The Tragic Death of Roger Holyfield
by Christopher Bollyn
Note: Bollyn's follow-up article has news articles about
policemen being injured by TASERs during their training exercises: Bollyn-TASER-2.html
|The 17-year-old boy from Illinois who died from a "non-lethal" police TASER on the eve of his baptism.||
|The US military has been fooled
into thinking uranium weapons are safe, and the US police have been
fooled into thinking TASERs are safe.
Many police have used TASERs on themselves in their training. This is equivalent to police being told that it's okay to practice using their guns on one another, as long as they use small bullets.
The American people are being raped. Tell the police to get a clue!
Officer Steve Zanoni foolishly allowing himself to be TASERed during training. The news article about this is here
|I have taken a special interest in the widespread use of the supposedly
"non-lethal" TASER weapon after being assaulted and TASERed without cause
or justification at my home in mid-August by a so-called "tactical unit"
of three out-of-uniform undercover cops.
It was, after all, with no small amount of trepidation that I had returned with my family to our home in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, in July 2006, after an absence of nearly one year.
We were compelled to leave our home in the fall of 2005 because we no longer felt secure after discovering that two people who had attached themselves to us over a period of years were actually informing the FBI on our comings and goings. Their daily intrusions had forced us to change our telephone number and make ourselves scarce in our attempt to protect ourselves and our privacy.
We had only been back at home a week from a trip to North Dakota when I noticed a strange car loitering around my house with three heavily-armed men wearing body armor. I called 911 to report the suspicious vehicle and was very surprised to see the same three heavily-armed men on my driveway 15 minutes later confronting my wife and 8-year-old daughter.
Contrary to the police report, these men did not introduce themselves or explain their presence and adamantly refused to identify themselves when asked. When I turned to get my brother from the house, I was suddenly attacked from behind, handcuffed and pinned to the ground.
At this point, the unidentified man who acted like the leader of the group (who I later learned had worked with the Department of Homeland Security), applied the TASER gun without warning directly to my back and shocked the hell out of me. As I now know, at that moment I came very close to death.
At least 200 Americans have died recently in similar circumstances after being TASERed. Roger Holyfield is one of them.
The case of the 17-year-old Roger Holyfield is a very tragic case which should serve as a wake-up call for Americans. If we learn something from his death and save lives in the future, Roger's death will not have been in vain. If that happens, Roger Holyfield may be remembered as a martyr whose death served to save others.
Roger lived in the village of Dow, near the town of Jerseyville, Illinois, and certainly had not had an easy time of things. Although, he was well-liked he had gone through a very difficult period after his father had committed suicide in the spring of 2003.
Like many Americans, Roger had been taking an anti-depressant medication, which created adverse psychiatric side effects, which led to additional prescriptions to deal with the side effects. In Roger's case, an anti-psychotic medication, Geodon, was added to the anti-depressant Wellbutrin, creating a dangerous pharmaceutical cocktail. He had been taking these medications for several years prior to his death and had only recently been taken off them. The record is not clear but it appears he had been in withdrawal and may have begun taking another medication shortly before he died. In any case, prescription medications had affected his behavior at the time of his death.
Through the haze of the pharmaceuticals, Roger was looking forward to being baptized the next day, Sunday, October 29. Unfortunately, he did not survive Saturday night in Jerseyville.
He was on South State Street, the main drag of Jerseyville, across from the Pizza Hut, the Arbee's and the Salvation Army store, holding a Bible in one hand and a cordless phone in the other.
"I want my Mama, Jesus," he had been calling, an eyewitness said, when police intervened – tragically – and ended his short life. As the people who knew Roger said, "He was simply asking for God's help."
Although he did not pose a threat to anyone – including himself – a local police engaged Roger, but rather than alleviate the situation, they created a conflict. Before the conflict was over, some 7 police officers had become involved in the altercation with the 5-foot 7-inch lad who weighed no more than 130 pounds.
Furthermore, while it may be annoying, Roger Holyfield's calling on God was certainly not illegal or criminal in any way and did not warrant any action by the police. If the police had not intervened, Roger would certainly still be alive. On any given day in an American city one is likely to come across a person calling for God's help. This is, however, certainly no reason to TASER them.
At this point the narratives divide: the police version, which is dutifully reported by the mainstream press, says that seven police officers were overwhelmed by a 130-pound person who exhibited super-human strength as a result of so-called "excited delirium."
