Accused of using their Tasers more than 50 times against an unarmed man who later died, two Oklahoma police officers were charged with second-degree murder last week. According to police officials, both officers turned themselves into the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and were released on bond.
On July 4, 2019, Wilson police Officers Joshua Taylor and Brandon Dingman responded to a call that 28-year-old Jared Lakey was reportedly screaming and running naked down a street. According to court documents, Officer Dingman deployed his Taser 23 times for a total of 114 seconds of tasing over nine minutes, while Taylor deployed his Taser 30 times for 122 seconds total.
“Taylor and Dingman were responding to a call that involved Lakey acting in a disorderly way,” the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation wrote in a recent press release. “When Lakey would not comply with commands from the officers, Taylor and Dingman used their tasers multiple times. A Carter County deputy eventually responded to the scene and was able to assist with getting Lakey in custody. Shortly thereafter, Lakey stopped breathing and became unresponsive. Lakey was transported to the hospital in Healdton and then to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, which is where he died.”
According to court records, Lakey never attacked the officers or made any aggressive attempt toward either officer during their encounter. Despite the fact that Lakey was immobilized and lost consciousness, Dingman and Taylor allegedly continued tasing Lakey instead of making any attempts to physically restrain him.
On July 2, Dingman and Taylor were each charged with one count of second-degree murder for killing Lakey. After surrendering to authorities, they were released on bond.
“It’s not often that we see law enforcement criminally prosecuted. The actions of these officers justifies criminal charges,” said Lakey family attorney Steven Terrill in a statement to CNN.
“The video of this incident, which our firm has worked to get released for some time, is a heart-wrenching and disturbing account of a young man dying due to the direct actions of law enforcement.”
Terrill added, “The actions of the district attorney in filing second degree-murder charges is a big step in providing the public with the security that law enforcement is going to be held accountable.”
If convicted, each officer could face between 10 years and life in prison.