Reice Brown (Full Name: Reice Samuel Brown), 27, Died Shortly After Encounter With Austin Police Department
AUSTIN, TEXAS (October 8, 2023) - A man identified as Reice Brown has tragically died after being tasered by the Austin Police Department on Research Boulevard.
A man identified as Reice Brown has tragically died after being tasered by the Austin Police Department on Research Boulevard.
Travis County officials are saying that the incident took place around 3:00 a.m. on October 3. Austin police officials received calls about a man in the roadway with obvious injuries.
Police officers encountered Reice Brown and began working to de-escalate the situation. He began walking away and police say that he may have injured himself with a metal pipe.
It was not long after this that one officer shot him with a taser before placing him in custody. Not long after being taken into custody, the man became unresponsive
Reice Brown was then taken to a hospital in Round Rock where he was pronounced dead that same morning. A full investigation into the incident remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Travis County In-Custody Deaths
Tasers were originally introduced to police departments across the United States as a “non-lethal” alternative to a firearm. But this could not be further from the truth. Tasers have directly contributed to a number of deaths. According to ABC 11, “An estimated 500 people have died from police use of tasers nationwide between 2010-2021.” Tasers can lead to ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac arrest. Certain people are much more likely to have a strong adverse reaction to police tasers.
- People with heart conditions
- People who are dehydrated
- People in the midst of a mental health crisis
- People under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Depending on the facts of any case, a police department could be liable if a suspect dies in-custody. Police officers have a great deal of discretion in how they apprehend suspects, but they are not permitted to use excessive force. Pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 1983, every person who, under the color of any statute, ordinance or regulation, causes a citizen to be deprived of their rights afforded under the constitution, shall be liable to the injured party in an action at law. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any instance of suspected excessive force.
- Body camera footage from all officers involved should be sought.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records related to the incident should be reviewed.
- An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.
People suffering from untreated mental illness are nearly 16 times more likely to be killed in a police encounter than a member of the general population. Police officers should work to de-escalate encounters with mentally ill suspects. But many officers simply do not receive the training to do this effectively. It is important that victims of excessive force understand that they do have rights. The family of any person that died in police custody may be able to seek some measure of justice through a civil claim.
Investigating Travis County In-Custody Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Reice Brown. This individual clearly needed help. Instead, he was shot with a taser and died shortly thereafter. It is our sincere hope that the Austin Police Department will take measures to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about an in-custody death involving the Austin Police Department? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to assist you in any way that we can. We are committed to helping people harmed by police abuses of power and holding law enforcement accountable for their actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support after an in-custody death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.