Newly released video of the 2013 death of 46-year-old Linwood Lambert, a Virginia man who was fatally tased by police officers, has revived interest in the case by state investigators.
On the morning of May 4, 2013, South Boston police received noise complaints from a Super 8 motel. When the three officers arrived, they found Lambert in a room hallucinating. Though Lambert wasn’t under arrest, police handcuffed him so they could transport him to an area hospital, according to the police report.
Upon arriving at the emergency room, Lambert, who had grown increasingly agitated in the car, kicked out the police cruiser’s window and ran toward the hospital building. Officers, after ordering him to stop, began tasing him. Throughout the video, Lambert repeatedly tells them that he didn’t do anything wrong. Unable to move on the ground, Lambert is heard telling officers that he “just did cocaine.” It is then that he is arrested for disorderly conduct and destruction of property.
Officers placed him back in the squad car and begin tasing him again. According to data collected by Taser International, the officer’s tasers were discharged 20 times—1,000,000 volts of electricity—over the course of 30 minutes (South Boston police prohibit the use of tasers once a suspect is restrained).
By the time they arrived at the jail, Lambert was unresponsive. Police called for authorities to take him back to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead 30 minutes later. His cause of death was ruled as “acute cocaine intoxication,” but toxicologists say that there was less than .01mg/L of drugs in his system—hardly enough to kill a person.
Lambert’s family first saw the footage of his death over the summer when they filed a $25 million civil lawsuit.
“I don’t think anyone could hate someone that bad to inflict pain such as what they did,” Lambert’s father, Linwood Lambert Sr., told MSNBC. “I don’t see anything that he did in that tape that would provoke them to do what they did.”
A hearing for the case is scheduled for this afternoon. The three officers have never been reprimanded for Lambert’s death and have all been promoted in the years since.