An 87-year-old woman in Clackamas County died yesterday after Clackamas County Sheriff deputies tased her. According to reports, neighbors living in the same Boring, OR, trailer park as the woman, whose name has not yet been released, knew she had been “deteriorating mentally and physically” recently. Police were called to her house after a worker digging a ditch to install a water line nearby reported that she threatened to shoot him.
The sheriff’s deputies say that when they arrived at the woman’s home, she was on the porch holding a gun. They told her to drop the gun, but she did not comply, and one of the two deputies on the scene deployed his Taser. When the pair then approached the woman to cuff her, they discovered she was “immediately unconscious and unresponsive.”
The deputies initiated CPR and called an ambulance, which arrived in two minutes and took her to Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center in Gresham, where she was pronounced dead. She was still wearing a medical bracelet from a recent admission to a hospital for an unknown medical problem.
Numerous critics have linked Tasers to in-custody deaths, leading some police departments to cut back their use and others, like the San Francisco police, to ban their use altogether.