Recorded on video using their Tasers more than 50 times against an unarmed man who later died, two former Oklahoma police officers were recently convicted of second degree murder.
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.
According to police video footage, Lakey repeatedly ignored orders to place his hands behind his back yet never attacked the officers. Despite the fact that Lakey was noncompliant, he did not strike either of the officers in the videos.
After Lakey stopped breathing and became unresponsive, he was transported to a local hospital. On July 6, he passed away due to a heart attack as well as “law enforcement use of electrical weapon and restraint.”
On July 2, 2020, Dingman and Taylor were each charged with one count of second degree murder for killing Lakey. They were initially placed on administrative leave before the department terminated them. On Friday, they were found guilty of second degree murder along with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
“The Lakey family is grateful to the jury and the District Attorney for the convictions, but the risk to the public remains,” Spencer Bryan, an attorney for Lakey’s family, told The Washington Post in a statement. The family had filed a civil rights lawsuit after medical providers told them that Lakey, whose body was riddled in marks from the Taser shots, died of a heart attack, having suffered more than one. “These officers didn’t violate their policy or training, they tortured Jared precisely because that’s how Wilson, Oklahoma, decided to police the community.”
The second degree murder charge carries a possible sentence of 10 years to life in prison. Sentencing for Dingman and Taylor is currently scheduled for December 2.