DEKALB COUNTY, Ga.,None — Two DeKalb County police officers who used Tasers on people who later died were justified in their use of the device, an internal review board found.
DeKalb police began investigating the use of Tasers by officers in the two cases that happened within a week of each other in May.
The DeKalb County Police Department Internal Review Board released the report after an investigation into the deaths of Audrecas Davis and Sukeba Olawunmi.
Police Chief William O'Brien announced Wednesday that the board examined both cases and ruled the officers' actions were "justifiable."
"In both cases, officers responded to 911 calls for help on extremely combative individuals and were forced to physically subdue them using their Tasers. According to the Medical Examiner's report, both individuals suffered from extensive medical problems and one individual had narcotics present in their system at the time of death," officials said in a statement obtained by Channel 2 Action News.
According to the Davis report, "Concerning the Taser, discomfort related to the use of this weapon probably caused sympathetic nervous system discharge, further stressing a heart with advanced established disease. While the Taser did not directly cause his death, in conjunction with his many other maladies they collectively followed a common road ending in his demise."
According to the Olawunmi report, "The Taser did not directly cause her death but was one of several issues that ended with her demise. Except for cocaine-induced excited delirium, no one factor may be singled out as being more important than the other with respect to her death. Furthermore, she may have died under similar circumstances even without the use of the Taser."
O'Brien said he stands behind the use of the Taser as an alternative to deadly force.
"While both of these incidents were extremely unfortunate in that they resulted in death, I know my officers followed the proper protocols," said O'Brien.