BALTIMORE - The mother of a young man who died after being tazed by a Baltimore City Police officer is speaking out.
George King, 19, died last week at Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital.
Police have not confirmed how he died, but his mother and her attorney say it was cardiac arrest, claiming his heart stopped, they say, after he was Tased five times by a Baltimore police officer
“I want to see justice served on his behalf. That his death was not in vain,” said King’s mother, Georgette King.
George King had just been accepted to Baltimore City Community College and would have started this fall. His mother said he hoped to study art and graphic design.
King was a ward of the state because his mother had a medical problem, according to the family's attorney Granville Templeton. Georgette King, of Charles County, was forced to give up her only child. George meanwhile lived in a group home on 33rd Street in Baltimore.
“I was in his life; I was trying to do the best I can as a mother, as a single parent,” Georgette King said. “Me and him had a close relationship.”
On May 6, George King was brought to Good Samaritan Hospital in northeast Baltimore because of a dental problem.
The next day police had to be called to the hospital because he had become, in their words, "combative.”
Police said when two city police officers arrived, at least five security guards struggled to restrain the teen. One of the officers used his Taser.
“They didn't need to use a Taser on that day, but they used it. They didn't use it once or twice they used it five times. And what happened after that? Cardiac arrest,” Templeton said.
Police have not confirmed how George King died. They say they're waiting to interview witnesses, and for autopsy results.
“We're going to continue to work as strongly and diligently as we can to make sure that our investigation is as thorough and as transparent as we can make it,” said acting Capt. Eric Kowalczyk, a spokesman for the Baltimore City Police Department.
Police did reveal that King had been given unknown amounts of medications before he was tased. “We do know that one of our officers used a Taser but we're trying to look to see what that relationship was with everything else that took place prior to our arrival,” Lt. Kowalczyk said.
Granville didn't buy that argument.
“Why would you say that medication was in his system? You know why? Because someone died from their actions. They're just trying to deflect at this time,” Templeton said.
He said the Taser didn't need to be used, because no one -- including the officers -- was in danger.
“Officers are here to protect and serve. In this case, this is not protect and serve. This is death,” Georgette King said.
Templeton said he is planning a lawsuit against the Baltimore City Police Department.
Police said the two officers who responded to the hospital that night are still active and working. When a person dies in police custody the officers involved are routinely placed on administrative leave, but this case is not considered an "in custody" death.