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Christopher McCargo, mort un an après avoir été tasé

Un homme de 43 ans, Christopher McCargo, est mort un an après avoir été tasé dans l’état du Tenessee, aux Etats-Unis.
Les causes de la mort sont en cours d’examen.

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Source : Dayton Daily News

Dayton native dies nearly 1 year after Taser incident
Christopher McCargo was shocked by police in Tenn., where he was living. The cause of his death is pending.
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By Kelli Wynn

Staff Writer

Sunday, February 04, 2007

DAYTON - A Dayton native who was in a coma for nearly a year after being shocked by a Taser stun gun in a Tennessee jail died Tuesday, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Christopher McCargo, 43, of 3730 Dockery Lane in Cleveland, Tenn., was pronounced dead at 8:28 p.m. at the Arbors at Dayton nursing home, a coroner’s official said.

An autopsy has been performed, but McCargo’s cause of death is still pending, Ken Betz, director of the coroner’s office said.

McCargo, who lived in Tennessee for at least 10 years, was a graduate of Fairview High School in Dayton and attended Omega Baptist Church, said his mother, Eunice Spears of Dayton.

McCargo was brought to the Dayton nursing home this summer after being hospitalized in Tennessee after the Taser incident, which took place Feb. 24 at the Bradley County Justice Center, Spears said.

Cleveland police officers arrested McCargo for public intoxication after they found him lying in the road, Tenth Judicial District Attorney Steve Bebb said, referencing an internal office memo he had received from Assistant District Attorney Stephen Hatchett. The memo also said that McCargo "appeared to be in a high state of intoxication" and told police that he had been smoking marijuana, using alcohol and had crack cocaine.

Once at the jail, McCargo was placed in the custody of corrections officers who used the Taser on him because he was unruly. Officers then restrained him in a chair, Bebb said. Hatchett’s memo said a nurse at the jail was checking on McCargo while he was restrained.

"If they had a nurse checking on him, then why was he brain damaged ?" said McCargo’s sister Madlin McCargo of New York.

McCargo lapsed into a coma and had to be hospitalized, according to a statement issued by former Bradley County Sheriff Dan Gilley on March 1.

McCargo’s mother and sister said he should have been taken to the hospital when police first came in contact with him.

"Any medical care that he received was way too late," Chattanooga Attorney John Wolfe said.

McCargo’s family hired Wolfe before they filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Cleveland, the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and several corrections officers.

Wolfe said witnesses told him that there were at least eight corrections officers around during the use of the Taser and that Christopher received at least "one long burst" of electricity.

Wolfe said witnesses also told him that one of the officers was holding a video recorder.

Wolfe said he asked to see a copy of this officer’s tape and a copy of the jail’s surveillance footage, but was told, "there was some kind of glitch," with the jail’s tape and that footage was turned over to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which was also investigating the incident.

Wolfe said he was also told that the straps on the restraining chair and McCargo’s blood sample that the police ordered to be taken at Cleveland Community Hospital were both lost.

"This thing is a whitewash. It’s a bureaucratic snow job," Wolfe said. "All the evidence has been lost or destroyed. They don’t want people to know what happened to Chris McCargo."

Gilley’s statement said, "I have asked the Justice Department to look into these claims made by the inmate’s family and a Chattanooga lawyer that McCargo was harmed in some way while in custody. Our internal investigation has, thus, far, indicated the officers and the emergency medical technicians who were involved performed their duties in a professional manner, and well within their respective department’s policies and procedures."

TBI got involved with the case after Bebb’s office contacted them, said Jennifer Johnson, TBI director of Communications.

"The TBI investigation found no evidence of criminal intent," Bebb said. Bebb’s office was investigating whether there was any criminal activity among the corrections officers, but Bebb said he decided not to prosecute after receiving TBI’s report.

McCargo is also survived by his 12-year-old daughter, Christie of Georgia, his father Clay McCargo of Dayton and his stepfather Richard Spears of Dayton.

Funeral services for McCargo will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Phillips Temple CME Church, 3620 Shiloh Springs Road. Visitation begins at 10 a.m.