PM
i feel that if i am expected to follow rules the so should everybody else or there would be caos. the police are as human as you and i so the too have to follow the rules
Dan November 30, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Deputies routinely harass inmates and taunt them. They have a special area where they beat them and wash the blood down the drain. Being found dead in a cell is a law enforcement axiom for having beaten an inmate to death. The Sheriff has a long law enforcement history of heavy handed enforcement. The D.A. winks at these law enforcement killings with law enforcement always saying "they resisted". This definition of resisting by law enforcement is used when an inmate has been hand cuffed and beaten on the floor. These officers murdered this man and they are lying about it. He could not get medical attention because they had already killed him.

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