CSAO: Report of the Waterbury State’s Attorney Concerning the Death of Matthew Russo on August 7, 2015 in the City of Hartford

Report of the Waterbury State’s Attorney Concerning the Death of Matthew Russo on August 7, 2015 in the City of Hartford[1]

Legal Authority for the Report | Factual Findings| Medical Findings | The Investigation | Legal Analysis | Conclusion | Appendix A | Appendix B | Footnotes

1. Legal Authority for the Report

Connecticut General Statute 51-277a provides in part that whenever a peace officer in the performance of his or her duties uses deadly physical force against a person and such person dies as a result of such force, the Division of Criminal Justice shall cause an investigation to be conducted into whether or not the use of such force was authorized under Connecticut General Statute 53a-22. Until early 2015, the policy of the Division was less clear when it came to the death of an individual caused by the use of non-deadly force used by a peace official.[2] However, recognizing the need for public transparency and the importance of avoiding the appearance of impropriety, in March 2015, at a meeting of the State’s Attorneys, the following policy was unanimously adopted:

It is the policy of the Division of Criminal Justice that police departments shall immediately notify the State’s Attorney of the judicial district in which any death that occurs to a person in police custody or that appears to have resulted from the actions of a police officer.

It is further the policy of the Division of Criminal Justice that the Division will investigate any death that is determined to have been caused by a police officer’s use of force. In such cases, the State’s Attorney’s Office in the judicial district in which the death occurred may respond to the scene and may provide immediate assistance to the investigating agency. Within a reasonable time thereafter, however, the Chief State’s Attorney shall assign a State’s Attorney from a judicial district other than the one in which the death occurred to supervise the investigation and to determine whether criminal charges shall be pursued.

This Policy has since been enacted into law in Public Act 15-4 of the Connecticut General Statutes, in the June 2015 Special Session.

Pursuant to this policy, on August 9, 2016, Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane referred this matter to the State’s Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of Waterbury for an investigation and the issuance of a report regarding Mr. Russo’s death on August 7, 2015.

2. Factual Findings

The following factual findings were obtained through an investigation conducted by the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad and an analysis of the Hartford Police dispatch transmissions. Matthew Russo was a twenty-six year old male who resided with his parents at 38 Kelsey Street, Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Russo has been described as a morbidly obese individual who weighed 499 pounds at the time of his death with a Body Mass Index of 67.7. He also suffered from asthma, various mental health issues, and had suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident in 2009.

On August 7, 2015, at approximately 1800 hours, Beverly Carella, Mr. Russo’s mother, called the Capitol Region Mental Mobile Crisis Team (MCT) to report that Mr. Russo needed medical attention for treatment of his legs and feet which had become very red and very swollen. Ms. Carella stated that her son had refused to go to the hospital for medical treatment. Ms. Carella further stated that her son had been suffering from depression and had been hearing voices.

The MCT asked for the assistance of the Hartford Police Department in responding to the Russo home. Approximately thirty-three minutes later, Hartford Police Officers Anthony Buccheri, Michael Jobes, and Corey Daugherty were dispatched to assist the MCT. The officers had been apprised of the nature of the call. When they arrived about fifteen minutes later, Hervey Russo, Matthew Russo’s father, met the officers outside of the home. Upon seeing the police outside and learning that there were social workers waiting to see him, Matthew replied that he was not going to the hospital and went upstairs locking himself in his room. Hervey Russo let the three officers and two MCT social workers into the house. The three officers went upstairs to speak with Matthew leaving the two social workers downstairs in the kitchen. The police officers talked to Mr. Russo through his closed bedroom door and attempted to convince him to come downstairs and speak with the social workers.

After approximately fifteen minutes of urging by the officers, Mr. Russo agreed and walked downstairs. When interviewed by the social workers, Matthew appeared confused and paranoid and was unable to answer simple questions about the day, month, or season. His legs and feet were visually swollen and red. Mr. Russo became increasingly agitated, told the social worker to “get the fuck out of my house” and exclaimed, “I’m being kidnapped.” An MCT social worker also observed that Matthew was yelling and swearing. Concerned about Matthew Russo’s grossly impaired insight and judgment and level of agitation, the social worker asked the police officers present to call for an ambulance, and issued an emergency commitment certificate order to allow Mr. Russo to be transported to the hospital for further evaluation.

