It was an incident too many when Israel Hernandez, an 18-year-old graffiti artist, was pronounced dead just a few minutes after he was a victim of a taser weapon. The teenager had been spraying the windows of a truck when he was spotted by the police who began to pursue him.
He was pursued for about six minutes before he was fired with the weapon. Just four hours after his passing, the Miami Beach Police Department got an email which was marked, in bold letters, TIMELY AND URGENT. The email was from Taser International Inc. the manufacturer of the taser gun that killed the recent grad and aspiring art teacher.
The email contained a message that directed investigators on how they were to proceed with the case. It contained information on how investigators were to collect hair samples, nail samples and how to record the deceased body temperature. The email also suggested that the teenager’s brain samples be sent to Deborah Mesh, a medical researcher with the University of Miami for testing.
However, what the company or the email didn’t disclose was the fact that Deborah Mesh had been paid on several occasions by Taser Inc. to testify on its behalf in lawsuit cases. In fact, between 2005 to 2009, court records show that Mesh had been paid about $24,000 to testify in eight lawsuits relating to Taser.
This is not the first time Taser Inc. is interring with an investigation relating to its weapon by forging alliances with police, consultants, and medical examiners. Todd Falzone, the lawyer representing the deceased revealed that on several occasions, every single time the company’s weapon was involved in a death or injury, the firm quickly sets up a legal defense to make the case go away.
Court records also show that in more than a decade, the company has spent millions of dollars on research into its weapon. Majority of these research seconded the company’s assertion that its weapon cannot be blamed for injuries or death. It also revealed that the company pays scientific and medical experts who publish studies or defend the safety of the taser weapon. The company also has a close relationship with medical examiners.
In the case of Israel Hernadez, the medical examiner for the county, Mark Shuman had claimed he wasn’t aware of the existence of a relationship between Taser Inc. and Deborah Mesh when he sent the brain samples over to her for examination. The company’s vice president of communication, Steve Tuttle, claimed it wasn’t the prerogative of Taser Inc. to inform the police or Shuman of the company’s past involvement with Mesh.
Since the early 2000s, Reuters has documented over 1000 occurrences where people had died after they were stunned with Tasers. But the company has come out to deny this, claiming the majority of these people died from underlying health conditions.
If you or any of your loved ones have been injured from a taser, then you have nothing to worry about, our personal injury attorney is ready to stand up for you. Our personal injury attorney knows exactly what it feels like to be a victim of oppression from another person.