Duval County Inmate Dies After Officers Use Taser, Restrain Him
Update (2:50 p.m. on Dec. 31): A Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman says the death investigation is ongoing, and an internal investigation will follow if wrongdoing is found.
The original article is below:
A man who was declared brain dead earlier this month after being shocked with a Taser gun by Jacksonville officers and placed in a restraint chair has died.
Paul Testa, 44, was arrested Dec. 21 after a trespassing incident. While being booked in jail, police say Testa became violent and a corrections officer used a Taser gun on him.
Then, following his first appearance in court, Testa again became combative and a Taser gun was used again, then he was placed in a restraint chair, where he became unresponsive.
Family members said Testa never regained consciousness and was taken off life support on Monday. An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.
A lawyer for the family said Testa didn't have any physical health problems, but he did have mental issues. Two years ago he told police he was seeing zombies and that he was going to kill all the trash in his neighborhood.
Grieving family members said Testa was a husband and had a son.
Attorney Ted Pina told News4Jax the family plans to sue the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the city.
"It doesn't seem to fit that someone who is essentially 5 feet 7 and approximately 145 pounds would need to be tased twice and placed into a restraining chair and end up dead after a first-time arrest for misdemeanor trespass," Pina said. "Something's not right here,and so that's why were investigating, and that's what the family wants the answers for."
Pina said at that time Testa was essentially brain dead, which is why the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and his firm are now conducting an investigation.
“We're going to be making some information act request, for the jail video and other documents. And we're going to evaluate whether that things happened to him were according to the policies and procedures,” Pina says.
WJCT has sent a request for comment to the Sheriff's Office. This story will be updated with the response.