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Hallandale Man Died After Cops Used Taser

Nov 6, 2004 | Miami Herald

A Broward County man died shortly after Miami police used a stun gun on him, the first such death for the department since it began using the weapons, officials confirmed Friday.

Jon Merkle, 40, of Hallandale Beach, died on Sept. 20 after Officer Alfredo Matias used a Taser to subdue him. Miami police spokesman Delrish Moss said the medical examiner told investigators Merkle had significant levels of cocaine in his system. The ME's report is expected to be released early next week.

Police say they are sure the Taser was not to blame.

''Based on all the information we have, we are very confident that the Taser was not the cause,'' said Sgt. Richard Gentry, who reviewed the case because he trains officers to use the Tasers. ``It was other medical factors.''

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