An upstate New York man died Sunday after police shot him with a stun gun. The man reportedly crashed his truck into a car and then a church before fleeing on foot and later confronting officers, Rochester police told reporters.
As police arrived on the scene around 9 a.m. EDT Sunday, the man returned to his red pickup truck against police orders, then backed up, crashed into a street sign, a fence and a house, Police Chief Michael Ciminelli told a news conference Sunday, according to Reuters. The man then “aggressively exited the vehicle, charging in the direction of officers” with a clenched fist, he said.
“An officer on scene decided to use a less-than-lethal option and he used his Taser to stop the suspect,” Ciminelli said.
The man was briefly handcuffed after being stunned but released so firefighters could provide medical attention. He eventually was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy was scheduled.
Ciminelli declined to release the man’s name to the media. But the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper identified him as Richard Gregory Davis, a 50-year-old black man. According to family members, Davis was a father of six, a grandfather of 11 and a former Marine.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, who attended the police press conference, declined to speculate on what caused the incident. “We need to wait for the medical examiner’s report to know if drugs, alcohol, mental illness, physical illness or some other factor was at play,” she told reporters. “What I do know is this matter was taken seriously from the moment neighbors called 911 to report that chaos was occurring on Tremont and Morgan streets.”
At least 500 people died from 2001 to February 2012 after being shocked with Tasers either during arrest or while in jail, according to a tally by Amnesty International.