Tasered While Black asks: Was this young man harrassed on the job and Tased to Death For Wearing Gold Teeth and Earrings?
Victoria Cherrie reports from the Charlotte Observer on how, "A local attorney on Tuesday refuted the police account of a confrontation in which an officer used a stun gun on a 17-year-old who later died."
She reports: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said an "agitated" Darryl Turner threw something at a manager, ignored commands and advanced toward Officer Jerry Dawson Jr. last week, prompting the 15-year veteran to use his Taser to get Turner under control.
A preliminary autopsy showed no obvious cause of death.
The incident happened at a Food Lion on Prosperity Church Road where Turner bagged groceries and was a cashier.
Court documents say Turner had been asked by the customer service manager to leave the store about 1:15 p.m. Thursday, but he refused. Police have declined to give more details about the incident, which is being investigated by homicide detectives. An internal investigation is also underway.
Attorney Ken Harris, who represents Turner's family, is conducting his own investigation.
Harris said he has interviewed a witness who told him the officer entered the store as Turner was arguing with a manager. The witness said the officer told Turner to "step back."
The witness told Harris that Turner obeyed the officer's command, but was shocked with the Taser while standing less than five feet away, Harris said.
"According to the witness, Turner neither approached or threatened the officer at any time," Harris said.
He declined to identify the witness, but said he would provide an affidavit with his account to police. Department spokeswoman Julie Hill said detectives hadn't received the paperwork as of Tuesday evening.
Investigators interviewed all the people in the store who presented themselves as witnesses, she said. And she urged anyone else with information to call the department.
Co-workers, including a supervisor, said Turner was a reliable employee who had never been reprimanded at work. They said he had some disagreements with the customer service manager, who had asked him to tuck in his shirt and complained about Turner wearing gold teeth and big earrings. Read MORE HERE