Here is an excerpt from Kristina Davis' article in the San Diego Union Tribune:
"Methamphetamine abuse and high blood pressure were believed to be contributing factors in the death of a Mexican man who suffered a heart attack after being shot with a Taser stun gun, the Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday. Anastacio Hernandez Rojas stopped breathing after being shocked by federal border officials and was declared brain-dead at a hospital Saturday. He was taken off life support Monday. Authorities are still awaiting the results of toxicology tests, which could take about six weeks, to determine what substances may have been in his system when he was shocked. Amphetamine use is not uncommon among the human smuggling routes of East County and in Arizona, with smugglers giving the substances to their charges in an attempt to make them walk faster and longer on what can be an arduous trek. U.S. Border Patrol agents also commonly find empty cans of energy drinks strewn along smuggling trails. San Diego Police Department officials said Hernandez Rojas and his brother were arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents about 7:20 p.m. Friday on suspicion of illegally crossing the border in the Otay Mountain area. The two men were transported to a Border Patrol station for processing, then to the border turnstile at San Ysidro to be returned to Mexico. As agents were unloading him from a van and taking off his handcuffs, police said he started fighting with the Border Patrol agents, who used batons to try to subdue him. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were called for help. A customs agent shot Hernandez Rojas in the back with a Taser and he stopped breathing shortly afterward. Officers administered CPR before paramedics took him to the hospital." Link to Full ArticleAnalysis: I was waiting a little bit for this story to develop a little further before posting on it, and I'm glad I did. I know we occasionally hear stories about people occasionally getting beaten, tasered, and otherwise abused by police á la Rodney King, and I was hoping this wouldn't be one of those cases. USBP agents, in my experience, are usually very professional and highly trained, so I would hope that what happened to Hernandez Rojas wasn't a case of a bunch of jerks on some power trip.
For those of you not familiar with the effects of methamphetamine (meth) on the mind and body, it's an extremely powerful mental and physical stimulant. It can make your mind feel sharper and your brain feel stronger. It will keep you up for hours because of the extremely heightened state of awareness it puts you into. Many who take it feel invincible, like they can do anything. While meth doesn't have as strong a physical effect as PCP, it still makes for a very potent adversary in a fight. If it's true that Hernandez Rojas had a good amount of meth in his system when he was confronted by USBP agents, then it's more and more likely that the agents and responding Arizona DPS officers acted in accordance within protocol to protect themselves, and to prevent Hernandez Rojas from causing injury to himself.
As for the man's death, taking meth while having a high blood pressure condition does not a strong heart make. Again, if this is true, then there was no way any police officer could know that tasering Hernandez Rojas would have such an impact. There is still an investigation to be conducted and autopsy tests to be run, but I have a feeling this is going to work out in favor of the USBP agents and Arizona DPS officers.
UPDATE: Just as a note, I have a link to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's report on Hernandez Rojas' condition. It essentially says he died from a heart attack, to which meth abuse and hypertension contributed. It's also listed as a homicide; however, keep in mind, if he had pulled out a machine gun, and cops responded by shooting and killing him in self-defense, it would be reported the same way. It's still prudent to wait for the outcome of the internal investigation.
I also find it pretty amusing that Mexican Ambassador to the US Arturo Sarukhan is tweeting that his government will do everything necessary to prevent the future use of excessive force by US authorities against its citizens. This is funny, considering the routine use of excessive, brutal, and abusive force by Mexican law enforcement authorities against illegal immigrants from Central America, usually in Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas where they enter.