New light shed on Quitman death - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New light shed on Quitman death

October 2, 2007

Quitman - Investigators say they now have some crucial evidence that could answer questions surrounding the death of 59-year-old Samuel Baker of Quitman, because his death was caught on tape.

"We have obtained some security video from the store as well as the police officers video.  We haven't reviewed that to see if there is anything on the police video but we do have some store footage," says GBI Investigator Ronnie Thompson.

They say an officer approached Baker Monday afternoon outside the Friendly Mart Grocery on West Screven Street. He was seen walking into the store with a knife. 

Baker was tasered after flashing that same knife to the officer.  "After the initial tasing a struggle ensued.  During that struggle, the subject became unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at the hospital there in Brooks County," Thompson adds.

Family members claim he was tasered four times in the chest.  At least one they say, was confirmed by doctors. 

Doctors aren't sure what killed him, affects from that taser or a heart attack.  "We haven't had the answers yet.  We're waiting on the autopsy report," say Verrgie Hill, Baker's cousin.

"We are going to get to the bottom of it regardless.  Find out some truth in it," says Curtis Baker, Samuels brother.

Investigators with the GBI say they are reviewing the tapes to find the truth and say a chip in the taser can determine how many times it was used.  They hope to have those findings as well as autopsy results soon.

Investigators will not release the name of the officer involved.  However they did tell us he's been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

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