UPDATED 10:24 AM PT – Monday, January 10, 2022
The New York Attorney General’s Office released video of a deadly police encounter now under investigation. The footage, released Friday without audio, shows 29-year-old Jason Jones agitated in the lobby of the Catskill Police Department.
According to Jones’s attorney, Kevin Luibrand, his client had been drinking at a nearby bar and was asked to leave by police when things got rowdy. He said Jones didn’t like the way officers handled the situation at the bar, so he went down to the police station to talk about it.
An aggressive interaction with police ensued. At one point, Jones tears off his shirt. Later, the man covered his head and body in hand sanitizer.
Footage shows the moment when one officer deployed his taser in an attempt to subdue Jones and he instantly burst into flames. That particular move is now under investigation.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING FOOTAGE MAY BE CONSIDERED GRAPHIC.
“The Taser is 50,000 volts of electricity,” explained attorney Luibrand. “It’s well known. Police are trained not to use it in that circumstance. Jason predictably ignited as a result of that.”
Police Chief Dave Darling said the officers were familiar with Jones from previous encounters and were concerned that he was going to hurt himself. However, the family’s attorney notes that officers quickly exited the lobby, leaving Jones behind trying to extinguish himself.
“The police, rather than help him, run out of the room to let Jason burn,” said attorney Luibrand.
Just 14-seconds later, one officer returned to help Jones as his head caught on fire. nearly 20-minutes went by before Jones is taken away on a gurney and transported to Syracuse Hospital. He spent 45-days in the ICU before dying from his injuries last month.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said the Office of Special Investigation is looking into the case and the video was released to be transparent.