WITN  | Bertie, Martin County  | News, Weather, Sports

One Year Later Still No Resolution In Taser Death Probe

One year ago Thursday a Bertie County man died after being tased by deputy sheriffs. But the question whether the officers did any wrongdoing hasn't been resolved.

An SBI report on the death of 29-year-old Clarence Smith was given to the district attorney five months ago. An SBI spokeswoman says they shared their finding with the D.A. on February 5th.

Smith died at Bertie Memorial Hospital after he was detained by deputies. He died about a half hour later.

The story gained national attention about whether or not police used excessive force to detain Smith.

Sheriff Greg Atkins says there's no doubt in his mind that his men acted properly and he expects the report when finished to prove that. "As soon as this custody death occurred i called the SBI. I'm confident our officers acted properly," he told WITN.

Atkins says before his deputies tased Smith he was warned four times. The sheriff says he is unsure when his deputies will be cleared of any wrongdoing.


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