Pasadena police officers twice used a Taser and physical force on a man who died in an early Friday morning altercation that was the result of a 911 call the man made for help, according to a woman who identified herself as the mother of his children, KTLA reports.
At the scene of sheriff’s homicide investigation, the woman sobbed as she described seeing the man die in front of her. Shainie Lindsay said they have four children together and another on the way.
“He called the police on himself. He wanted help,” she said.
The man is “dysfunctional” and bipolar, and had had run-ins with police before, she said.
Pasadena police said only that they responded to the 200 block of Orange Grove Boulevard at 2 a.m. and were at a “death investigation” that was later handed to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide investigators.
Late Friday morning, sheriff’s homicide Capt. Steven Katz spoke at a chaotic scene outside the home, where neighbors and reporters asked for details.
Two 911 calls came from the home, Katz said, the first at about 2 a.m. The second one indicated a family disturbance, possession of a knife and the use of narcotics, and a “struggle” could be heard over the phone, the captain said.
Lindsay, meanwhile, said two officers came to the home and told the man to put down a knife and a fire extinguisher, but he did not respond because “he was out of it.”
They twice used a Taser on him, and he finally dropped the fire extinguisher but then shut the door on the officers, she said. The officers pried open the door, she said, and then told her to leave as the altercation escalated.
“They was wrestling with him, was kicking him in the head and beating him with the baton stick,” Lindsay said, crying. “Then, after that, they was doing CPR and then he was dead.”
Katz confirmed that a Taser was used twice, as was “physical restraint.” There’s no indication that an “impact weapon” was used, he said when asked about baton use.
Details are still emerging, Katz indicated. He said a woman and two teen boys were at the home when police responded. Six officers ultimately responded, Katz said.
The man has eight children, Lindsay said.
“He was a good father, and they didn’t have to kill him,” she said. “He just wanted help. He didn’t want to die.”
Katz said a man placed the 911 call, but said “we do not know the source of the call.”
The Sheriff’s Department initially only said in a brief news release that an adult black male was pronounced dead at the scene. The man has not been identified.
The investigation was taking place in the courtyard of Orange Grove Gardens, a low-income housing development.
About a dozen police vehicles were visible at the scene, and residents appeared to be waiting outside the complex. More officers and sheriff’s investigators were continuing to arrive as of 7:30 a.m.
A resident told KTLA there were video cameras inside the complex and that information had been shared with police.
Outside the home, residents demanded to see the video.