A man has died after being repeatedly tasered by two San Diego police officers. Cell phone footage shows the moment Mark Roshawn Adkins, 54, was tasered and apprehended by police in the patio area of a condo on Lemon Grove.
Just a few hours after the confrontation with the deputies, Adkins died. While the cause of his death has yet to be released, the disturbing footage gives us an indication of his physical and mental state after being tasered multiple times.
The two deputies were responding to several calls reporting a man jumping backyard fences and attempting to gain access to houses in the area. When the officers arrived on the scene, they reportedly found Adkins in the patio area.
The deputies ordered Adkins to get on the ground. When Adkins did not comply, they proceeded to taser him. Adkins, who had not been armed, fell to the ground. He was then ordered to turn over and lie on his stomach. When he did not obey these orders, the officers proceeded to taser him a second time.
“On your stomach. I will zap you again,” one deputy said in the video.
The video footage was captured by Paul Brown, a resident who had decided to record the event after he and his wife heard the commotion and decided to investigate. “We were in the bedroom and at first I thought it was the TV and she said ‘No, that’s not the TV.’ So I looked out the window and I saw the sheriff’s and so I said ‘Let me get my phone and go and see what’s going on,’” Brown said.
Brown claims to have heard the Tasers deployed on at least three separate occasions. Once the officers were able to handcuff Adkins, paramedics were called to the scene. This is routine protocol when Tasers are deployed, the department has revealed.
“He seemed like he was okay,” Brown added. “He was still moving.”
Adkins become unresponsive while being treated by paramedics, and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly after. The incident is currently under a use of force investigation. “The results of the autopsy have not been completed and are pending toxicology results,” Lt. Kenneth Nelson said in a written news release.
Since the incident, Adkins wife spoke with NSBC San Diago to defend her husband by firmly denying that he was the man the officers were looking for. “I don’t think so. That’s a lie,” said Mark’s widow, Collette Adkins. “There’s no reason for him to get into anybody’s home. He got killed right on his own street.”
Family members have also revealed that Mark had been dealing with mental health issues. This could easily explain why Adkins did not respond to the officer’s orders, with Brown saying that he was not violent and appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
“If a person is in a state of mind where they can’t comply, for [deputies] to electrocute them is not the answer,” said Collette. “I’m also praying for justice to be served in this case.”
The two deputies that fired their tasers at Adkins have since been identified as Deputy Jeffrey Perine, a three-year veteran with the SDSO, and Corporal Armin Vianzon, a 10-year veteran with the department.
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