Two former Oklahoma police officers were convicted of second degree murder after excessive use of tasers on an unarmed man.
A Carter County jury on Friday convicted Brandon Dingman, 35, and Joshua Taylor, 27, of second-degree murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, for the death of 28-year-old Jared Lakey.
Wilson police officers Dingman and Taylor first came into contact with Lakey on July 4, 2019, after responding to a call that he was acting in a disorderly way by running naked outside and screaming.
Body camera footage that was released last year by a law firm representing Lakey’s family showed the two cops firing three stun guns a total of 53 times into Lakey’s body in a span of less than four minutes as he lays shrieking in pain in a ditch.
Lakey died in the hospital of multiple heart attacks two days later.
The fired officers’ defense lawyers claimed that Lakey died from a neck restraint that was applied by a colleague. They also alleged that the victim had heart problems that contributed to his death.
Bodycam and dashboard camera videos from the July 4, 2019, arrest, showed the cops Tasering Lakey 53 times.
Prosecutors argued during the trial that the repeated tasering was ‘dangerous and unnecessary.’ Police were instructed that the use of Tasers should be limited to 15 seconds, prosecutors said, per the NYT. Lakey’s exposure exceeded three minutes.
Court documents stated that the officers’ use of Tasers was a ‘substantial factor’ in Lakey’s death, and that the number of times they used their stun guns on the man ‘greatly exceeded what would have been necessary or warranted.’
Dingman and Taylor are scheduled to be sentenced on December 2. Lawyers for Dingman and Taylor said they would appeal the convictions.
Stay tuned for more news here at the East County Gazette.