Man Who Died After Being Tased Committed Suicide, Medical Examiner Reports

Jun 22, 2009 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Hartford Courant

Police were called to a house on Birch Road around 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Inside, Derek Kairney confronted officers with a knife, police said.

Comments
1 - 18 of 18 Comments Last updated Oct 14, 2012
anonymous

Northford, CT

#1 Jun 24, 2009
I knew Derek, he was a great personal friend of mine and a great, honest, stand up guy . The so called "knife" was a sheet rocking knife that he was using to finish the drywall in his basement. The police entered with no warrant and surprised him while he was working. He would never threaten anyone and was one of the most non-violent people in the world who always had candy and gifts for my three year old daughter who always asked "is Derek coming over Daddy". The police involved should be charged with manslaugter, but instead are looking for ways to absolve themselves, through lies, defamation and any other means possible. I hope the good lord serves justice on the cops who murdered my friend, who had also recently been struggling with cancer. What would we do without these so called "police" to protect and serve us good citizens of South Windsor. I guess it means to serve us tickets and in this case death sentences. Who protects us from them is the real question. From my understanding they also entered his house without a warrant. If the officers involved are reading this why dont you man up and tell the real story of how a great, hard working, self employed, tax paying plumber with a daughter and a dog that loved him along with his many friends and family was murdered. Or is the reason you became cops was to kill innocent people and get away with it. Maybe you can fool us but you will never fool the man above. If it was an accident, or poor jugement, we respect that you have a difficult, dangerous job. Derek deserves the truth and so do we the ones that loved him.
anonymous

United States

#3 Jul 29, 2009
I too was very friendly with Derek. We were business associates as well as close friends.
I was totally in shock when I heard the news. I spoke to Derek just about daily. I've known him for several years. It was a complete shock to me because I talked to him regularly and new everything that was going on in his life. Although he may have been going through some difficulties (aren't we all??) He never ever mentioned that he was distraught or that he couldn't handle what he was going through. Derek was the type of guy that took on his problems head on. for that matter he handled things better than most people. Here is a guy that is a single parent, working hard everyday to not just make ends meet, but to make a better life for his daughter and himself. He came home after work to renovate his home so he and his daughter could have a better more comfortable place to live. He also recently started a new health a wellness regime eating more nutrious foods and he was drinking the Acai berry juice Monavie for the health and wealth benefits it provides people.
I spoke to derek the night before the incident about a new project he was about to start. he was very excited that he landed this job and was ready to start on Monday. The morning of the incident he called another close friend of ours to confirm he had left the hidden key so he could walk his dog. So when I heard this news I said to myself...something doesn't quite add up here....suicide?? If the man was suicidal would his last thought before he took his life be oh geez I have to go walk my friends dog before I go to heaven??? I also thought..If he was suicidal would he be an advocate of finding better health for himself and friends?? frankly the man didn't have a mean bone in his body. He loved his mom, his daughter, his dog who he called his son and his friends. The people he worked for soon became his friends as well. So again I say this just doesn't add up. I agree with the previous commenter and would like to add that we are all human and we all make mistakes...yes even police make mistakes. Of course the fact that no one else was there except the police and the dead man, the true events are locked up in the memories of the police and we the public may never know the truth. If there was an accident and there is any justice here the parties involved should come forward and admit it. Think of the family, friends and associates who have lost a loved one. But if not, be sure to know judgement day will come for you when you try knocking on heavens door.
Sleeping at night will also be better with a clear concious. If there were no mistakes made then may Derek Rest in peace.
Christopher

South Windsor, CT

#4 Aug 29, 2009
I think it is evident that tasers are dangerous weapons and the use of them have dangerous consequences. Someone who is being shocked by a taser is very unlikely to be able to control their muscles in a manner which would allow them to commit suicide. Only the people who were in that house at the time know the whole story, but it would seem to me that there are enough stories about people dying unnecessarily as a result of tasers.

“think out of the box”

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#5 Aug 30, 2009
I am very sorry for your loss - a terribly sad sorry.
SusieQ

Milwaukee, WI

#6 Oct 3, 2009
It's my opinion that the Taser was responsible for Derek's death. The knife Derek was holding may have caused the wound that killed him (though this is not absolutely certain), but he certainly would NOT have fallen on the knife he was holding, if a Taser had NOT been used on him!

His mother informed me that, when the state police visited her, they seemed to think there was no real justification for a Taser to have been used on Derek. Absent evidence that he was suicidal, I'd say his death was a police homicide.

A FULL autopsy was NOT performed on Derek, so it may never be known for certain exactly how he died, unless unexamined body tissues have been preserved under conditions that prevent their degradation, so that they can be examined at a later date without loss of integrity.

Derek's mother let me know that she phoned the Medical Examiner who autopsied Derek and asked him "how he came to the conclusion that [Derek] committed suicide". According to her, his exact words were "because the police said so".

It's possible that we may hear more in future from the Medical Examiner about the death of Derek Kairney!
SusieQ

Milwaukee, WI

#7 Oct 3, 2009
The word "murder" has been used to describe the death of Derek Kairney, but this is inaccurate. If the police DID cause Derek's death, then it was a homicide, NOT murder. Most police are taught during their training that the Taser cannot kill a person, so when one uses a Taser on a person, he is NOT trying to kill that person! Quite the opposite, in fact.

