Halifax Death 5th In 5-Years In ENC Involving A Taser

The death of a Halifax County man after a police officer used a taser on him is the fifth similar incident in Eastern Carolina in the last five years.

It was November 15th 2006 when police in Rocky Mount used a taser on Timothy Wayne Newton. Police say Newton was fighting after they caught him for breaking into a Battleboro convenience store. Newton died at the hospital.

In July of 2009 witnesses say 29-year-old Clarence Smith Junior from Windsor was tased after being put in handcuffs. Deputies say they had a court order for his arrest.

In December of 2010, reports say a trooper in Elizabeth City tased Clayton James of Hertford several times. James lost consciousness and later died.

And in January of last year, the State Bureau of Investigation was called in after an early morning fight on Dollartown Road in Wayne County got out of hand. One man who was tased later died.

We asked Beulaville Police Chief Joey Carter if incidents like these change his mind about his department using tasers. Carter said, "Normally, studies I've seen, there's always an underlying reason for a death. You know, maybe drug related, or heart conditions, or something. So, I've never seen nothing to change my mind to taking the taser off the road."

Part of basic law enforcement training does subject would be officers to tasers so they get an idea of what it feels like.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Law Enforcement on Nov 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM
    I am an officer, I've been tazed and I have tazed people who have not followed a lawful command! Most people who comment on this type of situation have no idea what cops go through on a daily basis. The tazer has been a great tool for the officiers, we can't help some idiot is hyped up on drugs and can't follow directions!! I've been in a situation where if I had not tazed the person not following commands, I would have gotten hurt. So when everyone else was at home asleep at 3 in the morning. I was keeping that person from breaking into your house!!
    • reply
      by Lynn on Nov 26, 2011 at 05:47 AM in reply to Law Enforcement
      Sadly, this law enforcement officer will never be able to see that this very statement he has made is an example of the God complex most officers have now. Even more sad, there are citizens that will read this that are perfectly willing to trade their freedoms for the pseudo-security this officer offers and ultimately hides behind.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 27, 2011 at 01:23 PM in reply to Law Enforcement
      Good for you because all the cops do in Martin County is sit around and talk or go looking for women or men to get with.
    • reply
      by Another Anonymous on Nov 28, 2011 at 07:21 PM in reply to Law Enforcement
      How about if you had had something wrong with you at the time you were tased that you nor anyone else knew about and the tasing caused a problem and YOU died? Oh well, I guess that just means you wouldn't be here to tell us anything. I know your family wouldn't be blaming the taser for your death! When an LEO uses a taser, he/she acts like God (all knowing)! Five times in ENC alone this has been proven wrong and you folks still don't get it. Like Lynn at 8:47 on the 26th indicated, your attitude of thinking you are God just doesn't work! I hope to see the day when the taser is outlawed. Let's hope it is sooner than later!
  • by GG on Nov 24, 2011 at 05:48 PM
    If you can send electrical impulses into the body to start your heart when you are in cardiac arrest, does anyone know that using a taser which is also electrical could also be dangerous and stop the heart?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2011 at 08:01 PM in reply to GG
      I would think that most cops have to take a class to carry one and some even have to submit to getting done themselves to see how it feels.
  • by Rob on Nov 24, 2011 at 04:39 PM
    Why is it always the cops fault!! It's always a rookie or someone with short patients!! If the person would just listen and follow directions they would never be put in a situation where they could have a heart attack, bump their head and have an reaction to the drug they were on! Come on people you learn to follow direction in kindergarten!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2011 at 04:07 PM
    I love when the sheep support the pigs, even when they flat out murder innocent civilians. If this was my family member I wouldn't stop till the cop who did this was rotting in a cell or six feet under.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2011 at 08:00 PM in reply to
      Maybe you should take up the cause yourself for this family.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 25, 2011 at 10:29 PM in reply to
        If I had a law degree I certantly would...sadly until the flock open their eyes this kind of blatant excessive force will go unpunished.
  • by TN Location: Duplin on Nov 24, 2011 at 03:39 PM
    I know Joey, and I know if he or one of his officers tased someone, they deserved it. The danger is a lot lower than shooting, sedating or beating the arrested party into unconsciousness, so I'd say tasers are pretty humane.
  • by Wow on Nov 24, 2011 at 09:01 AM
    And since you have no clue as to the underlying condition of someone and is not a doctor then don't taser. If you had proper training you can use other methods. Duh
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2011 at 10:07 AM in reply to Wow
      Tell you what, "Wow"...why don't you go through the Basic Law Enforcement Training school, get hired by a LE agency somewhere, become a police officer yourself, get a few years of experience, and THEN try to say how police should do their jobs. Then, and only then, will your opinion on such matters be worth listening to.
  • by m on Nov 24, 2011 at 07:24 AM
    So Dave Jordan, rather then restating the obvious, put on your journalistic hat and tell us what, if any was the cause of death, the shocking or the underlying cause? What kind of shoddy reporting does WITN support, this is garbage. Typical ENC poor new reporting.
  • by Confucius says Location: obamanotville on Nov 24, 2011 at 06:38 AM
    Dont start nothing,they wont be nothing!
    • reply
      by c-had on Nov 24, 2011 at 05:47 PM in reply to Confucius says
      I know thats right.Dont start none and there wont be none.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2011 at 06:56 PM in reply to c-had
        Both of you are idiots. Let me tase you for no reason.
        • reply
          by c-had on Nov 25, 2011 at 09:08 AM in reply to
          I wasnt talking about the guy who got tased, anon.I was just affirming the validity of the statement.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2011 at 02:23 AM
    Every one of the people who died in these taser incidents would be alive today if they HAD NOT RESISTED ARREST. Whatever happened to just doing what the arresting officer says {so he doesn't have to use force}, and then having your day in court? What a novel idea.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2011 at 01:03 PM in reply to
      EXACTLY! If you do what the officer asks, you don't get tased or whatever!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2011 at 06:58 PM in reply to
        Okay shut up and stop writing stupid comments on this site. Do what you are told.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2011 at 04:08 PM in reply to
      The problem is, in this case he wasn't under arrest, and if you're not under arrest you have every right to tell the cops to go **** themselves.
      • reply
        by c-had on Nov 24, 2011 at 06:34 PM in reply to
        Dont go filling these peoples heads with your silly notions of civil rights.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2011 at 08:42 PM in reply to c-had
          Oh yeah, how dare people understand and exercise their rights granted under the constitution! Maybe we should all just bend over for 'authority' figures who abuse their power? Then we can be a part of the flock like you.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 27, 2011 at 01:25 PM in reply to
        Right on anon, these simple individuals don't know their rights.
        • reply
          by c-had on Nov 28, 2011 at 08:24 AM in reply to
          I was being sarcastic.
  • by The Real John on Nov 24, 2011 at 12:07 AM
    Yeah,I bet my last dollar it was some young rookie hot head punk cop, who couldn't wait to use his weapon on an unarmed old man. Honestly, you think a person riding a bike can escape from the police.
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