California Man Tasered to Death After Running Stop Sign

Police issue X26 TASER. Photo: Junglecat (CC)

Police issue X26 TASER. Photo: Junglecat (CC)

Phil Willon writes in the LA Times:

A 43-year-old man died after San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies used a Taser gun to subdue him after a traffic stop, authorities said Wednesday.

A deputy attempted to stop Allen Kephart, a disc jockey and teacher’s assistant from Crest Park, after he allegedly ran a stop sign about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday on California 189 in Blue Jay, said Cindy Bachman, a Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman.

Kephart pulled into a Valero gas station parking lot about a quarter of a mile away, got out of the car and “became combative and uncooperative” with the deputy, Bachman said. Additional deputies arrived to assist, she said.

“The deputy attempted to place him under arrest, at which time he was Tased,” Bachman said. “He became unconscious, and medical aid was immediately provided, CPR.” Kephart was taken to a local hospital, where he was declared dead.

Kephart’s father, a member of the Sheriff’s Department’s volunteer mounted rangers unit for decades, called his son’s death a senseless use of excessive force. The incident happened when his son was returning to the family home after filling up his car with gas in Crestline.

Read More: LA Times

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  • Hadrian999

    well I guess it’s progress that they didn’t just Oscar Grant him right off the bat.

  • Hadrian999

    well I guess it’s progress that they didn’t just Oscar Grant him right off the bat.

  • Tio Holtzman

    Just another day in America…

  • Tio Holtzman

    Just another day in America…

    • anonymous

       Just another day in a police state.

  • Jbar

    I would hound the fucking pigs, and the city, until it declares bankruptcy. Fuck the police.

  • Jbar

    I would hound the fucking pigs, and the city, until it declares bankruptcy. Fuck the police.

  • anonymous

     Just another day in a police state.

  • Rachel

    It’s not right that he died but seriously, I’m sure he deserved to be tased. We have traffic laws to maintain a level of safety, and consequences for those who violate said laws. No one obtains a legal license without this understanding. In addition, the man had every right to fight his case in court but he chose to lash out on a police officer. Unfortunately, people don’t know how to act like adults and their irrational rage poses as a threat, requiring the use of force. Tasers are intended to stun, not kill. Sadly, someone died because he wasn’t mature enough to accept the ticket and go about his life like any decent person would.

    • SF2K01

      Running a stop sign should not be a tazerable offense, nor should anything legal the person does have any relevance (it is not against the law to get angry over a ticket) and it is the policeman’s job to remain professional and mature. Even if the person was “uncooperative” the policeman had no business to subdue him unless the person was actually attempting to attack him. It’s mistakes like these that kill people, but the policeman will get off scott free…

      • Hadrian999

         we’ll have to see what actually happened sometimes combative and uncooperative translates into “he actually had the nerve to look at me and not grovel”

    • Malachi

      “It’s not right that he died but seriously, I’m SURE he deserved to be tased.”  You are only sure because you trust what a policeman who just killed somebody says.  It may or may not be true.  It’s important to VERIFY and not just blindly trust in authority.

      Check this out:  Policeman in the UK was overly rough with a passerby (see video of violent shove in the back as man was walking away).  The man died a few minutes later from internal bleeding.  The police first claimed they’d had no contact with the man, then later claimed he had been combative and they had to subdue him.  Only when the video came out did they reconsider their story.  A court just ruled it an unlawful killing. 

       http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/03/ian-tomlinson-verdict-could-lead-charge?intcmp=239

      You would have been SURE the guy had it coming, right?

    • Guavagoddess

       dear rachel,

      i am surprised you are even on this site. william cooper called persons such as yourselves, “sheeples” anyone in this day and age that thinks the police are the good guys is sadly very uneducated and politically naive. people as yourself and there are millions are the minions first used to take away the rights of others, because the police are gods in your opinion and you sell the rest of us out.

    • superfluous

      you’ve obviously not read the story.
      you seem very eager to defend police brutality while maintaining a veneer of ”morality”.
      your comment is riddled with internal inconsistencies and baseless assertions.
      you are the one not acting like an adult.

    • Anofredo

      Allen was my cousin and he didnt deserve it PERIOD… He had did something wrong by running the stop sign but think would you like it if you cousin was killed and your family hurting… YOU NEED to think period. He was very mellow person… 

    • Janinehineshines

      Rachel,
      You don’t know what your talking about.  Its a winding mountain road and there is no shoulder, which is why he pulled over in the gas station.  He was a gentle giant, so maybe his appearance was off putting, but was very soft spoken…a special ed teacher and a christian DJ.   He was not combative, as dozens of witnesses at the gas station told the families’ private investigator and the police.  Things are not always as the seem, so maybe you should reserve commenting until you know who and what your talking about…anybody that grew up in the area will tell you everyone rolls through that stop sign….Combative my ass, that’s their excuse for murder, he was very mature, planned all class reunions, and put the American Music Review together for the fireworks at the lake every year, along with the taping masses at our local catholic church.  I knew him for over 25 years…and you don’t know anything but what the cops wrote…walk a mile honey, or keep your mouth shut, it could have been anyone, and the excessive use of force could have been used on your brother or father. 