This "excited delirium," which does not even exist as a medical or psychiatric condition, supposedly gave Roger incredible strength and then caused him to suddenly give up the ghost – after the police had beaten and TASERed him.
The eyewitness narrative is somewhat different. After the police had confronted Roger, the police had provoked him and put him into handcuffs and a squad car. An eyewitness told the local paper, The Telegraph, that there were at least four police cars, two Illinois State Police troopers and another man in street clothes [Johnny Lawson, an off-duty police officer] surrounding Holyfield.
Another witness said there were more than enough police officers present to subdue Holyfield without using the TASER shock treatment. The police had also struck Holyfield a number of times during the encounter, according to the witness.
One eyewitness, who wishes to remain un-named, spoke candidly to this reporter about what he saw. When only three officers were on the scene, the eyewitness saw how they had apprehended Holyfield. Officer Lawson, who recognized Holyfield, had said, "Take it easy, he's sick," the eyewitness said.
"Let's fry the mother------." Officer Todd Witt, a new officer on the force, had said, and is the one who delivered the TASERing.
Holyfield was put into the squad car, where according to the witness, the police claim he had damaged the back seat. At this point Holyfield was taken out of the car and TASERed again.
Although he was handcuffed, police had shocked Holyfield at least twice with the TASER. The eyewitness said he had seen Holyfield "twitching on the ground." Holyfield's rolling on the ground had dislodged the TASER barbs, so he was TASERed again.
What is unusual in this case is that the TASERing of Holyfield was done with the weapon firing the electrode barbs into the trunk of the 17-year-old youth. TASER International of Scottsdale, Arizona, had not responded to a written request asking about how the TASER was applied to Holyfield. The only training that police receive in the use of the TASER comes in the form of a short DVD-video presentation presented by the company that manufacturers the weapon.
Dr. Phillip Burch, deputy chief medical examiner for St. Louis, said he had done an autopsy of Holyfield on Tuesday, October 31, two days after he died. He had seen a number of burn marks on Holyfield's trunk and had examined one of them closely. Asked if he thought that the TASERing had caused Holyfield's death, Burch had simply said, "No opinion."
Burch has promoted the idea that Holyfield died of "excited delirium," although no such condition exists in medical journals. Asked if an autopsy would reveal if Holyfield had died from TASERing or "excited delirium," Burch said, "not directly."
When asked how "excited delirium" could be claimed as a cause of death when it is not a recognized medical or psychiatric condition, Burch said, "It exists for me."
Roger's mother, Rita, said that he had been TASERed about 6 times. He had vomited at the scene and his heart had stopped, she said. The paramedics had tried to revive Holyfield using CPR, but his heart had "stopped right there," she said. The hospital would not comment on his condition.
It is very likely that the anti-psychotic medication that Roger had been taking, Geodon, may have contributed to his death.
Geodon is known to have a serious side effect on the heart, which can be fatal.
Geodon has been found to change the heart's rhythm. It is known that drugs, like Geodon, produce rare, dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities.
The risk of these dangerous side effects increases when Geodon is mixed with other medications. The side effects can be so extreme as to induce coma or death.
What may have happened with Roger Holyfield is that his long term use of Geodon and Wellbutrin affected his mental condition and compromised his heart. The stress caused by the TASER may have caused Holyfield's heart to go into cardiac arrest and directly led to his death.
Winn Parker, a licensed medical scientist in Palo Alto, California, said that the barbs of the TASER act like a "cauterizing pin" causing damage to the tissue and organs. "His organs got cooked," Parker said. "Organs are burnt from trauma."
Marion Fulk, a former staff scientist with the Manhattan Project, said that TASERing is very likely to affect the vital organs "especially the heart." While TASERing probably does permanent damage to the vital organs, Fulk said, in the case of Holyfield, it may have "induced a systematic irregularity in the heartbeat," he said, leading to his death.
More than 5 weeks after his death, his mother still does not have his death certificate. This is being held up, she said, pending the results of the toxicology reports.
As the signs around Jerseyville say, "Jesus saves. TASERs kill. We love you Roger."
Christopher Bollyn and his family are MIA
My response is here
Note: I don't know what happens if you donate money or order books from Bollyn! He was providing his articles for free and depending on sales of his ABC book for children, and on donations. His charming ABC book is here.
Please pass links to his articles, and try to find more people to join us in our struggle to expose corruption. Don't let "them" get all of us! Show some concern!