According to the dispatch summary, an ambulance was requested at 20:58 hours to assist in transporting Mr. Russo for evaluation. In response to this request, paramedics Jennifer Pasquale and Michael Glazier arrived at the Russo home at 21:08 hours. Officer Daugherty, concerned about Matthew Russo’s large size and increasingly agitated mental state, requested additional assistance. In response to this request, Officer Alexis Oquendo arrived at the residence at approximately 21:17 hours. After Oquendo’s arrival, Officer Buccheri approached Mr. Russo who was sitting in the kitchen, and asked him to walk to the ambulance. Buccheri told Mr. Russo that they were concerned about his well-being and medical condition, and thought that he should be evaluated at the hospital. Mr. Russo became angry and refused to comply with the officer’s request. Buccheri then placed his left hand behind Mr. Russo’s shoulder in an effort to guide Mr. Russo to the door. This act seemed to enrage Mr. Russo who stood up and began to swing his arms violently as he attempted to push the officers away. The officers then attempted to control Mr. Russo by pushing him against the wall of the small kitchen.

When Russo refused to calm down or comply with the officer’s commands, Officer Daugherty warned Mr. Russo that he would taser him if he failed to calm down. When Mr. Russo still refused to comply, Officer Daugherty placed his department issued TASER on Mr. Russo’s abdomen and deployed the TASER for approximately five seconds in the “drive stun” mode.[3] Although Mr. Russo reacted to the pain of the TASER, it was ineffective in getting him to comply with the officer’s request. Mr. Russo then pushed Officer Oquendo into the refrigerator injuring Oquendo’s back. Daugherty again urged Mr. Russo to stop fighting. When Mr. Russo again refused, Officer Daugherty again warned him that he would deploy his TASER again if he failed to comply with the officer’s request. When Mr. Russo refused, Daugherty deployed his TASER in the drive- stun mode for approximately four seconds.

In light of the escalating situation, the Hartford police officers on scene requested the assistance of additional officers. At this point, the officers and both paramedics were in the kitchen during this struggle and attempted to bring Mr. Russo under control. Mr. Russo continued to fight with the officers and slammed them against the refrigerator causing both the officers and Mr. Russo to fall to the ground and injuring Officer Buccheri in the process. When Mr. Russo continued to struggle, Daugherty again warned Mr. Russo that he must stop fighting with the officers or he would be tasered again. When Mr. Russo refused, Daugherty applied the TASER in the drive stun mode to Mr. Russo’s back for a third time for approximately five seconds. A fourth application of the TASER in the drive-stun mode by Officer Daugherty also failed to subdue Mr. Russo.

In an attempt to gain control of the struggling Mr. Russo, Officer Buccheri then positioned himself on top of Mr. Russo’s back and used his body weight in an attempt to keep Mr. Russo from thrashing about and injuring himself or others. Mr. Russo continued to struggle as the officers attempted to handcuff him. EMT Glazier also intervened and attempted to assist the officers to prevent injury to Mr. Russo by placing his hand upon Mr. Russo’s head. Paramedic Pasquale then injected Mr. Russo with a dose of VERSED or MIDAZOLAM to sedate him. This injection did not appear to have the desired effect upon the agitated Mr. Russo. During this struggle, additional officers arrived. Eventually, approximately nine members of the Hartford Police Department were involved to some extent in attempting to subdue and handcuff Mr. Russo.

At approximately 21:23:33 hours, a Hartford police officer radioed that the on-scene officers had Mr. Russo under control. At 21:24:31 hours, an officer transmitted, “He’s in cuffs, we’re good.” As soon as Mr. Russo stopped struggling, the officers turned him on his right side, and then over on to his back. Officer Buccheri then reported that Mr. Russo’s face appeared blue and that it appeared that he was not breathing. Officer Buccheri then removed the handcuffs on Mr. Russo’s wrists, and he, and Officer Jobes, began assisting medical personnel in providing medical treatment to Mr. Russo. Officer Jobes assisted with chest compressions and CPR was initiated. Officer Rosario also assisted in applying chest compressions, and Buccheri aided in applying an oxygen mask to Mr. Russo’s face. At 21:28:44 hours, Officer Oquendo notified dispatch that Mr. Russo was unresponsive and asked for additional assistance. A request was then made to the Hartford Fire Department for a “stokes basket” to aid in transporting Mr. Russo to the hospital. This specialized piece of equipment was needed due to Mr. Russo’s large frame. At approximately 21:46 hours, the Hartford Fire Department arrived on scene and succeeded in getting Mr. Russo into the ambulance to be transported to Hartford Hospital. [4] Resuscitation attempts at the hospital were unsuccessful, and Mr. Russo was pronounced deceased at 23:19 hours.

