Revealed: Virginia cops Tased handcuffed man 20 times in 30 minutes before he died
Police in South Boston, Virginia broke their own rules and Tased a man multiple times, then reneged on a planned trip to the hospital, before he died in their custody, MSNBC reported.
Newly-released footage shows three officers using the devices against 46-year-old Linwood Lambert while he was handcuffed both in front of a local hospital and in a patrol car. The Tasers were used 20 times over the course of a 30-minute period.
However, the department’s rules state that Taser use “is no longer justified once the subject has been restrained,” as Linwood was during the May 4, 2013 encounter.
The footage also reveals that the officers broke the department’s rules regarding providing medical assistance to suspects after the use of a Taser. The regulations state that officers should take suspects to the emergency room at the Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital before taking them to jail.
The video shows an officer telling Lambert, “We’re not locking you up, we’re going to the ER” after handcuffing him — but not arresting him — during their initial encounter at a local motel. Lambert was reportedly hallucinating and “acting paranoid,” prompting noise complaints from other guests.
The officers — identified as Cpl. Tiffany Bratton and Officers Travis Clay and Clifton Mann — took Lambert to the hospital. The footage shows Lambert running toward the facility as soon as he was let out of the squad car. After he runs into the hospital door, the officers use their Tasers. Lambert quickly falls to the ground.
But despite Lambert being restrained and showing no sign of aggressive behavior, the officers continued to use their Tasers on him while he is on the ground. They also arrested him and charged him with disorderly conduct and destruction of property.
They also took him away from the hospital, instead taking him to jail. The officers noticed when they arrived that Lambert was unconscious, and called for medical assistance after attempting CPR. Lambert was pronounced dead at 6:23 a.m. at Sentara Halifax, where the officers had originally planned to take him.
Police refused to turn over footage of Lambert’s encounter to his family until his sister, Gwendolyn Smalls, filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit against the department. No one has been arrested in connection with Lambert’s death.
Watch the footage, as released by MSNBC on Wednesday, below.