More tests needed to determine whether Taser caused death
THETFORD, Vt. -
The medical examiner needs more time to determine exactly what caused a Thetford man's death minutes after being tased by a Vermont State Trooper.
Police were called to the home of Macadam Mason, 39, Wednesday after he made comments about suicide and threatened to hurt others. The father of three died minutes after he was tased in the chest. Police say Mason was not complying with orders to get down, and then went after a trooper.
There are questions surrounding the safety of tasing someone in the chest. The Vermont State police do not prohibit it, although the manufacturer warns against it because of possible controversy surrounding its effect on the heart.
In Vermont, the American Civil Liberties Union wants Tasers removed from troopers' belts until the medical examiner makes a ruling on the cause of death.
"So I think everybody in the profession should be thinking maybe we have to step back for a moment and make sure we are using these things accurately, correctly, appropriately because we don't want another person to died in this way," said Allen Gilbert of the Vermont ACLU.
State police officials say they are now reviewing their policy on the use of Tasers.
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