Three Hartford police officers were injured as a result of this incident. Officer Buccheri was transported to Hartford Hospital and was diagnosed with a strain to his lower back, left shoulder, and left arm. Officer Oquendo was transported to Hartford Hospital and was diagnosed with a lower back strain. Officer Jobes complained of an injury to his left knee and scrape on his right hand, but declined medical treatment.

3. Medical Findings

An autopsy was performed on Mr. Russo on August 9, 2015, by Maura DeJoseph, D.O., Deputy Chief Medical Examiner. Her examination revealed numerous abrasions and evidence of blunt impact injuries to Mr. Russo consistent with the struggle described above, including a ¼ inch abrasion of his right ear, two small abrasions to his fingers, abrasions to his wrists, and two superficial abrasions near his elbow. No broken bones were observed with the exception of several ribs that which determined to have been broken through resuscitation efforts. A subsequent examination of the brain by Dean Uphoff, M.D. revealed no pathological findings. Dr. DeJoseph, in a report dated August 9, 2015, listed Mr. Russo’s manner of death as “Homicide” and found the cause of death to be “Cardiac Arrest during physical struggle with prone positioning and chest compression with other contributory conditions such as Cardiac Hypertrophy due to morbid obesity.” In a subsequent discussion with Dr. DeJoseph conducted in preparation of this report, she revealed that the TASER deployments were not the cause of Mr. Russo’s death, due in part, to the fact that the probes were never deployed. She also found that the medication administered to Mr. Russo by the paramedic during the struggle also played no part in Mr. Russo’s death, since there would not have been sufficient time for the drug to be absorbed into his blood stream.

4. The Investigation

Pursuant to Connecticut Public Act 15-14, the investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Russo was assigned to the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad (WDMC). On August 9, 2015, Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane assigned this matter to the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Waterbury for investigation and an analysis regarding the legality of use of force by the Hartford police officers involved.

Detectives from the WDMC Squad arrived at the Russo residence at approximately 03:08 hours on August 8, 2015. As part of their investigation, they processed the scene for approximately three and one half hours, took numerous photos and seized items of evidentiary value including the TASER and syringe used by the paramedic on Mr. Russo. A WDMC detective was also dispatched to Hartford Hospital to take photos of Mr. Russo’s body and attend the autopsy on August 9, 2015. Numerous interviews were conducted of witnesses, including the two CMT social workers, the EMTs, and both of Mr. Russo’s parents. Search and Seizure warrants were obtained and executed for Hartford Hospital medical records, Aetna Ambulance records, and CMT records relative to this incident. Hartford Fire Department and police dispatch records and audios were obtained and analyzed, as were the training records of the officers involved. Although members of the Hartford Police Department, consistent with their union’s policy, did not give formal statements regarding this incident, they did generate reports describing the matter, which were also obtained by the WDMC detectives.

The TASER used by Officer Daugherty was transported to the CSP and its data downloaded. An analysis revealed that the TASER had been deployed four times on the evening in question:

21:20:01: five second trigger pull

21:20:05: four second trigger pull

21:21:14: five second trigger pull

21:21:19: four second trigger pull

Each deployment was done in the “drive” mode meaning without the use of the probes, a method of deployment that is considered less likely to produce a serious reaction.[5]

Of particular importance to this investigation, are the statements of several non-law enforcement witnesses. One CRMHC worker reported that she was extremely impressed with the actions of the police officers throughout the evaluation and events of the evening. She stated that the police officers remained completely professional and compassionate towards Mr. Russo and his family. She stated that they spoke in a gentle, yet encouraging manner with Mr. Russo in an effort to gain his trust, and that the officers made every effort to encourage him to cooperate even when it was a risk to their own safety. The other social worker on scene, reported that the police encouraged Mr. Russo to go to the hospital in a “polite and professional manner “ and that when the police attempted to assist him, Mr. Russo became “aggressive…pushing the police.”

EMT Jennifer Pasquale was also a witness to the struggle with Mr. Russo. She reported that Mr. Russo could “not be reasoned with…postured up and became aggressive,” and took a “fighting stance.” She stated that the officers attempted in vain to reason with Mr. Russo, and told him several times to stop resisting. She stated that even after he was on the kitchen floor, and being held down by several officers, Mr. Russo continued to struggle and tried to free himself. EMT Michael Glazier reported that Mr. Russo was acting aggressively towards the officers, and that he repeatedly attempted to push the officers away. Glazier stated that Russo refused to listen to the officer’s numerous requests that he cooperate even after the TASER was used and after he was on the ground and restrained. Both Glazier and Pasquale reported that after Mr. Russo stopped struggling, the officers turned him over and then observed that he appeared to be blue and not breathing.

