Family Still Waiting For Answers After Man Dies After Being Tased
TULSA, Oklahoma - The family of a man who died last month is still waiting for the medical examiner’s report to know the cause of death.
Joshua Harvey died three days after being tased by Tulsa police.
The Tulsa Police Department says they used tasers as a tool to help get someone under control quickly and that they are not meant to cause any harm or permanent damage.
The department released body cam video of Harvey’s altercation with police.
Police say the call originally came in as a man screaming in the street at 6th and Main while taking off his clothes, but the situation quickly changed.
“At some point, if the suspect or individual is not listening to our commands and begins to do things endangering themselves or the public, we will be forced to take action,” said Sergeant Shane Tuell.
Body cam video shows two officers deploying tasers and Harvey’s family is questioning whether that was excessive.
While TPD says it can’t comment on this specific incident, Sgt. Tuell says the first taser is not always successful.
“A second officer could deploy and it could look like officers are using the same level of force, when actually they are not,” said Tuell.
Harvey died three days later. The Medical Examiner has not yet determined what caused his death.
An expert on tasers says that, just because the use of tasers and the death were just days apart, doesn’t mean the tasing was necessarily the cause of death.
“That doesn’t mean that is a cause,” said Howard Williams. “More people die after arrests every year than die following the use of a taser.”
TPD says it is in their own best interest to be transparent and that is why they released the video. However, the department says they cannot comment further on this incident while it is being investigated.