A Year And A Half Later, Questions Remain After Man Catches Fire During Tazing - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

A Year And A Half Later, Questions Remain After Man Catches Fire During Tazing

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    Questions Remain After Man Catches Fire During Tazing

    A year and a half after a suicidal Arlington man who had doused himself with gasoline was ignited after police used a TASER, there remain many unanswered questions. (Published Friday, Feb. 22, 2019)

    A year and a half after a suicidal Arlington man who had doused himself with gasoline was ignited after police used a TASER, there remain many unanswered questions.

    At the time of the incident Arlington Police promised an objective investigation looking at what had sparked the fire.

    "We are aware that it has electrical current," said Sgt. Vanessa Harrison in July 2017. "He had something ignitable in his hand as well. So we're, at least, wanting to disclose everything that took place in the room as best we know right now.”

    In August, a grand jury declined to indict the officers involved in the incident and Arlington Police have so far declined to comment on what their investigations have found.

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    39-year-old Gabriel Olivas would die only days after the fire.

    The maker of TASER told NBC 5:

    “Axon takes any incident involving TASER CEW use very seriously. Our mission is to protect life, and we prioritize the safety of our customers and the people they serve above all else, which is why we remain committed to developing technology and training for public safety. We advise our customers not to knowingly deploy a TASER CEW in the presence of any flammable or explosive substance unless the situation justifies the increased risk.”

    One officer involved in the incident is no longer with the department, for an unrelated reason.

    NBC 5 has requested any materials related to the case -- including possible body camera footage -- from Arlington police.

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