5. Legal Analysis

Connecticut General Statute Section 53a-22 sets forth the circumstances under which a peace officer may employ force in the performance of his or her duties.[6] A peace officer is justified in using physical force to effectuate an arrest or prevent an escape, or to defend himself/herself or others from the imminent use of force. A peace officer is permitted to use deadly force in the performance of his/her duties if he/she has a reasonable belief that such force is necessary to defend himself/herself from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force, or to effect a felony arrest which involves the use or threatened use of serious physical force.

In State v. Smith, 273 Conn 173, 185, the Connecticut Supreme Court announced a standard to be used in determining if an officer’s use of force was justified and reasonable. In making this determination, the Court held that one must look at both the “subjective” and “objective” reasonableness of the officer’s conduct. Using this two-step analysis, one must look first at whether or not (1) the officer subjectively expected that the force used would cause death or serious injury, and then (2) whether or not the officer’s expectation was objectively reasonable.

The Hartford Police Department has enacted a policy on the use of non-lethal force. (See Appendix A.) Members of the Hartford Police Department used two different forms of force in an effort to restrain Mr. Russo. Each use of force must be analyzed separately.

a. Use of Physical Restraint

In the present case, the Hartford police officers in question clearly used non-deadly force in attempting to restrain Mr. Russo on the floor so that he would not injure himself or others. Mr. Russo was creating a risk of injury not only to himself, but had already injured three of the officers. The restraint used appears to be the minimum amount necessary to prevent the struggling Mr. Russo from injuring himself or others. The use of such force was, thus, both justified and reasonable. Given this conclusion, a detailed analysis of whether or not the use of such force was the proximate cause of his death will not be conducted here.

b. Use of the TASER

Connecticut General Statute Section 53a-3 defines an "electronic defense weapon" as a “weapon which by electronic impulse or current is capable of immobilizing a person temporarily, but is not capable of inflicting death or serious physical injury.” The TASER utilized by Officer Daugherty was an X26 Advanced Taser ®System which is defined as:

An “electronic control device” that uses compressed air propelled wires and probes to transmit energy to a remote target, thereby controlling and affecting the central nervous system of the body. The X26 Advanced TASER® system is a specific electronic control device, manufactured by TASER® International, Inc. X26 Advanced TASER® system fires two probes up to a distance of 21 feet from a replaceable Advanced TASER® cartridge. The cartridge attaches to the muzzle end of an Advanced TASER® device, is sighted by a built in laser, and is fired by a trigger. The probes are connected to the device by a high-voltage insulated wire. When the probes make contact with the target, the X26 transmits electrical pulses along the wires and into the body of the target through up to two inches of clothing. The X26 Advanced TASER® uses this electrical output to cause “neuromuscular incapacitation” to the body. This electrical output temporarily causes an uncontrollable contraction of the muscle tissue.” (Source: CT State Police Administration & Operations Manual (5th Edition), Section 13.4)

Thus, it can be determined the TASER employed by Officer Daugherty is an electronic defense weapon under our law. The Hartford Police Department has adopted a policy regarding the use of TASERs. (See Appendix B.)

Thus, the first analysis must be whether Officer Daugherty subjectively and reasonably believed that the use of the TASER on the evening in question would cause death or serious physical injury to Mr. Russo. As noted earlier, the Hartford Police Department has a policy that specifically states that the use of a TASER is considered to be non-lethal force. The Connecticut State Police have a similar policy. Officer Daugherty was current with both his certifications and training. Although he was undoubtedly aware that the use of his Taser in the drive mode would ultimately result in a temporary, but painful sensation to Mr. Russo, Officer Daugherty cannot be said to have subjectively believed that the use of such a device would result in serious bodily injury to Mr. Russo based upon his training, experience, and departmental policies.

