The death of Natasha McKenna, the mentally ill, 37-year-old woman who was restrained by handcuffs, leg shackles and a mask when she was reportedly tasered four times by police, has been ruled an accident due to “excited delirium.”
An April 28 autopsy declared her death was a result of “excited delirium associated with physical restraint including use of conductive energy device, contributing: Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar Disorder.”
So basically, authorities are blaming her mental illness for the fact that her body reacted to being tasered FOUR TIMES in a short time frame.
And this is why we can’t sleep anymore.
McKenna’s arrest, and now death, have been extremely controversial from day one.
Per WUSA9, the police were called on McKenna in late January because she was acting erratically in public. She was reportedly near a Hertz car rental location on Pickett Road in Virginia. When six officers arrived, she allegedly “punched one officer in the face, tried to bite an officer [and] wrestled with some officers on ground.” At some point during the altercation, it was revealed McKenna suffered from schizophrenia. According to Craig Fifer, on behalf of Alexandria, Virginia police, “the focus was [on] getting her to the hospital [in order to receive treatment].”
McKenna was then held at Fairfax County jail with intentions to transmit her to Alexandria jails for medical treatment. But due to her lack of medicine or treatment, she began to experience intense schizophrenic episodes. While at Fairfax, her condition was “deteriorating.”
On February 3, McKenna was physically having difficulty obeying the orders of deputies (“in an effort to…put [her] in a restraining chair”). Reportedly, police then resorted to using a 50,000-volt taser on her four times.
That decision placed McKenna in cardiac arrest.
50,000 volts. Four times. On a sick woman.
But it’s an accident, right? It’s sick is what it is.
After she died, it took four months for a Virginian medical examiner to deliver an autospy on McKenna, who, by the way, was also a mother. Per the Washington Post, the diagnosis found that McKenna’s schizophrenia was aggravated by tasers.
Following the extremely unfortunate circumstances, the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office made the delayed decision to suspend the use of tasers in the future. Andrea Ceisler, told the Virginia press:
“When an unusual event occurs, it is standard practice to review specific policy and procedures in reference to that event. Due to the recent incident, we are focused on the Taser policy and, as you are now aware, have temporarily suspended the use of this device in the ADC pending completion of our review.”