A 25-year-old man has died in a hospital three days after Tulsa police officers repeatedly tasered the half-naked suspect during an arrest in which he showed impressive resistance to electric shock.
“All right we’re gonna tase him. Let’s tase him,” a police officer is heard telling his colleagues just before a group of cops gang up on an unruly half-naked black male in downtown Tulsa on August 24. “Just tase him, tase him, tase him, tase him,” body cam footage of the incident released by the Tusla Police Department showed.
Just prior to the violent takedown, police units tried to peacefully detain 25-year-old Joshua Harvey for disturbing public order by yelling and stripping.
Things, however, escalated when Harvey tried to break into an office building housing Arvest Bank. As the officers approached the individual, who looked actively disturbed, the male pulled the glass doors of the building so hard that it shattered. Injured by the large chunks of glass, he run inside the bank, where the officers caught up with him.
“Two officers deployed their Tasers with additional officers there to assist. The Taser knocked the individual down but he quickly got back up,” Tulsa PD said in a statement.
In the video, the officers are heard ordering the suspect to “get on the ground, put your hands behind your back.” As the suspect refused to “roll over” and tries to run, he is repeatedly tasered back to the ground. Throughout much of the time, Harvey is heard screaming incoherently. The electroshock therapy continues even after the cops manage to secure one of the male’s hands.
Once the officers have one of the handcuffs on, they tell the suspect to “relax, roll over,” as policemen complete Harvey’s arrest. The strength showed by the suspect during the arrest matched that of four police officers, authorities said.
“He was tased again and went down again the officers attempted to get him into custody but his strength was matching the strength of the 4 officers,” Tulsa PD said.
After securing the suspect, the officers called in the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA). According to police, the suspect was still conscious when the paramedics arrived at the scene. He however died at St. John Medical Center on August 27, just two days shy of his 26 birthday. Authorities are still waiting for the autopsy report to determine the exact cause of Harvey’s death.
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