FORT WORTH –– Fort Worth police are investigating the death of a man who died after being Tased during a drug raid Thursday afternoon. The mother of 34-year-old Jermaine Darden says she was at home when police burst in with a search warrant.
"When they grabbed him they tried to throw him down right here on his stomach," said Donna Randle in the living room of the small home on Thannisch Avenue in south Fort Worth.
Randle says her son weighed more than 300 pounds and had breathing problems. She says he was asleep when officers arrived.
"He wasn't resisting. He was actually trying to lay on his side, so they could handcuff him on his side, because that pressure on his lungs will cut off his air and he'll stop breathing," Randle said.
Randle said police Tased her son three times. Fort Worth police will only say that the stun gun was deployed. Randle says she yelled at officers, "that he can't breathe like that. That he's not fighting you."
In a written response to News 8, police said they were "met with resistance." The statement says Darden was "still responsive" at the scene.
Darden's mother says he was not.
"When they brought him through this door they were doing CPR compressions going to the ambulance," she said.
Jermaine Darden later died at a hospital. Fort Worth's major case unit will investigate the raid, which netted five arrests, including two for drug possession.
Darden, who goes by DJ, has a drug conviction, and his family says he takes and passes frequent drug tests for probation.
He was married with two teenaged sons.
This is at least the fifth Taser related death for Fort Worth police since 2001. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner has not yet ruled on a cause of death. A final determination is awaiting toxicology tests.