Police cleared in death

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A man who died in the custody of the Woonsocket police last year after being subdued by a Taser gun did not die from electrocution, according to a review by the attorney general’s office that clears the department of any wrongdoing.

The review announced Tuesday also concluded that police were justified in using a Taser gun on Timothy Picard and that officers had probable cause to believe he posed a danger to himself or them.

Picard, 41, died Aug. 20 while in police custody. Authorities have said Picard was in handcuffs and struggling with police at the time the Taser was used.

The state medical examiner’s office said electrocution was not a factor in Picard’s death, and that none of the injuries he sustained while struggling with police was life-threatening.

“The key point for the public is that nothing the Woonsocket police did caused Mr. Picard’s death,” said Michael Healey, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office.

He said the actual cause of death was a private matter that would not be disclosed.

Police were called to Picard’s home after his wife called 911, then hung up the phone, a state police spokesman has said. Picard fought with officers who arrived at his house, police said, and continued to struggle once he got to the police station.

He was zapped with the Taser gun within minutes of arriving at the police station, became unresponsive and later died at a hospital, the police said.

The attorney general’s office reviewed the incident along with the state police and the Woonsocket police. The medical examiner’s office and the department of electrical engineering at the University of Rhode Island were also asked to help investigate.

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