Two Officers Face Murder Charges After Using Taser On A Man More Than 50 Times
Two Oklahoma police officers have been charged with second-degree murder after they used Tasers more than 50 times on a man who later died, court records show.
The incident took place on July 4 last year, when Wilson police officers Joshua Taylor, 25, and Brandon Dingman, 34, responded to a call about 28-year-old Jared Lakey, who was said to be ‘acting in a disorderly way.’
Taylor and Dingman arrived at the scene but Lakey allegedly would not comply with their commands, so they got out their Tasers and used them a combined total of more than 50 times.
Spencer Bryan, a lawyer for Lakey’s parents, said both officers initially claimed they only used Tasers on Lakey four times, The New York Times reports, though Taylor’s body camera caught the scene on camera.
A Carter County deputy sheriff eventually responded to the scene and helped take Lakey into custody. Not long after, he stopped breathing and became unresponsive.
Lakey was taken to a hospital in Healdton before being transferred to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where he died on July 6, 2019.
Almost a year later, on Wednesday this week, the district attorney’s office issued arrest warrants for the two officers. They turned themselves in on Thursday, July 2, and were booked on one count each of second-degree murder.
According to court records cited by The New York Times, the officers’ use of Tasers ‘greatly exceeded what would have been necessary or warranted by the attendant circumstances.’ The ‘dangerous and unnecessary tasing’ was also said to be a ‘substantial factor’ in bringing about Lakey’s death.
Both Taylor and Dingman were released on $250,000 bonds, though if convicted they could face 10 years to life in prison.
Ryan Hunnicutt, who was listed in court records as the lawyer for both Dingman and Taylor, responded to the charges, saying:
The death of Mr. Lakey saddens us all. We are confident that the legal system will provide an opportunity for all the facts to be known and look forward to our day in court.
Bryan, who was able to view Taylor’s body camera footage, said the charges were appropriate given what the video showed.
I have never seen a more disturbing video. After watching it, I cannot understand how the city allowed officers who exhibited such gross recklessness, resulting in a man’s death, to continue working. We have great confidence the evidence supports the charges.
The Lakey family has filed a public records lawsuit and a federal civil rights lawsuit in connection with the 28-year-old’s death, though both lawsuits are pending.
Through the public records lawsuit, filed in September, Lakey’s mother is seeking body camera footage, witness statements, photographs and police radio logs. The lawsuit states Lakey’s body was riddled with Taser probes, and says medical providers told the family Lakey died from multiple heart attacks.
It also states that radio logs from just before midnight on July 4, 2019, around the time Lakey was shocked with the Tasers, documented a single report of a man ‘screaming and running down the road’, and that there was no indication Lakey had committed a serious offence or threatened Taylor or Dingman.
It is not clear if the two officers are still serving on the police force in the wake of their charges.
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