Using the next step of the Smith test, it must now be determined if Officer Daugherty ’s belief was objectively reasonable. In 2011, the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Program, issued an extensive report regarding deaths that followed the use of “conducted energy devices” such as the TASER used in this case.[7] In this study it was concluded that “there is no conclusive medical evidence within the state of current research that indicates a high risk of serious injury or death from the direct or indirect cardiovascular or metabolic effects of short-term (conducted energy device) exposure in healthy, normal non-stressed, non-intoxicated persons.” In this report that studied 962 TASER uses over a two year time frame, it was determined that 99.7% of individuals who were tasered sustained no or very mild injuries. In fact, the author concluded that,

People rarely die after being pepper sprayed or shocked with a TASER. However, if injury reduction is the primary goal, agencies that allow use of these less-lethal weapons are clearly at an advantage. Both weapons prevent or minimize the physical struggles that are likely to injure officers and suspects alike. Although both cause pain, they reduce injuries, and according to current medical research, death or serious harm associated with their use is rare. In that sense, both are safe and similarly effective at reducing injuries. Both should be allowed as possible responses to defensive or higher levels of suspect resistance. This recommendation is supported by the findings and is now followed by most agencies that responded to the national survey.[8]

Likewise in 2012, in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, the author studied 1,201 TASER deployments and found that not a single one had resulted in immediate and fatal heart dysrhythmias.[9] In yet another article, James R. Roberts, M.D. stated, “Although the jolt of a TASER is an electrical insult to the body, the evidence shows that it is relatively harmless.”[10]

Perhaps most importantly, a TASER such as the one used by Officer Daugherty is not defined as a “dangerous weapon” or its deployment as the use of “deadly force in Connecticut.”[11] Connecticut General Statute 53a-3(20) states, “Electronic defense weapon means a weapon which by electronic impulse of current is capable of immobilizing a person temporarily, but is not capable of inflicting death or serious bodily injury, including a stun gun or other conductive energy device.” Because of this law, applicable research and police training standards, the use of a taser by a law enforcement officer has never been determined to be the use of deadly force in Connecticut.[12] In this present case, the officer used his TASER in the stun-drive mode even further reducing the risk of its application. Accordingly, it has been established that Officer Daugherty’s belief that the use of the TASER would not result in serious physical injury to Mr. Daugherty was objectively reasonable as well.

Since the use of the TASER by Officer Daugherty did not constitute deadly force under Connecticut law, it must now be determined if his conduct falls within the permissible parameters of Connecticut General Statute Section 53a-22(b). Clearly, the use of a TASER constitutes force under this part of the statute. Peace officers are permitted to use force in order to effectuate an arrest or to prevent an escape, or to prevent the threat of physical force to the officer or a third party. In the present case, Mr. Russo was in a mentally disturbed state and acting in an aggressive manner fighting with the responding officers. He also did not appear to be greatly affected by the deployments, and continued to struggle after the last TASER use.

Mr. Russo was clearly acting in a manner likely to injure himself and others. Thus, the use of the TASER by Officer Daugherty is also determined to be the justifiable use of non-deadly force. Given the conclusion of Dr. DeJoseph that the deployments did not factor into Mr. Russo’s death, such force, although justified, is also found not to be the proximate cause of Mr. Russo’s death.

Conclusion

Matthew Russo tragically died on August 7, 2015, after an incident involving several Hartford Police officers. All officers acted in conformance with Hartford Police Department Procedures and Policies and Connecticut law in employing non-deadly force in subduing Mr. Russo. The use of such force was both reasonable and justified under the circumstances. Although not formally named, I have reviewed the conduct of all officers present, and have determined that the use of force, if any, by each of them, was appropriate and in accordance with Connecticut General Statute 53a-22.

For the foregoing reasons, the Division of Criminal Justice will take no further action with respect to the use of force in this case.

Respectfully Submitted,

Maureen T. Platt
State’s Attorney
Judicial District of Waterbury
July 7, 2016



APPENDIX A - Hartford Police Department General Order 7-27: Use of Less Lethal Force (PDF Format - Size 648K)

APPENDIX B - Hartford Police Department General Order 1-24: Tasers/Electronic Control Devices(PDF Format - Size 784K)

FOOTNOTES

[1] In compiling this report, this office has received invaluable assistance from the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The undersigned wishes to acknowledge the cooperation of the Hartford Police Department. In particular, Western District Major Crime Detective Kyle Bombace must be commended for his exhaustive and professional investigation of this matter.

[2] Although there was no formal policy mandating such investigations, the Division had been issuing such reports as a matter of practice for several years including, “Statement of Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Regarding the Death of Marcus Brown, Waterbury, Connecticut, May 1, 2011,” “Report of the New Britain State’s Attorney Concerning the Death of Seth Victor on September 3, 2013, in the City of New Britain,” and New Haven State’s Attorney’s Report on the “Death of Donovan Graham on June 6, 2008.”

