ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The acting Albany Police Department chief said department guidelines were followed when an Albany man was Tased on Saturday.
Albany police are in the public eye for the second time in one month for the use of a Taser. In the most recent incident, 21-year-old Jamarl Townsend suffered a seizure and lost consciousness.
Police said a lot of questions remain about what exactly happened, but acting Albany Police Chief Brendan Cox said the officer involved followed department guidelines. In addition, Cox said Townsend was a wanted criminal and a danger to the community.
Townsend was a parolee wanted on a weapons charge when he was spotted by an officer on Saturday. Authorities said the officer warned Townsend to cooperate or he’d be Tased. That’s when police said Townsend ran and that officer deployed his Taser.
Police said one probe went into Townsend’s arm and the other to his forehead.
He was then taken into custody. Shortly after, police said Townsend suffered a seizure and lost consciousness. When emergency responders arrived, Townsend was alert and responsive, according to police.
On April 2, Dontay Ivy died in police custody after being Tased.
Cox was concerned by both incidents, so he met with doctors at Albany Medical Center Monday morning. He said they, too, were surprised, but wouldn’t say if Townsend’s medical history played a role.
Cox said the officer was within department guidelines. He pointed out that in 2014, the Albany Police Department made more than 5,700 arrests and a Taser was deployed 62 times. Cox said there were no issues.
But some in the community question the use of the Taser and how one of the probes was in Townsend’s forehead.
Townsend was brought back to the hospital after complaining he felt dizzy. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan declined an interview.