Coconut Creek, FL-- Police Chief Michael Mann has abruptly resigned after paperwork was released on Wednesday, showing that three of the four officers involved in the tasing death of Calvon Reid, 39, were not certified to be carrying the often fatal weapons.
The police have been extremely tight-lipped and refuse to release almost any details regarding the death of the father of two.
According to witnesses, however, the incident began as Reid was walking through the private parking lot of a gated senior living facility. It has not been released why Reid was in the community, but, flowers left behind on the spot where he died and his screams during the assault indicate he may have known, or believed he knew, someone in the community. His clothing was reportedly ripped and bloodstained.
“He was yelling, `Baby, baby, baby. They’re going to kill me,”
Witnesses claim that Reid had approached someone who was parking their car in the lot and asked them for a ride to the hospital. At this point, the resident called 9-1-1 and asked for paramedics to come and check on the injured man.
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Reid reportedly became belligerent with paramedics so police officers responded to the scene. After Reid attempted to run from the officers, two of them reportedly fired their tasers at him simultaneously. A witness has also claimed that one of the officers struck him in the head with a metal baton and at some point during the altercation. He was also tased at least one more time, by a third officer. Another witness claims they saw him tased in the chest. The department has refused to release how many times Reid was tased or how many officers were involved.
Reid was hospitalized following the attack and died in police custody.
Facing a massive wave of backlash from the death of Reid, the chief was asked to resign- effective immediately, by the city manager following requested documents being released to the Sun Sentinel. The documents show that three of four officers had expired certifications, which by law, must be renewed annually.
"For the good of the department, I think it is time for a change in leadership," the former Chief wrote.
Mann wouldn't tell the Sentinel why the officers still carried Tasers despite the lapsed certifications. "That's part of the ongoing investigation. You have to talk to the new chief about that," he said.
The resignation is effective March 26, but Mann will be taking paid leave until then, "burning time I can't convert to my pension," he told the Sentinel.
According to Amnesty International, between 2001 and 2008, 351 people in the United States died from being shocked by police tasers. Electronic Villiage has documented another 283 taser-related deaths in the United States from 2009- October 2014. That means there have been at least 634 documented taser-related deaths in America since 2001, and there have definitely been more, including Reid, since the list was curated. You can view the list here.