Cop Watch

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Pathologist says Taser used by Chicago police killed man

The Cook County medical examiner's office says a Taser stun gun used on a 54-year-old man by a Chicago police officer this year caused the man's death.

Deputy Medical Examiner Scott Denton says the primary cause of Ronald Hasse's death was electrocution from the Taser. But he also says a contributing cause was methamphetamine intoxication.

Police said they used the Taser on the Indiana man to restrain him as he tried to kick and bite police officers on February Twelfth at an apartment building.

The Taser company strongly disputed the findings. Spokesman Steve Tuttle says he's perplexed that the drugs in Hasse's body weren't viewed as the primary factor in his death.

The death was ruled a homicide -- a term used to define a death at the hands of another person. But it doesn't imply criminal intent. Denton called the incident an inadvertent killing.