Two Oklahoma police officers are accused of tasering a naked man more than 50 times, contributing to his death two days later.
On Wednesday Joshua Taylor, 26, and Brandon Dingman, 34, were both charged with the second-degree murder of Jared Lakey who died in the small town of Wilson on July 4, 2019.
Last Independence Day two police officers responded to reports that Lakey was acting disorderly in public. Bystanders had seen the 28-year-old running down the street naked and screaming.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), which assisted with the investigation at the request of the Carter County sheriff’s office, said that after Lakey failed to comply with their commands they used their stun guns more than 50 times.
Dashcam and bodycam footage show Taylor discharging his taser 23 times over nine minutes, while Brandon used his taser 30 times.
Lakey was not fully conscious during the arrest and did not make any aggressive movements, court documents say.
“[The victim] is tased numerous times while merely lying naked in the ditch, presumably for not rolling onto his stomach and complying with the officers’ commands to ‘put your hands behind your back’,” the affidavit says.
A deputy eventually joined Taylor and Dingman to help them take Lakey into custody. Shortly afterwards Lakey stopped breathing and was taken to the hospital. He died two days later.
According to a civil lawsuit filed by Lakey’s family, the two officers told medics they had only stunned him “four times”. They also claimed he was on drugs, but a toxicology report found no drugs in his system.
The OSBI says the two officers’ use of their stun guns on Lakey “greatly exceeded what would have been necessary or warranted by the attendant circumstances,” and was a “substantial factor” in his death.
Arrest warrants were issued for both Taylor and Dingman on Wednesday, and both men turned themselves in the following morning.
They have each been released on a $250,000 (£200,000) bond.
If convicted of second-degree murder, they each potentially face a life sentence.