(CNN) — The New York Attorney General’s Office is investigating an incident in which a man died weeks after catching fire when police shot him with a Taser while covered in hand sanitizer, new videos released Friday by the attorney general’s office show.
In the first of two videos dated October 30, 2021 – which were posted without audio – a man identified as Jason Jones, 29, is seen interacting with two police officers in the lobby of the Catskill Police Department in the Greene County, New York.
Jones appears to be agitated in his interactions with officers, and at one point is seen removing his sweater and ripping the shirt he was wearing as he paced the lobby and attempted to open a door, video shows. More than halfway through the first video, a third agent enters the lobby and the four men are seen talking together as Jones continues to patrol the lobby shirtless.
In the second video, Jones is seen spraying what appears to be hand sanitizer on his head and shirtless body. Jones then exits the screen, at which point one of the officers is seen pointing at him and then uses his stun gun. Jones catches fire and then falls to the ground as all the agents exit the lobby, leaving Jones alone in the room and on fire.
Almost 14 seconds later, one of the cops returns to help Jones, right after Jones’ hair caught fire. The stretcher arrives about 15 minutes later, according to the video, and then Jones is seen outside the lobby.
Jones spent 45 days in the intensive care ward of a Syracuse hospital before dying on December 15, 2021 from his injuries, his attorney Kevin Luibrand told CNN Friday night.
CNN reached out to the Catskill Police Department and Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione for comment.
Jones went to the station after an incident, lawyer says
Jones was drinking at a bar half a block from the police station before the incident, according to Luibrand. Things had gotten a bit rough while Jones was at the bar and the police asked him to leave.
“Jason didn’t like the way the officers handled the situation at the bar, so he went to the police station to talk about it,” Luibrand explained.
“Jason was clearly having an emotional problem when he was in the lobby of the police station,” Luibrand said. “He wasn’t hurting anyone or threatening anyone.”
The cops knew Jones because it is a small town, Luibrand said. Jones was a star athlete at his Catskills high school and sectional shot put and discus champion, he said.
“He was a very respected guy and he came from a working-class family,” Luibrand said, adding that he was working at a local store where he helped sell and deliver tents for outdoor events at the time of the incident.
The most effective hand sanitizers used to prevent the spread of germs and viruses contain ethyl alcohol, a highly flammable liquid that “evaporates easily at room temperature into a flammable vapor.” according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although the CDC says the likelihood of the hand sanitizer catching fire is low, the electric stun gun used by the Catskill police officer likely ignited the hand sanitizer solution that Jones put on his head and body and ignited. fire to your body.
The Office of Special Investigations (OSI) is conducting an investigation, according to a statement from Attorney General Letitia James’ office. OSI investigates all cases in which a police officer could cause the death of a person. The attorney general’s office says it released the video to be transparent with the public.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism