Two men dead after police related incidents, family wants answers
Wed, 11 Apr 2012 22:50:31 GMT —
Saginaw Police say they shot and killed a man they say was robbing a home. Around the same time another man died after being tasered by police in separate incident.
The Saginaw Police Chief says in both cases his officers acted responsibly.
He says they took the proper actions needed in what were both very dangerous situations and many residents agree but the family of the tasered victim says police used excessive force and they want answers.
"They tasered him so bad he had taser sticks hanging out of his legs," said Bobby Merrill's mother, Dorothy Anderson.
"They chased him, they beat him and they tased him, " said Anderson.
Police were called to the intersection of South Washington and Gilmore around 4:00 p.m. Tuesday after reports were called in that Merrill was running in and out of traffic.
Saginaw Police Chief Gerald Cliff says the 38-year old was combative and would not cooperate. Police tasered him several times but he Chief Cliff says he seemed unfazed.
"He didn't die immediately after being tased. He was handcuffed and he was talking to officers after being subdued."
Merrill's family says the incident did not go down the way police are reporting.
"He informed the police that he did have something in his system and he was tasered after he was handcuffed." said Merrill's sister Stephanie Burton.
"I see absolutely no problem based on what I know with what took place yesterday," said Chief Cliff.
Many other residents agree with Chief Cliff.
"The way things are going it's not excessive," said Max Rodriguez.
He is still shaken up over an incident that happened around the same time Merrill was tasered.
Max and his brother Martin Garcia live next door to where police shot and killed alleged armed intruder, 18 year old Andre Jones.
"The first thing I was someone saying 'police, police,' and then I heard gunshots.
The brothers say with the spike in crime police have to be prepared for any situation and take the necessary precautions and actions.
"People are getting crazy. They're shooting at cops."
"The officer's don't get paid to get shot and killed. They get paid to work and protect the public," said Chief Cliff.
Merrill's family is left wondering who was protecting their loved one.
"My brother was a good man, a good brother and a good son," said Stephanie
"This is breaking our hearts. Our link is broken," said Dorothy.
The exact cause of Merrill's death is not known. Autopsy results are expected in the next couple of days.
Both cases are being investigated by the Michigan State Police.