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article imageTasered Man Dies After 10-Foot Fall

By Debra Myers     Sep 25, 2008 in Crime
On Wednesday, police were called to where a naked man was climbing on a fire escape, ranting and screaming. The man climbed to a ledge, picked up a fluorescent tube and swung it at the police. An officer fired his Taser and the man fell to his death.
New York City - Police were called to 489 Tompkins Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, to find a naked Brooklyn man clambering around on a fire escape, obviously distraught. For 40-minutes, Iman Morales ranted, and could be heard yelling, "You're going to kill me. I'm going to take everyone with me. I'm going to die. You're all going to die with me."
Around 1 p.m., Morales was first seen hanging out of a third-floor window, after having had an argument with his mother. After about 20 minutes, he climbed out onto the fire escape and climbed up to the third floor, trying to get back into the building through a neighbor's window. The neighbor refused to let him in, so he climbed down to the second floor, all the while still ranting and screaming.
With police shouting for him to get down, Morales made his way to a ledge above a the gate over a storefront. Picking up an 8-foot long fluorescent tube, Morales began jabbing at the police below him and on the fire escape behind him.
His mother had joined the crowd below, begging to the police, "No! No! Don't hurt him. He is sick."
About 2 p.m., an officer was given orders to fire his Taser at Morales. "His body froze up and he fell face-first," said Sean Johnson, who witnessed the drama.
Morales fell 10-feet to the pavement, and died a few hours later at Kings County Hospital.
It is not known what set off Morales, only that his actions were "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."
Morales had been arrested in the past for petite larceny.
A review will be done to see if all the proper protocol procedures for Taser usage were followed.
Update:
MSNBC tells that the officer may have broke protocol when he used the taser on Morales. As well, a request went out for an inflatable bag but it had not arrived before Morales fell.
"None of the ... officers on the scene were positioned to break his fall, nor did they devise a plan in advance to do so," said chief department spokesman Paul Browne.
Under the guidelines that were re-issued June 4th, 2008, it reads that: “when possible, the CED should not be used…in situations where the subject may fall from an elevated surface."
The update goes on to say that the officer who fired the taser has been placed on desk duty, and the lieutenant who ordered the taser to be fired has been stripped of his badge and gun until the investigation is completed.
More information is in the link.
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