Homicide refers to the death of one person at he hands of another person. For a homicide to be murder, the person who did the killing had to INTEND to kill the person who died! There was no intent to kill Derek on the part of the South Windsor police officers who tried to take him into custody, so even if Derek's death is eventually determined to be a homicide, it was NOT murder.

Did the South Windsor police officers recklessly endanger Derek's life? Maybe the state police investigation will reach this conclusion, or maybe not. We will have to wait and see.

But some culpability rests with the Chief of the South Windsor Police Department, because he sets the policy for Taser use within the Department he heads, and he also makes the final decision as to what constitutes adequate training of his officers in Taser use. If the Chief of the South Windsor Police Department would like to minimize the chances of another "Taser death" in future, he should study how the Columbia (MO) Police Department is using the Taser and training its officers, and consider adopting some or all of THAT agency's policies.
LEE ann

United States

#8 Oct 6, 2009
What i just read, is just so sad... what happen to DEREK was just wrong.... I just hope these dumb assholes pay for what they did.. THEY are not police, they are cops.. .. LOSERS.... There is a differents (sp).. in a cop, and a police officer. THINK about it...
Mark

Plainville, CT

#9 Oct 6, 2009
This is the first time I am hearing about this story. Since I moved here from NYC, I have become convinced that CT is indeed a police state. One thing I know for a fact is that when it comes to lying to cover their misdeeds, the CT cops that I have had personal experience with are at without peer. The person who makes the comment that the only witnesses were the cops and the dead gentleman gets right to the heart of this matter. If there was any impropriety or illegality involved, if this man's Constitutional rights were violated, we will never know. The cops who were involved will never reveal what really happened that day.
Hey

Southington, CT

#10 Oct 6, 2009
Get a second opinion on the autopsy.

Get it done out-of-state.
Hey

Southington, CT

#11 Oct 6, 2009
It's not expensive to get another autopsy.

You need to go through a private investigator.
Nah

Woodstock, CT

#12 Oct 11, 2009
Derek died from a self inflicted laceration. Case closed.
morgan dereks daughter

Columbus, NC

#13 Jan 7, 2010
to everyone who said my fathers death was NOT a murder. your wrong and need to get your facts straight. the pigs killed him. and people wrting things that are hurtful twards the family need to stop. i hate to see people put my father down after his death. it has been 6 months and i will not tolerate it any longer.
morgan dereks daughter

Columbus, NC

#14 Jan 7, 2010
Nah wrote:
Derek died from a self inflicted laceration. Case closed.
basicaly i just want to say f-u but im going to be the bigger person. who ever you are you do not need to be commmenting on this situation. you are not a part of the family and you have no right bc you were not there. get over your self.
morrgan his daughter

Greer, SC

#15 Nov 8, 2010
Nah wrote:
Derek died from a self inflicted laceration. Case closed.
screw you my dad did not kill him self
Hartford

Farmington, CT

#16 Nov 13, 2010
Nah wrote:
Derek died from a self inflicted laceration. Case closed.
you're a jerk....case closed
Kelly

South Windsor, CT

#17 Apr 13, 2012
This is absolutely disgusting. I cannot believe south Windsor cops could ever let this happen to an innocent man. It makes me sick. I wish something would be done...
wiseoldsnail

Oakland, CA

#18 Oct 13, 2012
SusieQ wrote:
The word "murder" has been used to describe the death of Derek Kairney, but this is inaccurate. If the police DID cause Derek's death, then it was a homicide, NOT murder. Most police are taught during their training that the Taser cannot kill a person, so when one uses a Taser on a person, he is NOT trying to kill that person! Quite the opposite, in fact.
Homicide refers to the death of one person at he hands of another person. For a homicide to be murder, the person who did the killing had to INTEND to kill the person who died! There was no intent to kill Derek on the part of the South Windsor police officers who tried to take him into custody, so even if Derek's death is eventually determined to be a homicide, it was NOT murder.
Did the South Windsor police officers recklessly endanger Derek's life? Maybe the state police investigation will reach this conclusion, or maybe not. We will have to wait and see.
But some culpability rests with the Chief of the South Windsor Police Department, because he sets the policy for Taser use within the Department he heads, and he also makes the final decision as to what constitutes adequate training of his officers in Taser use. If the Chief of the South Windsor Police Department would like to minimize the chances of another "Taser death" in future, he should study how the Columbia (MO) Police Department is using the Taser and training its officers, and consider adopting some or all of THAT agency's policies.
this is beyond ridiculous, your claim that police don't know tasers are lethal weapons. if i tell you stabbing a pencil into your neck won't kill you, will you let me do it? since, y'know, pencils are not known as lethal weapons.

the responsibility of every action belongs first to the person committing the action. wait and see how may more people are murdered by police attacking them with tasers, guns, batons, fists, boots, etc ... sure ... let's wait and see. the way to minimize taser deaths is to stop using tasers.
Torches and Pitchforks

Newington, CT

#19 Oct 14, 2012
How many police inquiries into their own misdeeds have ever found one of their own to be guilty of anything?

There needs to be an independent legal investigative group assigned to these civil atrocities perpetuated by those who are sworn to "uphold and OBEY".

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