The city will pay a brain damaged teen $175,000 after the City Council conceded that a Chicago police officer misused a taser gun on the enraged boy.
It was not immediately clear what caused Freddie Lockett, 30, to die. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy on the suspect Sunday. The office said Monday the cause of death was undetermined pending a toxicology report and further investigation. It could be three months before a cause of death is determined, the medical examiner's office said.
According to a police incident report, a man told officers he was sitting inside his vehicle at a gas station in the 2900 block of South Westmoreland around 4 a.m. Saturday morning when Lockett approached the car and asked for money. The man in his car said he didn’t have any money and began to roll up the driver’s side window.
That’s when the driver said Lockett opened the door and started punching him in the face. Afraid, the victim told officers he crawled across his car and got out using the passenger side door. He ran inside the gas station and asked for someone to call police.
While he was in the store, he said the suspect went into his car and took his cell phone. Police said when they got to the area, they saw a man matching the description of the suspect. When they tried to talk to him, he ran away; but officers were able to catch up to him.
“An officer deployed a Taser to subdue the suspect,” Dallas Police public information officer Janice Crowther said in an email to the media Sunday morning. She added that Dallas Fire and Rescue was called to the location to treat the individual, which is protocol when electroshock devices are used.
Lockett was transported to Methodist Central Hospital where he later died at about 1:05 a.m. Sunday morning. Dallas police originally said they would release more information Monday afternoon regarding Lockett's death. But in an email sent to the media late Monday morning, Crowther said they are postponing any public comment "until further notice."
Taser brand, and other electroshock weapons have come under fire in the past for their safety after studies investigated potential dangers of the devices. Amnesty International says over 150 people have died after the use of Tasers since 2001.
Taser International, the maker of Taser, says their devices are safe. Law enforcement who use the device say electroshock weapons have saved many lives by providing them an alternative to lethal force in certain situations. The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office did not say when a cause of death may be determined in this case.