A free thinker in the Heartland...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Man Dies In Police Custody

From the Indianapolis Star:

Indianapolis police homicide detectives are investigating why a suspect died after officers subdued him with chemical spray and a Taser.

Joseph Stockdale, 26, stopped breathing and was rushed to Wishard Memorial Hospital where he died at 9:09 p.m. Wednesday, IPD Major Lloyd Crowe said.
Officers Matthew Churchman and Greg Milburn arrested Stockdale after they were called to a home in the 2900 block North Colorado Ave. on a domestic disturbance about 7:30 p.m.

“When the officers advised Joseph he was under arrest and attempted to place him in handcuffs, he became very combative,” Crowe said in a written statement. “A violent struggle started inside the residence, then moved outside to the front yard. At one point Mr. Stockdale, using a ceramic statue as a weapon, began swinging it in an attempt to strike the officers.”

The officers used chemical spray and a Taser to force Stockdale to comply and put him in handcuffs, Crowe said.

Police called for medics, who treated Stockdale for scrapes and chemical burns then left.

Stockdale stopped breathing while he and police waited for a transport van, Crowe said.

The Marion county coroner’s office has not yet determined the cause of death. An autopsy and toxicology tests are pending, police said.

I know the tazer is a safer way to take suspects in, but I have always been fearful of overuse or abuse by officers. I have seen footage on COPS where cops shock suspects more times than needed, and that is with awareness of being recorded by television! I am all for our police officers (my dad was a cop), but there are some cops that do overreact. The case is being investigated, and if there is any wrongdoing I hope it strengthens our police.