Naked man tased by police later dies, woman who witnessed event speaks out

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Neighbors called police after they saw a naked man running through their neighborhood last weekend. Kansas City police officers arrived. They tased the suspect, who later died. He's been identified as 38-year-old Eugene Williams.

FOX 4's Melissa Stern spoke with a woman who witnessed what happened.

"I was basically being nosy and I pulled up and I saw a man drop," Lela Shaw, witness, said.

Shaw said she was driving down Cleveland when she saw police.

"My next door neighbor saw him laying in the street," said Anthony Smith, the man Williams considered his father figure. "I thought he was talking fast, he was talking too fast, and laughing at the same time, and sweat was dripping off of his face."

According to the police report, around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, people called police to report a naked man running around jumping in front of cars. Police believe he was high on PCP.

"They tased him, and if they tase somebody like that who has an asthma problem, they could die from that," Smith said.

Police said Williams approached  the officer who then tased Williams. William was handcuffed and EMS was called. EMS told police that Williams did not have a pulse and started CPR.

"Yeah, I think it could have been avoided, I don't think they should have tased him because you never know if someone has heart problems or they're mentally ill."

Smith says Eugene has asthma among other medical problems. He was taken to the hospital and died later that night.

"If he was naked why would you take a taser out and tase somebody?" Smith said. "I think that's stupid."

"Just kind of in shock," adds Shaw.

"Policeman don't get a lot of things right, and they're so quick to pull the trigger on different things, but all they need to do is say something," Smith says.

Police say the officer involved responded according to protocol.

This case is still under investigation.




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  • Mike

    You ever try to tackle a naked guy you think is high on PCP? First off, you don’t have much to grab to get a good hold on him, he won’t feel pain to make him comply, and he could just have easily died from being dog piled on by the cops needed to take him down, then the cops would be at risk for injury too. Using the Taser at that moment was the sound decision to make. Wait for the autopsy to determine the cause of death before making assumptions. I also fail to see how being mentally ill is a get out of being tasered free card. If you pose a danger to yourself or others and shooting you isn’t an option, a quick way to place restraints on somebody having a freak out without letting him injure somebody is to tase him. I agree there are many instances of police misusing the taser. This is not one of them based on the information.

  • Helen Ryan

    He was running down the street naked not attacking anyone or even trying to attack anyone. He was talking very fast, so what when did that become a reason to tase someone? Like you said lets wait and see what the autopsy says and yes they do misuse the tazer, the guns and the authority they are given.

  • CT

    Tasers are deadly force a certain percentage of time; that is a fact. Like a bullet from a gun kills you a certain percentage of the time depending where you’re shot. When are the police going to alter their training in regards to the numbers of people killed each year by Taser? The police department is culpable again for using unreasonable deadly force. Deadly force is an excessive reaction to this. The fact that it is supported by the policy means you get to sue the bejesus out of them.

  • Sheila Baker

    it’s too bad the police did not have time to “interview” this guy and make sure he had no illnesses and was not on a drug induced high. this guy on PCP brought this all on himself. the police were actually trying to protect him from harming himself and anyone else. It is sad that he had to pass on but was clearly headed in that direction on his own. i want the lady who saw this and said they shouldn’t have used the taser to next time go out and stop the person on her own. you cannot talk to, reason with or control someone on PCP.

  • Tired of the B.S

    First it is “why did they have to shoo, they could have used a taser or pepper spray. ” Now it is “why did they have to use a taser?” Give me a break! Maybe they should just pat folks on the head and say run along now, go on home.

  • Lisa

    If the person “has asthma or heart problems…” then why in the hell are they ALSO taking PCP??? That’s the most ridiculous reasoning I have heard yet. Always an excuse for stupid behavior but never any ownership of stupid acts!

  • Joe Riff Raff

    The taser was originally to be used for self defense purposes. That’s how Taser International advertised the taser. But Police Officers still use gunsThe taser was originally to be used for self defense purposes. That’s how Taser International advertised the taser. But Police Officers still use guns for that. Nowadays the taser is used improperly and to punish suspects. The result is suspect death. for that. Nowadays the taser is used improperly and to punish suspects. The result is suspect death.

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