Another Death Prompts Another Call for Taser Regulation

Another person has died after being Tasered by police in Connecticut, bringing the number to at least 14 and prompting another call for statewide regulations of how police use electronic weapons.

José Maldonado, 22, of Manchester died Sunday, shortly after East Hartford police Tasered him while he was being booked at the East Hartford police station, according to a news release from the Connecticut State Police. As is usual in such cases, the state police are investigating.

“When the state police investigation is completed, we should know more about how and why a Taser was deployed against a suspect who was already in custody,” said David McGuire, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. “Meanwhile, the legislature needs to pass clear, consistent guidelines for Taser training and deployment, along with reporting requirements, in order to minimize the risk to civilians.”

A 2012 study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation found that Tasers can cause “ventricular arrhythmias, sudden cardiac arrest and even death.” In 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice warned that many deaths after Taser exposure were “associated with continuous or repeated shocks.” The same report advised against administering shocks to people who are handcuffed or otherwise restrained, and warned of particular risk in relation to “[a]bnormal mental status in a combative or resistive subject. “

The research has prompted other states and jurisdictions to restrict the use of Tasers by police, including their use for pain compliance.

Deaths After Taser Shocks in Connecticut

Year Name

Age

Police Department
2005 Miguel Serrano

35

New Britain
2006 Jesus Negron

39

New Britain
2006 Nicholas Brown

24

Milford
2007 David Mills

26

Hamden
2008 Donovan T. Graham

35

Meriden
2009 Stephen Palmer

47

Stamford
2010 Efrain Carrion

35

Middletown
2010 Anibal Rosario Rodriguez

61

New Britain
2011 Marcus G. Brown

26

Waterbury
2011 Ronald Cristiano Jr.

51

Bridgeport
2012 Angel Hiraldo

48

Meriden
2013 Noel Mendoza

43

Meriden
2013 Seth Victor

40

New Britain
2014 José Maldonado

22

East Hartford