Man dies after being subdued by police with stun gun

Fort Worth Star-Telegram
April 18, 2009
Mitch Mitchell

FORT WORTH -- Parents were grieving the death of their 24-year-old mentally impaired son who died on Saturday after being subdued by Fort Worth police with a Taser stun gun.
Police arrived at a house in the 6200 block of Ava Court Drive in east Fort Worth about 10:30 a.m. after receiving a call from the parents of Michael Jacobs Jr., who said he was causing problems, according to a statement from police.

Jacobs met officers in the front yard, and was described by officers as uncooperative and agitated. When he became combative, an officer stunned him with a taser device, the police said.

The police planned to take Jacobs to John Peter Smith Hospital for a mental detention. But after he was stunned, Jacobs was handcuffed and began to have difficulty breathing, police said. He was taken to JPS, where he was pronounced dead about noon.

Police are investigating the incident and the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office will make a determination of what caused Jacobs' death. Family members said they believe that police officers used excessive force to subdue Jacobs, who had been diagnosed with mental illness.
Charlotte Jacobs, Michael's mother, told relatives that her son was writhing on the ground and foaming at the mouth while he was being stunned, and she begged for the officers to stop.
"They have been to the house many times before and they know Charlotte," said Helena Wigfall, 37, a cousin of Michael Jacobs. "That’s why we don’t understand why today was so different."
Kyev Tatum, a Fort Worth pastor who spoke for the family on Saturday, said the parents are asking for an outside investigation as well as someone other than the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office to perform an autopsy.

"The family believes it was a wrongful death," Tatum said. "The mother was making a cry for help, and it has turned into a tazing death. There have been no answers as to why police used a Taser instead of the manpower that was available to them."