An Ottawa County Sheriff's undersheriff used a stun gun on a 91-year-old man with Alzheimer's in March in Minneapolis, Kansas, because the senior was allegedly violent, but a newly-released police body camera video (below) appears to contradict that claim by law enforcement.
The video shows the elderly man refusing to get into a van at nursing home. The senior moves his hands about in a resisting manner, and then he walks away, which is when the undersheriff gets the man in the back with the stun gun.
The elderly man was then handcuffed, which his family said broke his wrist. He died only two months later, and his family believes the electrocution weapon hastened his death.
The senior was tased and handcuffed because he refused to go to a medical appointment.
The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office has been investigating the incident for nine months, almost as long the Warren Commission spent investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The Ottawa County Sheriff told KWCH that he believes his investigation is almost complete, but said he still needs to do some re-checking.
Joe Schillaci, a former law enforcement officer, said the undersheriff gave the man verbal warnings before using the weapon on him.
The Alzheimer's Association website explains that people with the disease can become easily confused:
In the later stages of the disease, a person with Alzheimer's may not remember familiar people, places or things. Situations involving memory loss and confusion are extremely difficult for caregivers and families, and require much patience and understanding.
Schillaci suggested the stun gun was a better alternative than physically detaining the man, and noted how one officer guided the senior to the floor as he collapsed from the electrical shock.
The Alzheimer's Association makes no mention of using a stun gun on an Alzheimer's patient:
Decrease level of danger. Assess the level of danger — for yourself and the person with Alzheimer's. You can often avoid harm by simply stepping back and standing away from the person. If the person is headed out of the house and onto the street, be more assertive.
Avoid using restraint or force. Unless the situation is serious, avoid physically holding or restraining the person. He or she may become more frustrated and cause personal harm.