Friday, February 18, 2011

Now It Can Be Told! It Wasn't The Taser; it was the cocaine

When Rodney Green died on Nov. 25, it took the Waco Police Department four days to release the information that he had died. They released that information to local media on Nov. 29.

They had to check with the city's legal department first.

The city's legal department consists of Ms. Leah Hayes, the city attorney. She thinks the city has 10 days to respond to inquiries involving offense and arrest reports.

City Councilman Randy Riggs, a local certified public accountant, said at the time that it's all perfectly standard operating procedure and completely in line with the city administration's policies on – what?

Public information? Tasers? Cocaine? Big black men with enlarged hearts and a cocaine problem? One wonders. At some point, it all becomes so confusing.

Mr. Green died after three Waco police officers restrained him with leg cuffs and used a taser on him.

Mr. Green was under the influence of cocaine. He crashed his car at South 12th and Bagby. He hit a pole.

When an officer arrived, she tried to get him to identify himself. She questioned him. He didn't respond normally.

She called for backup. When the second and third officers arrived, he refused to answer questions and repeatedly tried to walk out into traffic, according to reports.

They were forced to fire a taser gun at him. That's when the police officers noticed he had stopped responding. They had him transported to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center.

He died.

He had an enlarged heart and suffered from cocaine addiction. He was a long-time resident of a local halfway house for addicts and alcoholics. He had been ejected from the halfway house for “going back out” and getting a snoot full of demon rum and coke.

Homeless, high, drunk, he crashed his car into a pole at South 12th and Bagby.

An autopsy report from the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science released yesterday said that's what caused Mr. Green's death. Complications from the two factors – an enlarged heart and the influence of cocaine - caused the man's heart to fail.

The autopsy report makes no mention of the effects of the taser gun used in an effort to make Mr. Green respond in a more normal fashion to police officers' questions.

Kind of makes an uneasy rider choose to go to L.A. - via Omaha.

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