Well, really not much of an update as the medical examination could not determine the official cause of death.
An inquiry into the death of an Alberta man shocked three times by an RCMP stun gun couldn’t come to a conclusion about what ultimately killed him.
In a report released Wednesday morning, provincial court Judge Monica Blast said the most likely cause of Jason Doan’s cardiac arrest was “excited delirium,” but because no underlying medical diagnosis could be identified as the trigger that put him into that state, the cause of death remains “undeterminable.”
Without a cause of death, the judge said she had no recommendations.
Although the exact cause of death could not be determined by the medical examiner it is really hard to believe that the tasering did not contribute in a significant way. It’s just too much of a coincidence.
Regardless, it is hard to fault the police on this incident. When you get a highly disturbed individual that you can’t calm down and fights you there are only a few options available and none of them are gentle. In this case the taser would seem to have been a reasonable choice.
Doan was arrested on Aug. 10 after several Red Deer residents called police complaining a soaking wet man was yelling profanities and threats, as well as smashing windows on vehicles. Doan struggled with the first two RCMP officers who tried to arrest him, using a stick as a weapon.
“Doan displayed enormous strength, stamina and endurance and appeared to be impervious to all of the pain compliance techniques used on him by police in their attempt to subdue him,” the judge wrote.
The officers had one handcuff on Doan when a third officer arrived and threatened to use a Taser on him if he didn’t comply. The officer used the Taser, set on touch-stun mode, three times on Doan’s back. On the third try, Doan’s resistance “eased off” and after a few seconds he said “Please help me,” the judge wrote.
Police got the second handcuff on him and noticed he was turning blue. The officers tried to help him, performing CPR, until paramedics arrived, took over, then took him to the hospital.
It’s easy to second guess, but I don’t think that this one in any way compares to the Robert Dziekanski case.