Authorities Used a Taser on Him 7 Times in 15 Minutes. Then He Died. Justice Never Came.


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Authorities Used a Taser on Him 7 Times in 15 Minutes. Then He Died. Justice Never Came.

Jan. 31, 2023, 5:00 a.m. ET
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By Sam Mirpoorian

Sam Mirpoorian is a filmmaker.

In 2018, Jerod Draper, a 40-year-old father in southern Indiana high on methamphetamines, was arrested during a traffic stop and locked in a cell at a county jail. Several hours later, the man died.

Authorities did not immediately investigate the circumstances of Mr. Draper’s death. But in the Opinion Video above, the filmmaker Sam Mirpoorian examines that final chapter of Mr. Draper’s life — and what happens when authorities fail to uphold their responsibility to protect the people in their custody.

Using surveillance video from the jail cell where Mr. Draper was confined, the film chillingly describes the prisoner’s last grueling hours. Rather than receive the medical care he desperately needed to address a drug overdose, Mr. Draper was subjected to various heavy-handed restraint techniques, including Taser shocks that opened bloody wounds on his thighs.

Vicki Budd, Mr. Draper’s mother, says in the film that her son “had a tough life and a lot of demons to fight.” But, she adds, “he didn’t deserve, by any means, what happened to him in that jail.”

Sam Mirpoorian (@workofmiro) is a filmmaker.

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