Two police officers in Oklahoma have been charged with second-degree murder after they allegedly used Tasers on a man more than 50 times before he died. Joshua Taylor, 25, and Brandon Dingman, 34, of the Wilson Police Department were charged in connection with the death of Jared Lakey, 28, as part of an incident that took place on July 4 last year. Lakey was hospitalized and died two days later. The use of the Tasers was a “substantial factor” in Lakey’s death, according to court documents. If convicted the two men could face sentences of 10 years to life in prison.
Taylor and Dingman came into contact with Lakey on July 4 last year while responding to a call that he was acting in a disorderly manner. When he didn’t comply with their commands, Taylor and Dingman reportedly fired their taser repeatedly over nine minutes. According to the data logs in the court filings, Taylor fired his taser 30 times while Dingman fired his taser 23 times . That means Lakey was tased for almost four straight minutes in the nine-minute span. Spencer Bryan, a lawyer for Lakey’s parents, said that the officers had claimed at first they only used Tasers four times.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent who assisted in the investigation concluded that Lakey never made any kind of aggressive move toward either one of the officers. That appears to contradict Dingman who said that the officers continually used their tasers to avoid Lakey from getting up and attack them. Plus the officers never tried to control him using their hands as they are trained to do in these kinds of situations. The use of tasers amounted to a “substantial factor” in Lakey’s death and the number of times they were fired “greatly exceeded what would have been necessary or warranted by the attendant circumstances.”
The officers turned themselves in on Thursday morning after the Carter County District Attorney’s Office issued warrants for their arrests. Both were released on $250,000 bonds.
Support work like this for just $1
Slate is covering the stories that matter to you. Become a Slate Plus member to support our work. Your first month is only $1.