Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. have repeatedly insisted that Tasers are a non-lethal weapon, but the body count of Americans killed by police using Tasers continues to pile up.
A 19-year-old hospital patient was tased and killed by Baltimore City Police earlier this month at the Good Samaritan Hospital (video below).
According to the Baltimore Sun, the teen was a "ward of the state" and was taken to the hospital on May 6 for emotional problems, but got into an altercation with hospital security staff on May 7.
“When [police officers] arrived, there was at least five security guards who were engaged in a physical altercation with this 19-year-old attempting to restrain him,” Lt. Eric Kowalczyk, of the Baltimore City Police, told CBS Baltimore.
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According to police, the teen patient was given an unknown amount of medication before officers arrived.
“The person was breathing when the officers left the hospital,” added Baltimore City Police Dep. Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez, “It was not learned that the individual was in a coma and was possibly brain dead until several days after this incident.”
For reasons unknown, the Baltimore Police refuse to say if the teen patient was tased multiple times or for how long.
“There are sometimes circumstances that threaten the safety of our staff, which necessitate police intervention,” said the Good Samaritan Hospital.
The teen was reportedly taken to the hospital from a foster home or group home that he was staying at.
Baltimore City Police are conducting an investigation of the tasing incident by their own officers.
Sources: CBS Baltimore and Baltimore Sun