Just as the NYPD announced that it would distribute more Tasers as a non-lethal alternative to firearms, a Brooklyn man was killed by a Long Island police officer when he was Tasered. Suffolk County police said that the 26-year-old Tony Bradway died after being shocked twice by an officer's Taser, as the deceased was attempting to swallow a bag of cocaine.
According to the police, the Southampton police were at a house for another matter when "they spotted a plastic bag with white powder." When he tried to swallow the bag, Bradway was Tasered and went into cardiac arrest. The ME will conduct an autopsy, but police think he died from the drugs, not the Taser.
Still, the timing of this death comes on the heels of the a long-awaited RAND Corp. study that studied NYPD shootings. One of its suggestions spurred an initiative to immediately equip more cops with Tasers, and possibly make them a universal "non-lethal" weapon to all police on the street. Elsewhere, a verdict says the Taser company is financially responsible to the tune of $6 million for a man's death--the Salinas, CA police Tasered a drug user whose heart gave out.