Michigan State Polce Investigate 15yr old Taser Death


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State police probe Taser death of 15-year-old


BAY CITY — State police are investigating the death of a 15-year-old who was Tasered by Bay City police officers who were trying to break up a fight.

The Bay City Times identifies the victim as Brett Elder.

A Bay City police news release says officers answered a report of a fight about 3:40 a.m. Sunday. The statement says two males were arguing in an apartment, and one of them “attempted to fight the officers.”

Bay City police say officers Tasered him, and his reaction led them to immediately call for emergency medical help. He was pronounced dead at Bay Regional Medical Center.

Deputy Chief Thomas Pletzke tells WNEM-TV police placed one officer on administrative leave.

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This report leaves more questions than answers.

I guess it time for them to be catorgorized from ''less than lethal'' to ''less likely to be lethal''.

i feel sorry for that kids family.
I'd like to hear the "official findings" of the investigation before placing blame on the Taser. For all we know the youth could have been high on drugs, have some contributing medical condition, etc.

I've been on the receiving end of the Taser many times. It hurts, but doesn't last very long. The only "long lasting" effect of the Taser was the two marks made by the probes. Found that out on my last recert. Not very "painful", more "irritating" than actual pain.


I took a quick look around for an update to this, but did not see much more. Don't know........... I have a feeling that GF is pretty close to the truth...
Thanks FN... There was a quote in the story that I question...
~"They could have subdued him without handcuffs, but they handcuffed him and then Tasered him." ~
It sounds like the "family and friends" want to try this in the media. The comments to the story is full of hate and blame. I feel for the LEO's here. Now they have to face the legal Ramifications and expenses, let alone all the second guessing on what went wrong. If the apartment renters were letting the young guy drink in their apartment, they maybe facing charges for allowing the minors to drink as well.
Amnesty International: Death shows Taser's risks

Amnesty International: Death shows Taser's risks


Amnesty International criticized police in Michigan today for using a Taser to subdue a 15-year-old boy who died shortly afterward, saying it illustrates the dangers of the electroshock weapon.

Bay City police said an officer used a Taser on Brett Elder on Sunday because he tried to fight with them. The teen would have turned 16 today.

An autopsy was conducted on Monday, but a cause of death has not yet been determined, said Lt. John Card, commander of the state police's Bay City post. He said the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The London office of Amnesty International, an outspoken critic of Tasers, issued a statement today saying the death "reinforces the need for greater caution" before Tasers are distributed more widely.

"Tasers should only be used in life-threatening situations, and this doesn't appear to be such an instance," said Oliver Sprague, director of Amnesty International's arms program in Britain. "Surely another form of restraint could have been applied in this case."

A spokesman for Taser International, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., said Amnesty was "inappropriately jumping to conclusions" about the teen's death.

"The Taser itself has saved thousands of lives, and medical science has shown it to be the safer alternative compared to any other tool on an officer's belt today," said spokesman Steve Tuttle.

"We stand behind the safety of our Taser devices, and medical science supports this stance, especially in terms of human testing," Tuttle said.

Bay City police turned the case over to Michigan State Police for investigation. The department also placed one officer on administrative leave while it conducts an internal probe of whether its rules were followed.

Amnesty International said it was the second death of a minor after Taser use this year in the U.S. and one of 351 deaths after use of a Taser in the U.S. since June 2001. Tuttle said the Taser has been exonerated as a cause or contributing factor in the vast majority of deaths.

City police Chief Michael Cecchini defended his officers' actions at a news conference today. He said officers were trying to settle a verbal dispute between Elder and a man, and the officers acted when the youth became unruly and took a "fighting stance" against them.

The officers handcuffed Elder but saw he was having a medical problem and gave assistance while calling an emergency medical crew.

His father, Eugene Elder, told The Bay City Times that while his son was unruly, police shouldn't have used the Taser on him. "There's no reason to kill my boy," he said.

Associated Press Writer Ben Leubsdorf contributed to this report.

Still too early to pass judgement on this... But it gave AI a good reason to beat their chest...
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