Baltimore police launch internal investigation after teen Tased by officers dies at hospital

BALTIMORE - A young man is dead after being Tased by a Baltimore City Police officer.

City police held a news conference Thursday night to release some information.  That did not include the names of the man who died, nor the officers involved.

Police say on May 6, last Tuesday, the man was brought to Good Samaritan Hospital in northeast Baltimore.

He was 19 years old, and a "ward of the state,” which could mean he was living in a group home.

The next day police had to be called to the hospital, because the teen had become, in their words, "combative.”

Police say when the two city police officers arrived at least five security guards were trying to restrain the teen, but they could not.

One of the officers used his Taser, and the teen slipped into a coma.

Then Wednesday, police were notified that the teen died, sparking what is now an internal affairs investigation.

“There was a significant struggle by security members from the hospital to restrain this individual.  This individual was not in our custody; we did not take this individual to the hospital; we merely responded to the request of the hospital for assistance,” said Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez of the Baltimore City Police Department.

Debra Schindler, a spokeswoman for Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital, released a statement, which reads in part: "While information about the patient and the patient's treatment are protected by federal patient privacy laws, there are sometimes circumstances that threaten the safety of our staff, which necessitate police intervention."

She said further information would have to come from police.

Police did say the man who died had also received unknown amounts of medications before he was Tased.

The police department's Office of Internal Oversight will conduct its investigation then turn over the findings to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's office.

“The person was breathing on his own when the officers left that day,” Rodriguez said. “It was not learned, and this very preliminary, that the individual was in a coma and possibly brain dead until several days after this incident. That’s when we were notified.”

“As we stated earlier, there were two primary officers that responded, one of which deployed the Tasers,” Rodriguez continued. “A unit from my office, The Office of Internal Oversight, will be conducting a thorough criminal and administrative investigation. We are in the process now of gathering all the information and interviewing all of the witnesses that were there.”





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