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Man who died after shocked with stun gun refused to put down knife, Miami police say

7 officers, 1 sergeant placed on administrative assignments during investigation

MIAMI – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating after a man died after Miami police officers shocked him with a stun gun.

Seven officers and a sergeant were placed on administrative assignments after the Sunday incident.

Miami police said they were simply trying to help a man who was putting his own life in danger. 

"This clearly is a tragedy," Miami police Deputy Chief Ronald Papier said. "Somebody lost their lives. That was not our intention. Our intention was to get this gentleman help -- to get him to rescue, where he can get treated at a mental or medical facility. It was not to cause him any additional harm."     

Miami police said they were trying to keep Luis Alberto Luna, 38, from harming himself early Sunday morning.

According to authorities, Luna was walking in and out of traffic along Northeast Fifth Avenue and 79th Street. Police said he was acting erratically and appeared to have been under the influence of drugs. 

Officers managed to get Luna to move off the street and called fire rescue to get him the assistance that he needed.

But police said Luna had a knife in his hand, which he refused to put down despite officers' demands to do so.

Police said Luna made gestures as if he was going to harm himself with the knife. When he didn't comply with their orders, officers were forced to shock him with a stun gun, authorities said.

"He was shocked one time with the electronic control device," Papier said. "He was still combative and was shocked a second time. At that time, he stopped. Officers were able to take him into custody and bring him over to rescue."

Luna was taken to North Shore Medical Center, where he died an hour later. His family said it's unclear whether he had any underlying medical conditions.

The deputy chief reviewed body camera footage of the incident and said the officers acted professionally, properly and within departmental policy.


 


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