A police department in New York is facing a federal lawsuit in connection with the death of a man who was hit with a TASER device and caught fire in the department’s lobby, WRGB reports.
Greene County resident Jason Jones, of Catskill, voluntarily went to the Catskill Police Department on Oct. 30, 2021, and began arguing with officers, according to police.
Surveillance footage later released by the New York Attorney General’s Office shows him removing his shirt and shoes before pouring hand sanitizer all over his body, including his hair and face.
Moments later, an officer is seen deploying his TASER device on Jones, who immediately bursts into flames. Jones drops to the floor and desperately tries to extinguish the flames with his hands as three officers run the room.
The video’s time stamp shows nearly 22 seconds went by before the alcohol burned off and the fire was fully put out. Another 10 minutes passed before a stretcher arrived to take Jones to a hospital.
He eventually died in December 2021 after spending 47 days on a ventilator in a hospital burn unit, according to the Albany Times Union.
The lawsuit claims that Jones showed obvious signs of emotional distress, and accuses officers of assault, wrongful death, using excessive force, and violating Jones’ civil rights, WRGB reports.
It also alleges that officers are specifically trained not to use TASER devices on people who have been exposed to flammable material.
The suit is seeking $20 million in damages.
The attorney general’s office continues to investigate the incident.
Click here for the full story from WRGB.
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