Family Wants Investigation Of Son's Death After TPD Tasing

Thursday, October 4th 2018, 2:01 pm
By: News On 6

The parents of a man who died three days after being tased during an incident in downtown Tulsa want a criminal investigation into the case.

Joshua Harvey's mother and step-father, Roma Snowball-Presley and Tony Presley, held a news conference on Thursday at the offices of their attorney, Damario Solomon-Simmons.

Tulsa Police records show Harvey, 25, was tased 27 times on August 24, 2018.

"He was tased 16 times by officer Nigel Harris and he was tased 11 times by officer Stephen Douglas," said Solomon-Simmons.

Officers had responded to multiple calls about a man screaming in the street at 6th and Main. When officers tried to take him into custody, he ran to the Arvest Bank at 5th and Main and tried to open the glass door, breaking it and showering himself with glass.

When he tried to run inside the bank, officers tased him. Once they got him under control, they called EMSA to treat his injuries. Harvey died in the hospital three days later. The bank's surveillance cameras recorded most of the incident and police released that video on September 2, 2018.

9/2/2018 Related Story: TPD Releases Video Of Man Being Tased

Solomon-Simmons said in the news conference that police say two officers used their Tasers on Harvey simultaneously. He said that's a violation of the department's policy and qualifies as excessive force. 

 "We are calling on district attorney Steve Kunzweiler to take over the investigation," said Solomon-Simmons. "He has enough right now to bring charges against those officers who tased Joshua 27 times."

Solomon-Simmons says he disagreed with the Tulsa Police Department's decision not to consider an investigation until after the ME's report is finished.

After the altercation TPD stated that Harvey was still combative during the arrest and one of the taser probes did not attach.

"A second officer could deploy and it could look like officers are using the same level of force when actually they are not," said TPD Sgt. Shane Tuell during a previous interview.

The Department of Justice Guidelines states tasing someone longer than 15 seconds may increase the risk of serious injury or death and should be avoided. 

"There's a violation of policy. We do know that the violation of policy is a violation of the law," said Solomon-Simmons.

Harvey's parents say they just want something to be done.

"Justice gots to be served. There's no way around it," said Harvey's mother Roma Presley.

The Medical Examiner has not yet determined what caused Harvey's death. In response to the press conference TPD issued the following statement:

The Tulsa Police Department has previously released body camera video, 911 calls, the Use of Force Report and the original police report including multiple statements from independent witnesses in reference to the arrest of Joshua Harvey on August 24th.  

These documents were released to the media and Mr. Damario Solomon-Simmons. We will continue to wait for the Medical Examiners report before determining if additional investigation is warranted or making further comment.