Who is Donald Burgess? How did he die after after being Tasered by police? Explained

Three weeks after an incident in Sussex, Donald Burgess, who had dementia and had threatened caregivers, passed away.

Following the man’s death, two police officers who used a Taser on a 93-year-old wheelchair-bound man who was threatening care facility personnel with a knife are being probed for manslaughter.

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Who is Donald Burgess?

Donald Burgess, a dementia patient with one leg, passed away this month, three weeks after being shocked by a Taser.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which stated it was looking into the incident involving two Sussex police constables on June 21, said as much on Thursday.

On the afternoon of June 21, police were summoned to a care facility in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, in response to reports of an elderly man in a wheelchair threatening staff members with a knife.

They had been called in response to reports that a resident of a care facility in St. Leonards-on-Sea had a knife and was posing a threat to the employees.

How did Donald Burgess die after after being Tasered by police?

Burgess was being held back by one of the officers who was using a baton and incapacitating spray. Before the knife was taken out, another officer used a Taser.

Burgess was placed in handcuffs and sent to the hospital, where he stayed until his passing on July 13.

Following complaints about the excessive use of force by its officers, Sussex police reported the event to the watchdog.

The elderly man was taken off guard before being handcuffed. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment, but he passed away on July 13 three weeks later.

A voluntary referral was made by Sussex Police to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which has opened an investigation.

The two concerned constables have received misconduct notices and letters informing them that they are the subject of a manslaughter inquiry. The IOPC emphasised that this did not automatically imply that legal action or disciplinary actions would follow.

The IOPC’s regional director, Graham Beesley condolences for Donald Burgess death

The watchdog has collected witness statements and is watching the body-worn camera footage of the officers. As the cause of Burgess’ death is still unknown, investigators also attended a postmortem and are awaiting the results of medical tests.

Graham Beesley, the regional director of the IOPC, said: “I want to extend my condolences to the man’s family and those who knew him. His next of kin have been informed of our independent inquiry and the actions we will be taking.

This will entail determining whether the two officers used reasonable, necessary, and proportionate force against the man given the circumstances and in accordance with local, state, and federal laws, procedures, and guidelines.

In 2020, the IOPC expressed concern over allegations that black persons and others with mental health issues have been disproportionately targeted by stun guns.

The old guy was assaulted with such severity, according to Deborah Coles, executive director of the human rights organisation Inquest, that she was “very upset” and in “disbelief.”

She stated: “It is simply inexcusable to think of a very defenceless elderly man with dementia being subjected to such a use of force by the police at a care facility. Why the police responded rather than a medical team to a man in such clear distress begs the question.

In order to guarantee that those responsible are held accountable, she continued, “It is essential that there be a criminal inquiry that is swift and effective.”

An investigation was started in June when a man who had been Tasered by police had to be pulled from the River Thames and later died.

The event, which happened in west London close to Chelsea Bridge, was the subject of an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

A Met officer who used a Taser on a 10-year-old child should face gross misconduct charges, the IOPC decided in February.

Who is Donald Burgess? How did he die after after being Tasered by police? Explained
Who is Donald Burgess? How did he die after after being Tasered by police? Explained

The girl was reportedly menacing a woman in south-west London with garden shears and a hammer when the officer used the stun gun on her.

Jordan Walker-Brown was blasted with a Taser the next month, paralysing him from the chest down, and an officer was charged with grievous bodily harm.

Donald Burgess Family

Oh what a tragedy, said a neighbour who wished to remain unnamed. He was a charming and gregarious man. He lived here for many years with his wife Ethel; they were a charming couple.

“Ethel developed cancer, and I told her I’d take care of Don the last time she entered a hospice.” This makes me feel awful. It’s really unbelievable. “How awful.”

She claimed that Mr. Burgess, a retired carpenter, had lost his leg due to diabetes and had to have it amputated.

The neighbour said, “After Ethel died, he had his own carers.” “However, after having his leg amputated, he only returned for one night before having to enter a care facility.

Also read: How Did Nicole Hazen Die?

Neighbours about Donald Burgess

He must have developed dementia after entering the care facility, according to a different neighbour, because he was usually in good health here. We liked the guy. He was a nice old man. I believe that his wife’s passing deeply affected him.

The pair, according to another resident, were childless and dependent on caregivers in their later years.

One remarked, “They were both wonderful.” I don’t recall Don having any pastimes like gardening or sports viewing, but I do remember that he enjoyed watching TV. He was a kind, mature man. I’m startled and in awe of what’s happened to him. It’s awful beyond words.

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