Police await autopsy report

Police await autopsy report

December 2nd, 2009 by Jacqueline Koch in News

Other Taser incident

On Jan. 4, Roger Redden, 52, was shocked with a Taser seven times by Soddy-Daisy police Officer Melissa Daniels and died 18 days later. The medical examiner's office in Knoxville ruled his death a natural event and listed the cause of death as multiple medical issues. A Hamilton County Sheriff's Office report exonerated Officer Daniels.

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press archives

City Code on Erlanger police

Hospital police "shall have, possess and exercise every power granted by the statutes of the state or the charter of the city to regular police officers of the city necessary in the performance of their duties, including the right to execute search warrants as provided by law, but such special policemen shall not be employees of the city."

Source: Chattanooga city code

The cause of death for a man shocked with a Taser by Erlanger police officers may not be known for several weeks.

The Hamilton County Medical Examiner's Office completed an autopsy Tuesday afternoon but did not release information pending toxicology and blood lab results.

Edward Buckner, 54, died Friday. A patient at Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute, he had been treated at Erlanger for dehydration. Upon release he fought with hospital police, who used the Taser before he was taken back to Moccasin Bend and found to be unresponsive. He was returned to Erlanger and pronounced dead.

The officers involved have not been identified. Erlanger hospital declined Tuesday to comment on the incident or any questions involving the security force.

Erlanger spokeswoman Pat Charles referred to a statement issued Monday to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

"We feel it would be inappropriate to comment on any aspect of this case since this is still an active police investigation," the statement said.

Ms. Charles declined Tuesday to tell how many officers Erlanger has, how many carry Tasers and what kind of training they receive.

City Attorney Mike McMahan said all Erlanger officers were commissioned by the city about 60 days ago, but the hospital is a separate entity from the city. The city checks their backgrounds and training before authorizing them to carry weapons and enforce laws, he said. Officers also can be licensed security officers through the state.

Erlanger board member Jim Worthington said he doesn't remember reviewing security policy since he joined the board in 2006. He said any incident that occurs at Erlanger, including security issues, could come before the board.