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"You promised you wouldn't hurt me."
Tue Jul 14, 2015 06:18

Mon May 11, 2015 at 08:48 AM PDT
Let's be clear: The brutal death of Natasha McKenna was not an accident

Shaun King

123 Comments / 123 New

Natasha McKenna
On April 28, the Fairfax County, Virginia, medical examiner ruled that the in-custody death of Natasha McKenna was an accident.

It wasn't.

Her death was the brutal, intentional, and of force so excessive that both of her eyes were blackened, a finger was amputated, she was covered in bruises, and never woke up again after being repeatedly Tasered by the police. Mind you, this was all done to her after her hands were cuffed, her feet were shackled, and a hood put over her head. Some reports also state that she was apparently stripped completely naked as well.

No, this wasn't an accident.

Natasha McKenna was 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and weighed just 130 pounds. Some reports suggest she was actually even smaller.

But in the deputies’ reports, several of those involved in trying to restrain her noted that she was so thin a standard “restraint belt” could not be used to immobilize her hands. “It was discovered that Inmate McKenna was physically too small in the torso for the belt to take effect,” one deputy wrote.

Six men, dressed in full riot gear (visors, helmets, and heavy padding) did this to her. "Accidental" would be if one of them tripped and fell and injured her. Every decision they made was deliberate and calculated and directly led to her death. Had they not made the decisions they made, she would still be alive today.

This is what makes the argument that Natasha McKenna died of something called "excited delirium" all the more absurd, as discussed below the fold.

“They’ve come up with the concept that the individual is so excited they bring on their own death," said Douglas Zipes, a professor of medicine at Indiana University. “That you can be excited is without question. That you can be delirious is without question. But the concept of this being a syndrome causing death is incorrect and false.”

She died because she was restrained and repeatedly shocked with 50,000 volts of electricity. She went into cardiac arrest and never spoke another word again because of the Taser, not because of her mental illness. Anything above three shocks by the Taser is known to cause real problems and even cardiac arrest.

Drago also noted, “If you put too many of these charges together, the folks in the medical field say when you go above three (charges), you get into a gray area about whether it causes cardiac arrest or not. It’s all part of the analysis. That’s the problem with the Taser. It doesn’t have a mind of its own. Officers have to read the warning bulletins.”

She should've never been in jail in the first place. Even though she had a clearly identifiable mental illness and had been hospitalized by the state on other occasions, Natasha McKenna sat in the Fairfax County jail for eight long days without the appropriate medical attention she so badly needed. During this time, McKenna had been assaulted by officers on January 31.

The deputies placed her on the floor but McKenna continued to fight, and so one deputy “struck Inmate McKenna in the face with his open left hand to stop her from trying to bite and scratch him.” When she struggled further, another deputy “delivered a strike to her chest area with the side of his right hand.” She was then placed into a restraint chair.

Three days later, on February 3, the last known words of Natasha McKenna were "you promised you wouldn't hurt me." Our country broke this promise to her just as officers have broken the oath of protecting and serving our citizens.

We must demand justice.
Originally posted to shaunking on Mon May 11, 2015 at 08:48 AM PDT.
Also republished by Police Accountability Group, Support the Dream Defenders, and Daily Kos.

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