Lubbock Man Dies After Incident Involving a Taser with Lubbock Police - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/17/06

Lubbock Man Dies After Incident Involving a Taser with Lubbock Police

It all started when police responded to a 911 hang-up call. Police received that call from 4402 Jarvis around 11 o'clock Sunday night, that's near North Loop 289 and Quaker. The caller hung up without saying anything it's standard procedure for an officer to investigate.

Officer Matt Doherty responded. He called for backup when he saw a domestic dispute between Nunez and other family members. Police say that's when "Nunez's actions required officer Doherty to use his less lethal force taser gun."

Police also say "when officer Doherty handcuffed Nunez he noticed Nunez was in distress."

NewsChannel 11 has obtained a copy of the police report which says Nunez "did not have a pulse when EMS arrived." He was pronounced dead at University Medical Center shortly after.

We spoke with neighbors who saw the commotion Sunday night, they say it's a relatively quiet neighborhood and were shocked when they found out their neighbor is dead.

"I was completely shocked because this neighborhood is so quiet, everybody gets along with everybody and nothing like that ever happens here," said neighbor Jodi Rinehart.

An autopsy has been completed, and that will determine the cause of death, but the information is not being released. A toxicology report is also being filed.

What's really at question here is why officer Doherty used his taser gun. We do know that Nunez has been arrested in the past. Police say they are conducting an internal investigation and are not releasing further details about the incident between Nunez and Doherty. Evidence will eventually be turned over to the District Attorney's office.

Tasers have been under review nationwide for quite some time. Since 1999, 80 deaths have been blamed on tasers. Last year, the International Association of Chiefs of Police urged departments to review stun gun usage. Lubbock police aren't commenting on tasers at this time. However, in past interviews, they've said the benefits of tasers outweigh the negatives. They also told us that in the national taser deaths, drugs were usually involved.

Officer Doherty is not on any administrative leave and will remain on full time status during the investigation.

12/13/05
LPD Says Tasers are Safest Way to Control "Out of Control" Situations
A Lubbock man is being treated for minor injuries he received when he ran from police and was tased. But police said those injuries could have been worse had they not used a taser. NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire tells us police use tasers several times a week because they're are proven to reduce officer and suspect injuries by 50%.

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