Autopsy Says Man Tased By Deputies Died Naturally

An autopsy says a man who died this summer was tased four times by Bertie County deputies. The report lists Clarence Smith's death as natural.

On July 9th, the 29-year-old Smith died at Bertie Memorial Hospital. He was taken to the hospital after being tased by sheriff deputies, south of Windsor.

Deputies were trying to take Smith to the hospital for an involuntary commitment after his sister said he was "acting funny."

The autopsy obtained by WITN News says Smith was tased four times by deputies. About a half hour later, Smith stopped breathing in the hospital emergency room and later was pronounced dead.

To view the autopsy, click the link at the top of this story

The autopsy says there were no drugs found in Smith's system. The medical examiner listed his death as caused by cardiovascular collapse due to acute psychosis. After a review by the Chief Medical Examiner, it says Smith's death was natural.

Relatives told deputies Smith had been working in Louisiana for the past two to three years and his behavior began to change, so they brought him back in North Carolina on June 22. The autopsy says several years ago Smith nearly died of a drug overdose when "he tried to hide some cocaine in his rectum."

Contacted this morning, Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins wouldn't comment about the autopsy, saying the death was still under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by shannon Location: new york on Mar 23, 2009 at 10:23 PM
    I read some of your comments and I don't understand any thing I read. First his sister called for help for her brother something seriously had to be going on. Maybe he was using the shem stick. why when Black kill Black it's okay but when its an Officer they are wrong or its racism. wake up people this young man was acting weird they bought him back home from Louisiana those are evil wicked people in that state.
  • by letonya Location: bertie on Mar 4, 2009 at 04:35 PM
    i am out done with the lie's just say that thay did it''''''''
  • by concerned female Location: williamston on Mar 3, 2009 at 06:04 PM
    YOU ALL ARE STILL IN MY PRAYERS...THE TRUTH IS ALREADY KNOWN & THEN TO BRING UP HIS PAST, SO LOW...KEEP YOUR HEADS UP & STAY STRONG...MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU ALL.....
  • by Anonymous on Feb 28, 2009 at 06:53 PM
    COVER UP
  • by sis Location: winterville nc on Feb 26, 2009 at 08:49 PM
    Hell,a child is a child.What u do too other will come back to u.windsor cops have alot to pay for.Let go this way,crime is every where,from the courth-to the jail house,tothe front house.GET THAT IN YOUR HEAD,a life for alife.SILLy I hope Clarence Smith family do the right thang,an take action toward those MEN in Bertie co.There are durgs all around the place,an other places too.Why pick on one man.FACE THE FACT,DRUGS STARTED FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM,CATCH THAT ONE,IF U DON'T U ARE DAM CRAZY,AN I MEANT THAT.A father lost his son,an u can't bring him BACK.THE law enforcement need a make over.I hope the SMITH family settle this one,cops need to pay for their action,an people need to mind their on frontdoor.FRIENDS ARE FEW.Love u all.
  • by Medra Location: Fayetteville on Feb 24, 2009 at 05:27 PM
    Wow C-lo can you believe this even after you have pasted on they STILL talking about your criminal history! True you have a record of resisting arrest and drug use. You know they were out to get y'all anyway! Sorry this had to happen to you FRIEND! You also had a record of drug use but NO DRUGS were found in your system! So they had to say natural cause, cause they couldn't use the drugs as the reason! They even brought up 2004! This happened in 2008! So if you wasn't tased would you have died that day? They say you can't die from tasers so how come you're not the only one that died from it! Come on people when are we gonna stand up and fight! Won't nobody understand until it happens to one of their loved ones! I don't know what happen but all I know is I MISS YOU! My heart goes out to the family! It's almost a year and it still ain't over! When I read it my heart felt like it happened all over again!! Rest in Peace my FRIEND!! MUCH LOVE! MEDRA
  • by Duped by cops Location: NC on Dec 21, 2008 at 06:45 PM
    I found this doing research. I left a situation my family faced for more than 20 years because I developed PTS. My husband chose to remain. He has problems too because of stress and the person who caused the situation (he has done the same to others he wants something from, but is refused)have a close relationship with law enforcement. To get to the end, my formal spouse is in Central Prison hospital because of injuries, being tear gassed, and tased. He cannot even get the evaluation ordered that night because his blood pressure was extremely high. His injuries were ignored and is the reason central gives for refusing to release him to Dix. Don't say tasers are use because they are necessary. Was told two stories. He had a gun which is wrong and he wouldn't get up from the floor. He barely could get up using a walker. The man still can't walk any distance and it has been 2 1/2 months.
  • by LovelyLinda Location: B-More Careful Boo on Dec 12, 2008 at 12:48 PM
    You all talking this and that but we fail to remember that God has a plan for us all. You have to realize that we all is not going to die from Aids, Cancer, Drunk Driving, or Overdose, it could be natural causes. But just remember when it is our time no one is ready just yet, all we can do is make sure our hearts are right. So we need to stop gossiping, wearing about others, and running off with the mouths, just tarry for Jesus. Claris we will miss you so deeply and I knew you as Claris who was cool with me since way back. Rest in Peace and let God handle the Rest. God Bless you and Latrice, and the whole family. Love you.
  • by David Location: Durham on Dec 4, 2008 at 01:11 PM
    Come on are some of you people serious. Clarence was a childhood and adult friend of mine. It hurts me to read some comments about Clarnece when alot of you never met him. First of all he was not a drug addict, and yes he had a trouble past but hell who didn't. Some may have not went down that road but you did something stupid. Again it hurts to see what some people have written, because my friend is dead. We all can talk about a person when they are dead because they can't defend themselves, but some can't even talk to a person when they are alive. Please give my friend some type of respect. If this was your child how would you feel about your child being tasered to death at the age of 29. CLARENCE WE MISS YOU & WE LOVE YOU
  • by ME Location: HERE on Nov 24, 2008 at 12:39 PM
    I saw someone posted "you reap what you sow". This is true, very true, but does NOT apply in this situation at all! Obviously no one here can justify either side, none of us were there to do so. It is a sad story and I'm sure priviledges get abused quite often but who's to say they were here? When being taken in for INVOLUNTARY commitment you MUST be handcuffed. Regardless of understanding that or not there shouldn't have been any resistance. Again though it is a sad situation and and the family should be kept in mind by all.
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