Sunday, 25 Oct 2020

Two Oklahoma police officers charged with murder of man ‘who was tasered 50 times’

Two police officers in the US have been charged with murder after they allegedly tasered a man 50 times before he died.

Joshua Taylor and Brandon Dingman, from the Wilson Police Department in Oklahoma, were charged on Thursday with second-degree murder following the death of 28-year-old Jared Lakey.

In a statement, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) said the officers had responded to a call “that involved Mr Lakey acting in a disorderly way” shortly before midnight on 4 July 2019.

“When Lakey would not comply with commands from the officers, Taylor and Dingman used their Tasers multiple times,” it added.

Court documents said the officers used their stun guns on Mr Lakey more than 50 times “which greatly exceeded what would have been necessary or warranted by the attendant circumstances,” and was a “substantial factor” in his death, according to the Associated Press.

Mr Lakey was taken into custody but stopped breathing and became unresponsive, the OSBI said. He was admitted to hospital and died on 6 July 2019.

The OSBI said it conducted an investigation into the circumstances that led to Mr Lakey’s death and a report was submitted to the district attorney’s office.

Arrest warrants were issued for 25-year-old Taylor and Dingman, 34, on 1 July and both officers turned themselves in to the Carter County Sheriff’s Office.

Both men have been released on bond, which was set at $250,000 (£200,000).

If convicted, each officer faces a punishment of 10 years to life in prison.

The charges against the officers come after widespread protests in the US and around the world in recent weeks following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

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