Natasha McKenna was a small woman who was dealing with severe mental illness, likely schizophrenia. She was in sheriff’s custody in Fairfax County Virginia for a short period of time a few months ago and then suddenly died under very odd circumstances. In the last few days, details have emerged that paint this entire situation in a horrible and tragic light. McKenna was in custody for days, and her declining mental state was making it difficult for the undertrained officers to handle her. On the day of the incident that took her life, she had a psychological breakdown during a cell transfer. Several deputies managed to restrain her, shackle her legs into a chair, her arms behind her back, and even a bite guard for her mouth. When McKenna continued to struggle against the bindings, the deputies elected to use force against her even though she was FULLY RESTRAINED. She was given four Taser blasts of 50,000 volts in the next few minutes and after the forth she began to show major health complications. She went into cardiac arrest, and had to be resuscitated multiple times. She ended up on life support and later died when she was removed.
Two, the training manuals also state that you should not stun someone with a Taser more than three times. The various overseeing committees and doctors who have commented on this matter say the same thing. Any more than three hits from a stun device could result in disastrous health complications, very much like the ones that Natasha McKenna suffered. It makes sense if you think about it. If you hit someone with 50,000 volts many times in a row, their heart could stop.
The point of this is, when you consider that there were two violations to the safe operation of this particular weapon, then a situation that is typically called a simple “use of force” is suddenly called “a use of deadly force”. Once you are able to qualify the actions in the case of Natasha McKenna as deadly force, and then you realize that she was a small woman who was already completely restrained, you can begin to understand why this situation is more like an execution. The officer’s involved need to be held responsible for that. Apparently a video exists of this occurrence, and if that’s true, then charges could easily be filed against the participating officers, such as manslaughter, or even murder.