Corey McGinnis (pictured) was tased by a Ohio police officer trying to break up a fight during a pick-up basketball game in Springfield Township on June 26, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
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The shock immediately dropped McGinnis to the ground. He was rushed to a local hospital where he died five days after the incident.
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It is not clear what exactly caused McGinnis’s death. It can take months before the Hamilton County Coroner determines what actually killed McGinnis. But his family is convinced that the Taser took his life.
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Lisa McGinnis, the victim’s niece, says it is time that people raise their voices over Taser deaths:
“We, as people, need to bring some kind of attention to these Tasings because Corey is not the first person to die after being Tased and he won’t be the last unless we do something. It’s supposed to be a safer alternative, but it’s been shown time and time again that people are dying after being Tased.”
Four of his nine children were at the game and saw their father being tased by the officer. As of Monday evening, the family says no law enforcement officials have contacted them. Here is how the incident went down as reported by The Enquirer:
Corey McGinnis and his teenage sons had beaten their opponents in a second game and the opponents didn’t want to pay up and make good on the bets they’d placed on the game. A large fight broke out. Somebody fired shots. Somebody called police. And officers ended up using Tasers on some of the participants.
She doesn’t know what Corey McGinnis may have done to warrant the Taser being used on him, particularly since, according to relatives, he was under attack and had a large knot on his head where one of the basketball opponents had kicked him. That, she says, should have signaled to police that he was a victim, not an instigator. “He did not go looking for trouble,” Lisa McGinnis said.
Reports released so far give few details.
Springfield Township Patrol Officer Ryan Montgomery filed a report saying he and North College Hill officers found three possible suspects at the fight scene and attempted to take them into custody.
Two of the suspects were Tased after refusing to comply with police commands to “get on the ground,” Montgomery’s report said.
Lisa McGinnis says she believes that three men were shocked with Tasers: Corey McGinnis, his nephew, Rayshawn Whitehead, 21, of Avondale, and a stranger who was part of the group that played basketball against Corey McGinnis and his sons.
McGinnis had a criminal past and his niece, Lisa McGinnis, said the 35-year-old made mistakes but that he was working hard to improve his life. He was studying to earn his G.E.D and had hoped to become a football coach because his teenage sons played the sport.
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Lisa recalled the day McGinnis’s oldest son graduated from high school in May and how the father marveled at the sight of his diploma.
“He said, ‘I never ever touched a diploma, but I’m touching one now,’” Lisa McGinnis recalled Corey McGinnis stating. “I will never forget those words as long as I live.”