Family Of Man Who Died After Being Tased By OKC Police Seeks Justice
Deanne Stein, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The family of a man who died after being tased by Oklahoma City police says they want justice.
They say officers used excessive force on 43-year-old Timothy Dennis, resulting in his death.
"He didn't die of natural causes," said Ronnie High, Dennis' brother. "He was killed. He was DOA when he got to the hospital."
According to police, officers responded to N.E. 18th Street and Prospect Avenue on Sunday, September 23, where Dennis allegedly fired off a gun. One witness told police that Dennis refused to comply with the officer's commands, forcing the officer to use his taser. Dennis then had trouble breathing and was rushed to the hospital. He was placed on life support and died three days later.
"He was a good guy, caring and always helped," said Keyonna Wilson, Dennis' sister. "We loved him very much, he has a lot of family members that miss him and now that he's gone, we can't get him back."
The family blames excessive force by the officer for his brother's death.
"If you can just sit there and tase somebody into cardiac arrest, then that's too much," he said.
The family says Dennis suffered from paranoid schizophrenia bipolar syndrome, and was off his medication when he was confronted by police. It wasn't the first time officers found him in this condition.
"They had run-ins with him before, and they took him to the Crisis Center and the hospital, where he would get attention and brought back down to his senses," High said.
But this last run-in was his last.
"If you could've seen the images and the way he was laying in the hospital bed, it was more than just a taser," High said. "A beating took place somewhere in between there. Only God knows what happened and the police officers that we're involved."
High said he doesn't hold a grudge on the police or even the officer or officers involved with tasing his brother. He says he just wants the person responsible to be punished.
"I'm sure that the officer or officers that were involved woke up that morning not intending on killing anybody," he said. "My heart goes out to them."
"We just got to get justice for our brother," said Wilson. "Simple as that. We will."
The State Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. The incident is currently under investigation by the police department's Homicide and Internal Affairs Units.
The family has set up a memorial fund to help with burial costs. The rest will be donated to programs that help others suffering from mental illness. If you would like to help the family, you can make a donation to the Timothy C. Dennis Memorial Fund at Tinker Credit Union, 1117 N.E. 23rd Street in Oklahoma City.