They Put The Taser To His Body, Then He BURST Into Flames! [VIDEO]

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On Friday, the New York Attorney General Letitia James has provided a copy of the video that captured the moment police officers used a stun gun on an agitated man in their front lobby after he had doused himself in hand sanitizer. The man suddenly burst into flames that made the officers step out of the room temporarily.

According to the AG office, 29-year-old Jason Jones went into the police department office and started the verbal altercation with the three officers. Though the released video doesn’t include audio to hear the conversation, it appears that the police officers tried to speak with Jones for around 30 minutes as he wanders, distressed, in and out of frame.

Officer John Cooney, training expert and former Troy PD said that “Without hearing what was said, we can’t evaluate how effective de-escalation may have been in this case.”

Watch it here: Funker530/video

The video also shows how Jones took off his shirt before he picked up a large jug of hand sanitizer and started spraying it over his neck, head, and back. When an officer used a stun gun in an attempt to subdue him, Jones burst into flames. He had been hospitalized since the incident until he was pronounced dead in December.

“The Taser is 50,000 volts of electricity. It’s well known, police are trained, not to use it in that circumstance. Jason predictably ignited as a result of that,” says Kevin Luibrand, the lawyer representing the Jones family.

“Every single day police come into contact with people having some form of mental health episode, whether it’s on the streets or at home, and there are ways to handle it. That’s not the way to handle it.”

Cooney, however, disagreed and said the earlier parts of the video, which showed the beginning of the encounter, indicated Jones was reaching higher and higher levels of aggravation.

“The use of force continuum starts at a point which is basically responsive to the amount of force and the amount of aggression that we are perceiving. From the first second to the last frame of the video, we see that he’s agitated, he’s very quick with his movements. One thing I noticed specifically was a constant clenching and unclenching of his fingers into fists,” Cooney comments.

Cooney further said the situation is an unusual one not covered in traditional stun gun training.

“It’s fair to know that any flammable liquid in close proximity, a Taser probably won’t be effective. In fact, it could be very harmful to the individual. But as a rule, we’re talking about gasoline, we’re talking about natural gas environments, we’re talking about environments that are fairly common. I think it’s fair to say in most Taser training, we don’t talk about sanitizer as that obvious flammable liquid,” he explained.

The full videos can be viewed on the attorney general’s website; however, the second video is extremely graphic and shows Jones on fire. Viewer discretion is advised.

Luibrand said one of the most distressing parts of the video for the Jones family is when officers can be seen running from Jason after he caught fire.

“Jason was unarmed. The police, rather than help him, ran out of the room, shut the door behind them, and let Jason burn,” Luibrand said.

“To immediately respond to jump on top of, to help rollover the individual, that’s a very individual decision and it’s not necessarily predicated by police procedure. The officers left what they thought was a very hazardous situation. They did respond at some point. They reassessed and then responded,” Cooney replied.

Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione said his office was involved in the investigation into the case initially. He said is it the process for the Catskill Police Department to report incidents to the DA to be open and transparent.

He died after spending 47 days on a ventilator because his lungs were so badly burned he couldn’t absorb oxygen, according to The Albany Times-Union.

The newspaper reported that Jones — a former top high school athlete in Catskill — had been at a nearby bar where police responded to a disturbance. He reportedly walked to the station and confronted cops there.

Sources: Funkers, New York Post, News 10, Fox 95