- The New York attorney general is investigating the death of a man who was tasered by police.
- Jason Jones, 29, burst into flames when tasered on October 30 and died a month and a half later.
- Videos appeared to show Jones dousing himself with hand sanitizer before being tased.
Jason Jones, 29, at the Catskill Police Department after the flames on his upper body and head were put out.
The New York attorney general’s office is investigating the death of a man who burst into flames when he was tasered by police, according to a statement released Friday.
The attorney general’s office released two videos that show the October 30 encounter between Jason Jones, 29, and officers from the Catskill Police Department.
The first video shows Jones and three officers in the police station lobby. Jones seems upset and appears to be staggering as he moves around the room. At one point he takes off his shirt.
The second video shows Jones squirting what appears to be hand sanitizer on his body and head. An officer fires his taser while Jones is out of frame. Immediately there’s a huge flash of light and Jones reappears in frame with his upper body and head engulfed in flames. He rolls on the ground in an apparent effort to put out the flames.
Minutes later, medics arrive. The graphic video, embedded below, is disturbing.
Jones died on December 15, the attorney general’s office said, adding that they are required by law to investigate when a police officer “may have caused the death of a person, by an act or omission.”
At the time of the incident, the Times Union reported Jones had walked into the station and, appearing intoxicated, got into a confrontation with officers. Chief David Darling told the outlet Jones had doused himself in hand sanitizer and that officers used a taser in an attempt to subdue him.
Many hand sanitizers contain high volumes of alcohol, which is flammable, in order to kill germs. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be a fire hazard without proper handling.
Darling also said Jones was known to the department and that the officers may have been afraid he was going to hurt himself.
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