Nursing Home Patient Dies After Police Shoot Him With Taser Gun

A Minnesota nursing home resident has died two weeks after being shot with a Taser gun by police who say they were trying to save his life.  

Zheng Diao, 76, died late last month from complications associated with injuries suffered as a result of being Tasered by St. Louis police on July 14.

Police were called to the nursing home, Park Health and Rehabilitation Center in St. Louis Park, after Diao reportedly began threatening people with a knife and a pair of scissors. Officers were unable to communicate with Diao in English and tried using gestures to convince him to put down the improvised weapons. When Diao put the knife up to his throat, officers shot him with the stun gun in an attempt to subdue him.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

Diao suffered a fall and seriously injured his face. While being treated for his injuries and for delirium, Diao contracted pneumonia and died. According to a report by Minnesota Public Radio, the Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, indicated that Diao’s injuries and subsequent pneumonia were a direct result of him being stunned and falling on his face.

The St. Louis Police Department plans to ask an independent third party to review the incident. The police department did not become aware of Diao’s death until August 5.

In recent years, serious concerns have emerged about the widespread use of Taser guns by police forces throughout the United States. The stun guns are designed to incapacitate neuromuscular function by delivering a shock that uses Electro-Muscular Disruption tecnology.

Although Taser International, the manufacturer of the weapons, maintains that the shock delivered by the Taser is not life threatening, a number of deaths have occurred following use of the stun guns.

In 2008, Amnesty International released a report, calling for police departments throughout the United States to stop using Taser guns or to strictly limit their use to life-threatening situations. The human rights group linked 334 deaths to the use of Taser guns between 2001 and August 2009, noting that 90% of Taser deaths examined involved people who were unarmed and did not appear to present a serious threat to the officers.

In October 2011, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) released a report that estimated 15% of Taser shootings examined were clearly inappropriate, routinely being used on subjects who were unarmed and posed no physical threat. In addition, more than a third of the cases examined by the NYCLU involved multiple or prolonged shocks, and in 27% of the incidents police officers shot the Taser in the victim’s chest, which some reports suggest could increase the risk of fatal heart injuries.

Image Credit: |


Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Johnson & Johnson Faces Medical Monitoring Lawsuit Over Future Baby Powder Cancer Risks
Johnson & Johnson Faces Medical Monitoring Lawsuit Over Future Baby Powder Cancer Risks (Posted today)

Women who used Johnson's Baby Powder around their genitals for feminine hygiene purposes now live in fear of developing ovarian cancer, according to the class action lawsuit seeking medical monitoring for future diagnoses

More Than 9,600 Join Suboxone Lawsuit Over Tooth Decay in MDL Filing
More Than 9,600 Join Suboxone Lawsuit Over Tooth Decay in MDL Filing (Posted yesterday)

A bundled complaint of about 9,600 Suboxone lawsuits were filed in federal court on Friday, ahead of the two-year anniversary of the FDA requiring tooth decay label warnings on the opioid treatment film strips, which is also a deadline for filing a civil complaint in many states.