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Chicago man dies after TASER incident with police

The Associated Press

CHICAGO A 42-year-old man died this weekend after being shocked twice by police with a Taser, authorities said Sunday.

Geffery Johnson was pronounced dead Saturday at St. Bernard Hospital.

An autopsy conducted Sunday morning needed further study, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. A Chicago Police spokesman said the incident remained under investigation.

Police said they were called to the southwest side home of Johnson's mother on Saturday afternoon when the woman complained Johnson was damaging property.

Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said Johnson, who had been arrested nearly two dozen times, was violating a protective order by being at the home.

"The mother wanted him arrested," Bond said. "At the time he resisted arrest and became combative and demonstrated erratic behavior. And police had to use a Taser to subdue him."

Bond said Johnson lunged again and he was shocked a second time.

Authorities also used pepper spray on the man.

But family members Sunday gave a different account of the incident.

"Chicago Police executed my son in cold blood," said Johnson's mother, Lula Johnson.

The use of Tasers, which deliver a 50,000-volt shock to immobilize people temporarily, have come under fire in Chicago and other cities following several deaths.

The weapon uses compressed nitrogen to fire two barbed darts that can penetrate clothing.

Law enforcement officials tout the Tasers as less lethal than other ways of subduing combative people in high-risk situations.

Police Superintendent Phil Cline temporarily suspended the distribution of stun guns in 2005 after two people died after police shot them with Tasers.

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