An incident in East Texas, once again raises questions about police officers use of Tasers.
Tasers are an electrical stun gun that give off a sudden charge of 50-thousand volts. Considered a non-lethal weapon, they are becoming a standard for law agencies across the country.
However, nationwide more than 50 deaths have been linked to Tasers.
A Jacksonville man said he suffered serious injury Sunday night, after a Jacksonville police officer stunned him with a Taser.
“I blacked out and next thing I know I was on the ground with blood everywhere,” said 21-year-old LaDonald Alexander. LaDonald was pulled over Sunday night after driving on the wrong side of the road. His car was searched and then the police said an altercation began on a side street near Lincoln Park in Jacksonville.
LaDonald said he was grabbed by an officer and jerked away, as he turned to walk away from the scene, he said he was tased from behind by an officer less than 4 feet away.
“It was just a shock, everything just went through my body and my body just locked up,” he said.
LaDonald said his body went airborne before falling and hitting the ground. He suffered severe cuts and scrapes to his face and hands. The most serious of his injuries was a punctured kidney. He said his doctor told him that was the direct result of a taser barb that landed on his lower back.
“They took me back to the police station and I went to the restroom I was urinating blood so they brought me back up here,” he said.
In a statement to KLTV, Bill Tackett, the Jacksonville City Manager said, “…(the officer) had no alternative but to use the Taser. The community should feel proud that officers are out on the streets making them safe for the rest of us.”
KLTV spoke to the Jacksonville Police Chief, Mark Johnson, who also said the officer was forced to use the Taser on Mr. Alexander.
LaDonald said the force of the Taser gun is more powerful than most people think.
“It’s very serious, cause to do some damage like that, it was very painful, I can tell you that right now,” he said.
LaDonald said his doctor told him the puncture to his kidney could heal on its own or last for the rest of the life. Now, he and his family have contacted an attorney. They plan to file a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Police Department.