[3] “The TASER has two modes: “probe” and “touch or drive stun.” In the probe mode, the cartridges project, through a set of wires, a pair of barbs (or darts with hooks) that attaches to clothing or penetrates the skin after the TASER is fired, delivering an electrical charge (Association of Chief Police Officers, 2004). When the barbs strike, the electrical current is sent down the wires and through the body between the two barb points. In the touch stun mode, electrical contacts on the TASER are pressed directly onto a person and there is a similar but reduced neuromuscular effect.” James Cronin and Joshua A. Ederheimer, “Conducted Energy Devices: Development of Standards for Consistency and Guidance,” https://www.bja.gov/Publications/CED_Standards.pdf.

[4] Paramedics later reported that the delay in transporting Mr. Russo after the stokes basket was requested was due to communication issues caused when a Hartford Fire official initially refused to allow the truck to respond until the need for the equipment was verified.

[5] In the Drive Stun mode “contact is made by pressing the front of the TASER (cartridge removed) into the body of a subject resisting lawful orders, and activating the TASER. The drive Stun causes significant localized pain in the area touched by the TASER, but does not have a significant effect on the central nervous system. The Drive Stun does not incapacitate a subject, but may assist in taking a subject into custody.” Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Adult Detention Division/Policy and Procedures TASER Civil Grand Jury Case No. 10-17C, 2009-2010, https://www.stanct.org/sites/default/files/reports2009-2010/258-10-17C%20Sheriffs%20Dept.pdf.

[6] “Use of physical force in making an arrest or preventing escape: (a) For purposes of this section, a reasonable belief that a person has committed an offense means a reasonable belief in facts or circumstances which if true would in law constitute an offense. If the believed facts or circumstances would not in law constitute an offense, an erroneous though not unreasonable belief that the law is otherwise does not render justifiable the use of physical force to make an arrest or to prevent an escape from custody. A peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b or an authorized official of the Department of Correction or the Board of Pardons and Paroles who is effecting an arrest pursuant to a warrant or preventing an escape from custody is justified in using the physical force prescribed in subsections (b) and (c) of this section unless such warrant is invalid and is known by such officer to be invalid.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, a peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b or authorized official of the Department of Correction or the Board of Pardons and Paroles is justified in using physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to: (1) Effect an arrest or prevent an escape from custody of a person whom he or she reasonably believes to have committed an offense, unless he or she knows that the arrest or custody is unauthorized; or (2) defend himself or herself or a third person from the use or imminent use of physical force while effecting or attempting to effect an arrest or while preventing or attempting to prevent an escape.

(c) A peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b or authorized official of the Department of Correction or the Board of Pardons and Paroles is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person for the purposes specified in subsection (b) of this section only when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to: (1) Defend himself or herself or a third person from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force; or (2) effect an arrest or prevent the escape from custody or a person whom he or she reasonably believes has committed or attempted to commit a felony which involved the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical injury and if, where feasible, he or she has given warning of his or her intent to use deadly physical force.”

[7] It should be noted that this and the other study cited deal with the use of TASERs with probe deployments, not the less dangerous use of the weapon in the stun or drive mode as was used in this case.

[8] U. S Department of Justice, Eric Holder Attorney General, “Police Use of Force, Tasers and Other Less Lethal Weapons,” https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/232215.pdf, p. 12-14. This study does note an increased risk with multiple Taser deployments and use against certain individuals with mental health issues.

[9] William D. Bozman, M.D., et al., “Transcardiac Conducted Electrical Weapons (Tasers) Probe Deployment: Incidents and Outcomes,” Journal of Emergency Medicine, http://journals.lww.com/em-news/Fulltext/2012/03000/Infocus__ED_Treatment_of_Tasered_Patients.11.aspx. .

[10]http://journals.lww.com/emnews/Fulltext/2012/03000/Infocus__ED_Treatment_of_Tasered_Patients.11.aspx.

[11] See also the report on the “Death of Donovan Graham on June 6, 2008,” Michael Dearington State’s Attorney, Judicial District of New Haven.

[12] “Report of the New Britain State’s Attorney concerning the death of Seth Victor on September 3, 2013,” “Death of Donovan Graham on June 6, 2008,” Michael Dearington, State’s Attorney New Haven Judicial District, “Report of the Waterbury State’s Attorney Concerning the Death of David Werblow on March 15, 2015 in the Town of Branford.”



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