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Taser Philadelphia In-custody Death Med Examiner Ruling Clears Pd 2002

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Philly M.E. Rules on Man's Death
Man's Death Caused by Drugs, Not Stun Gun, Medical Examiner in Philadelphia Rules
The Associated Press
P H I L A D E L P H I A, March 8 —
The death of a man who police tried to subdue with a stun gun was caused by a drug overdose, not the weapon, a
medical examiner ruled.
Anthony Spencer, 35, was intoxicated and high on cocaine when police responded to a domestic disturbance call at
his home Feb. 12, officials said. When police arrived, the 6-foot-tall, 280-pound man was brandishing a 7-inch
Police shocked Spencer with a Taser and used a chemical spray to subdue him. He died in an ambulance on the way
to a hospital.
Tests indicated Spencer died of a cocaine overdose and that shock delivered by the stun gun didn't contribute to his
death, city Health Department spokesman Jeff Moran said Thursday, citing autopsy results.
Spencer's death drew the attention of civil liberties groups, including the ACLU and Amnesty International, which
called for closer scrutiny of non-lethal weapons used by police.
The Taser fires two projectile darts, connected to the weapon by wires, that can reach a subject up to 21 feet away.
The charge temporarily overrides the central nervous system; if the suspect continues to resist, the officer can
deliver a second charge by pulling the trigger.