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Family Of Teen Who Died After Being Tased: ‘It Didn’t Have To Happen’

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A 19-year-old man died after police shocked him with a Taser inside Good Samaritan Hospital. Now the teen’s family is speaking out, saying his death did not have to happen.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the investigation.

The family of George King plans to sue the Baltimore City police department, saying excessive force led to the teen’s death.

Activists gather outside Good Samaritan Hospital, where King died last week after an encounter with city police.

“Officers are here to protect and serve. In this case, this is not protect and serve,” said his mother, Georgette King.

Family members say King was taken to the hospital after suffering an allergic reaction to medication given to him during a dental procedure. Police were called when hospital staff say King became combative.

According to an internal report obtained by WJZ’s media partner, The Baltimore Sun, an officer shocked King five times with his Taser–which had “little effect.”

King was given a sedative, slipped into a coma and died a week later.

“He wasn’t here for something that would have killed him. The thing that killed him was that Taser,” said King’s attorney, Granville Templeton III.

The medical examiner has not released a cause of death.

Police officials say they met with both the hospital and community leaders on Monday to discuss the incident.

“We’re going to continue to work as strongly and diligently as we can to make sure that our investigation is as thorough and as transparent as we can make it,” said Lt. Eric Kowalczyk, Baltimore City Police.

King was a foster child who lived in a group home. His mother–who didn’t have custody due to a medical condition–says she spoke with her son all the time.

“No more texts. No more phone. No more voicemails,” she said. “Nothing.”

Now she says she wants justice for her child.

The city police department is in the process of equipping all officers with Tasers.

The two officers involved are still on full duty because King was not in police custody at the time of his death.

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