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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by renee Location: Bertie on Jul 23, 2009 at 07:13 AM
    I have an opinion on this matter because I live in Bertie County. I know the men behind the tasers. The are always looking for a reason to pull harrass and distory lives of innocent people. One day the turth will come out about the Bertie County Sheriffs Dept. But don't look for it though our SBI agency. They intentionally with held evidence to send a guy to death row. Thank goodness his family never gave up and he is no longer on death row. Please be careful going thru Bertie County they will let anybody be a deputy!
  • by John Doe Location: Around on Jul 23, 2009 at 05:52 AM
    People need to realize that there is more behind this story that what they are reporting and what people choose to believe. Those who dont know what they are talking about and are just making comments based upon assumptions and race need to keep their mouths shut. Dont you think that everyone, even the officers, were deeply affected by this matter and people just want to continue to pick and poke the issue. Had the suspect abided by the law from day one, he without question wouldn't have dies and we wouldn't even be talking about this matter at this time! It just goes to show if you do as your supposed you have nothing to worry about and when you dont there are consequences. Yes, he didnt deserve to die but did anyone ever think that it was his time to go? We say pray for the family and everyone but fail to realize that it could have been in the plan for his time to be up. We will never understand why but thats what religion is based upon is it not?! Just something to think about...
  • by Renee Location: Bertie on Jul 20, 2009 at 08:29 AM
    I sent in two comments on this case and neither have been posted. I guess my knowledge of what is going on at the Bertie County Sheriffs Department scares WITN to report the WHOLT story. But all will be revealed in time. I hope the family has been able to move on. I hope one day the truth will get out and people will see the Department for what it truly is!
  • by It's All Good Location: Bertie on Jul 17, 2009 at 11:17 PM
    QUESTION for Amy...In this matter who was the idiot the dead man or the men behind the tasers?I do not think that it took two men to taser this dude.why couldn't one just held him in some way to calm him down .they were trained on how to arrest a violent person.So why did they have to keep tasering him knowing what could happen if over tasered.NOW..you seems to be the idiot Amy.What if it had been your brother,your nephew,your father, most of all your son,then would he have been an idiot with mental issues.And for the one that don't care about this I think your name was Chuckles then i guess your should have not even commented in the first place.Go get a life that was ignorent of you.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Jul 11, 2009 at 11:43 AM
    There was no wrongdoing, move along. Obey the law and the lawful instructions of law enforcement.
  • by Annie Nonomus Location: Greenville on Jul 10, 2009 at 11:24 AM
    A mental patient can hurt you worse that a person with no disabilities or imparements. Sorry it happened but better him that the officers. Taser does not normally kill. A autopsy will show he had some sort of imparement that atributed to his death.
  • by report Location: Greenville on Jul 10, 2009 at 07:06 AM
    WITN needs to report the whole story! this person family member called the police to help take him to the hospital because he had a mental condition!! When the police got there he was out of control not saying the police was wrong but this wasnt a person not listening to police he was sick!!
  • by richard Location: edenton on Jul 9, 2009 at 08:10 PM
    Consider the options. Taser, 9mm or 40cal. I choose taser.
  • by chuckles on Jul 9, 2009 at 06:40 PM
    There may be 5 people who care about this. I am not one of them.
  • by Amy Location: greenville on Jul 9, 2009 at 05:27 PM
    I agree with bob,the only problem is this,Our society is full of idiots
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