On September 20, 2008, I posted an article on this site which contains a videotaped recording of a police officer repeatedly using a taser on a man who was sitting on the ground by the side of the road in Washington County, Florida. Fortunately, that man lived. Yesterday, however, a man was tasered by the police in Brooklyn, New York and then fell to his death. The story--including a videotaped recording of the man being tasered and falling to his death--was reported in the New York Post as follows:
"Police fired a Taser at a naked Brooklyn man armed with only a fluorescent light tube yesterday, sending him falling to his death from a second-floor ledge after he went on a 40-minute rant.
Iman Morales' mom begged cops not to hurt her son, telling them he's sick - then watched in horror as he plunged from the top of the roll-down gate on which he'd been perched.
An Emergency Services officer, acting on the orders of his boss, fired at the 35-year-old man at around 2 p.m., as he waved the 8-foot fluorescent light tube, police sources said.
'His body froze up and he fell face-first,' said Sean Johnson, who witnessed the drama at 489 Tompkins Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Morales, who crashed 10 feet to the pavement, died a few hours later at Kings County Hospital.
Asked if police followed the proper protocol for using a Taser, [New York City Police Department] spokesman Paul Browne said, 'That's being reviewed.'
Amid his mostly unintelligible rant, Morales was heard yelling, 'You're going to kill me. I'm going to take everyone with me.'
He also screamed, 'I'm going to die. You're all going to die with me.'
Morales first emerged hanging out a third-floor window after a blowup with his mother at around 1 p.m., witnesses said.
Twenty minutes later, he climbed the fire escape to the fourth floor, where he tried to force his way into a neighbor's apartment.
'He tried to come into my window and I ran out,' said 40-year-old Tonya Wright.
"He said, 'Let me in.' I told him, 'I'm not letting you in.' "
Morales then headed to the second floor and screamed to the crowd, which included his frantic mom.
"She was saying, 'No! No! Don't hurt him. He is sick,' " Wright said.
With police shouting for him to get down, Morales made his way to a ledge above a the gate.
'Walk down now! Move down!' the police can be heard shouting to him on video.
He then picked up the light tube and waved it in the air before jabbing cops who had climbed out of the windows above.
'When he was poking the cop, people were laughing,' Johnson said.
He refused orders from the officers and continued his incoherent tirade.
Finally, one of the [Emergency Services Unit] cops on the street shot him with the Taser.
'He just fell face first,' said witness Sean Brown. 'People were screaming and yelling. It was wrong.'
It was unclear what set off the episode, but, said Johnson, 'once he started hitting the cop with that pole, that's when it turned serious.'
'This is very out of character,' said the building's superintendent, Charlene Gayle, 31.
'Nice guy, clean cut, well kept, never irrational. Didn't have irrational behavior.' "
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