Two cops have been arrested and have lost their jobs after a drunk man sleeping in the back of a taxi died from a massive heart attack when they used a taser to wake him up.
The incident took place on 15th February in the southern Russian city of Irkutsk in Irkutsk Oblast after the victim, identified as up-and-coming rapper Dmitry Kharchenko, 24, was returning from a performance at a nightclub.
Kharchenko who performed under the name Poveca had reportedly drunk alcohol so caught a taxi home and fell asleep in the back of the cab.
However, when he arrived home the taxi driver could not wake him up so decided to ask two passing traffic policemen to help him.
The officers reportedly then used a taser to try to wake the sleeping Kharchenko, which caused his death at the scene.
According to the victim’s mother Margarita, her son was taken to the nearest hospital but the doctors could only confirm his death from acute heart failure.
A police investigation was launched and the two unnamed officers were fired before being arrested for ‘abuse of power causing grave consequences’.
The two suspects remain under arrest and face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
Mother Margarita wrote online: “We said goodbye to each other, he left and we never spoke again.
“I’m not saying our police are bad. I just have one reasonable question: did they really have the right to use a taser against a person who was no danger to them?”
Cardiologist Anna Cherkashina says that the taser had a high chance of being the cause of death in this case, taking into consideration the fact that the man was drunk.
Ex-Mayor Mikhail Pashkin said: “Policemen use tasers quite rarely, mostly to scare off stray dogs. They obviously didn’t have any right to use it in that case, when the man was drunk and caused no danger to them as he slept.
“What they actually had to do was call an ambulance or at least help the passenger get out of the taxi. I’m more than confident they’ll be put in jail.”
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Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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