    • aestheticmonk

      Tazers are weapons that have been proven to kill people dead in their tracks. All the best intentions in the world don’t bring them back from the dead. People like you think the power of life and death should be in the hands of an unelected man in uniform and employed on anyone that shows the slightest resistance to authority. Idiots like you have no sense of proportionality, but alas, we must share this planet together. People like me would defend people like you from this errant police man with our own version of deadly force.

  • Rachel

    It’s not right that he died but seriously, I’m sure he deserved to be tased. We have traffic laws to maintain a level of safety, and consequences for those who violate said laws. No one obtains a legal license without this understanding. In addition, the man had every right to fight his case in court but he chose to lash out on a police officer. Unfortunately, people don’t know how to act like adults and their irrational rage poses as a threat, requiring the use of force. Tasers are intended to stun, not kill. Sadly, someone died because he wasn’t mature enough to accept the ticket and go about his life like any decent person would.

  • Anonymous

    Running a stop sign should not be a tazerable offense, nor should anything legal the person does have any relevance (it is not against the law to get angry over a ticket) and it is the policeman’s job to remain professional and mature. Even if the person was “uncooperative” the policeman had no business to subdue him unless the person was actually attempting to attack him. It’s mistakes like these that kill people, but the policeman will get off scott free.. Even if the person was “uncooperative” the policeman had no business to subdue him unless the person was actually attempting to attack him. It’s mistakes like these that kill people, but the policeman will get off scott free.

  • Kigsta

    became combative and uncooperative

    • Computeman

      became combative and uncooperative, it says he became, keyword being became, doesn’t mean he was to start with, do you know syntax of sentence’s?

  • Kigsta

    became combative and uncooperative

  • Hadrian999

     we’ll have to see what actually happened sometimes combative and uncooperative translates into “he actually had the nerve to look at me and not grovel”

  • Malachi

    “It’s not right that he died but seriously, I’m SURE he deserved to be tased.”  You are only sure because you trust what a policeman who just killed somebody says.  It may or may not be true.  It’s important to VERIFY and not just blindly trust in authority.

    Check this out:  Policeman in the UK was overly rough with a passerby (see video of violent shove in the back as man was walking away).  The man died a few minutes later from internal bleeding.  The police first claimed they’d had no contact with the man, then later claimed he had been combative and they had to subdue him.  Only when the video came out did they reconsider their story.  A court just ruled it an unlawful killing. 

     http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/03/ian-tomlinson-verdict-could-lead-charge?intcmp=239

    You would have been SURE the guy had it coming, right?

  • Guavagoddess

     dear rachel,

    i am surprised you are even on this site. william cooper called persons such as yourselves, “sheeples” anyone in this day and age that thinks the police are the good guys is sadly very uneducated and politically naive. people as yourself and there are millions are the minions first used to take away the rights of others, because the police are gods in your opinion and you sell the rest of us out.

  • justagirl

    there’s always the risk that that machine will stop someone’s heart.  only a complete moron would use it unless it was for protection.

  • justagirl

    there’s always the risk that that machine will stop someone’s heart.  only a complete moron would use it unless it was for protection.

  • superfluous

    you’ve obviously not read the story.
    you seem very eager to defend police brutality while maintaining a veneer of ”morality”.
    your comment is riddled with internal inconsistencies and baseless assertions.
    you are the one not acting like an adult.

  • Anofredo

    Allen was my cousin and he didnt deserve it PERIOD… He had did something wrong by running the stop sign but think would you like it if you cousin was killed and your family hurting… YOU NEED to think period. He was very mellow person… 

  • Janinehineshines

    Rachel,
    You don’t know what your talking about.  Its a winding mountain road and there is no shoulder, which is why he pulled over in the gas station.  He was a gentle giant, so maybe his appearance was off putting, but was very soft spoken…a special ed teacher and a christian DJ.   He was not combative, as dozens of witnesses at the gas station told the families’ private investigator and the police.  Things are not always as the seem, so maybe you should reserve commenting until you know who and what your talking about…anybody that grew up in the area will tell you everyone rolls through that stop sign….Combative my ass, that’s their excuse for murder, he was very mature, planned all class reunions, and put the American Music Review together for the fireworks at the lake every year, along with the taping masses at our local catholic church.  I knew him for over 25 years…and you don’t know anything but what the cops wrote…walk a mile honey, or keep your mouth shut, it could have been anyone, and the excessive use of force could have been used on your brother or father. 

  • Janinehines

    RIP Allen,

    I hope it all comes out in the rinse how they murdered you, my kind, loving, giving, gentle friend.

    My prayers are with your family.

    Regards,

    Janine Hines-Welch (Maye)

  • Janinehines

    RIP Allen,

    I hope it all comes out in the rinse how they murdered you, my kind, loving, giving, gentle friend.

    My prayers are with your family.

    Regards,

    Janine Hines-Welch (Maye)

  • Computeman

    became combative and uncooperative, it says he became, keyword being became, doesn’t mean he was to start with, do you know syntax of sentence’s?

  • aestheticmonk

    Tazers are weapons that have been proven to kill people dead in their tracks. All the best intentions in the world don’t bring them back from the dead. People like you think the power of life and death should be in the hands of an unelected man in uniform and employed on anyone that shows the slightest resistance to authority. Idiots like you have no sense of proportionality, but alas, we must share this planet together. People like me would defend people like you from this errant police man with our own version of deadly force.