News

Taser-related death reignites debate

A man’s death across the street from the University of Miami has added fuel to the heated debate over the use of Tasers.

Xavier Jones, a 29-year-old father of one, was Tasered early Friday morning by Coral Gables police after resisting arrest. Jones was pronounced dead shortly thereafter at Doctor’s Hospital.

Senior Ryan Dougherty, who witnessed the incident while waiting for friends, said that Jones was acting erratic, as if he were on drugs. It was Dougherty’s friend who called 911 at the request of the security guard.

“[Jones] ran into the middle of U.S. 1, throwing himself all over the place and yelling crazy things like ‘God forgive me,'” Dougherty said, also noting that he thinks the situation could have been handled better. He explained that the police arrived with their weapons drawn.

Although Tasers are referred to as “non-lethal” devices, Jones’ death is one of more than 160 Taser-related fatalities since 2001, according to Amnesty International.

Amnesty International has called for an independent, rigorous testing of the devices that deliver 50,000 volts of shock. The organization suggests that the use of Tasers be suspended pending an investigation into their effects and use.

Because UM police follow CGPD policy, officers on campus wear Tasers as well.

“I’ve seen Tasers save lives many, many times,” Police Chief David Rivero said. “If a subject is armed with a knife and comes at cop, the subject would mostly likely be shot if a cop did not have a Taser.”

Autopsy results will be available later in the week. Miami-Dade homicide detectives are investigating the situation, and the Gables officer involved is on paid administrative leave.

Pat Cunnane may be contacted at p.cunnane@umiami.edu.

Previous Florida Tasings

A 6-year-old boy was Tased by a Miami-Dade policeman in 2004 after threatening to injure himself with a shard of glass
A 12-year-old girl was Tased by a Miami-Dade policeman in 2004 after fleeing from the cop when she was caught skipping school
Andrew Meyer, a University of Florida senior, was Tased in 2007 while attending a guest lecture by former presidential candidate John Kerry

-Compiled by Karyn Meshbane

January 17, 2008

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Boston College star Ky Bowman came down with a 102-degree fever on Saturday night. Jordan Chatman an ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Sunday: ▪ New UM defensive coordinator Blake Baker has asked UM ...

Emese Hof and No. 20 Miami think they can play with anyone, and it shows. Hof scored 18 of her 25 po ...

New University of Miami baseball head coach Gino DiMare wanted to start strong. He got perfection. T ...

Former University of Miami star running back Mark Walton was arrested late Friday on a charge of mis ...

UM alumna Alina Mayo Azze, who has covered a myriad of topics during her 37-year career, has been a ...

Happiness and well-being scholar Tal Ben-Shahar is UM’s newest Distinguished Presidential Scholar. ...

The University of Miami will host the first symposium to explore LGBTQ human rights across the Ameri ...

UM experts react to a new ban that prohibits people in Key West from using certain types of sunscree ...

A matchmaker extraordinaire, Ricardo Cepeda, the manager of the UM Zebrafish Facility, is passionate ...

The No. 20 Miami women's basketball team stormed back from a 14-point deficit to pick up the bi ...

Brian Van Belle struck out five over six shutout innings to help the Canes sweep Rutgers on opening ...

The Hurricanes dropped a tight contest with the Eagles in Chestnut Hill, 64-57. ...

The sophomore first baseman slugged his second homer of the weekend to lead the Canes to a series wi ...

Junior Renate Grimstad led the way for Miami and is tied for 18th at one-over-par, while sophomore K ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.