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Sheriff: Dead cat may have been tasered

April 15, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The scandal-plagued Orange County Sheriff's Department is investigating whether jail staff tasered a cat that was found dead on facility grounds. An investigation is underway, according to authorities. They say at this point they do not know how the cat died and they do not know if the cat was tasered to death.

Preliminary results from a necropsy could not determine the exact cause of death. Because of that authorities say that the cat's body will undergo further test on Wednesday.

Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Department would not comment until they get the final results. They are insisting on a thorough internal investigation that is now underway.

Authorities say that on Monday an inmate at Theo Lacy Jail in Orange told jail personnel that he saw a deputy use a taser gun on a stray cat two weeks ago.

There are a number of stray cats in the area. When the allegations were made the sheriff's department says it started investigating.

Authorities did find a cat on jail property, which sits right next to the Orange County Animal Shelter in Orange.

Officials say at this point it's not clear whether it is the same cat the inmate claimed to see get tasered. And it is not clear still if the cat died from being tazed.

Deputies at the jail have been under increased scrutiny since a grand jury report was released last week. It criticized how some deputies acted and treated jail inmates.

The report was looking into the death of an inmate, John Derek Chamberlain. There have also been recent incidents involving tasers and inmates.

Last January a videotape came out that showed an inmate restrained as deputies used a taser on him. He was accused of resisting a search when he was allegedly tasered a number of times.

He is now suing over the incident.

As for the most recent alleged incident involving the cat, authorities say that they are still waiting for further test results to be done on the cat's body.

The test results are expected to be released on Wednesday.

 

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