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Jail death is troubling

Regarding the recent death of inmate Christopher Parker while in custody in the Spokane County Jail. While I certainly by no means condone his long record of criminal activity, I have questions. Why do corrections deputies have to resort to using a Taser to subdue an inmate who had called for help after ingesting drugs and claimed to be diabetic? I see red flags all over the place with that.

I worked in juvenile detention here in Spokane for several years. We were all trained and tested in the use of defensive tactics before we could even be employed there. Some of those kids were plenty big, strong and mean, but staff was always able to restrain them when necessary. There are many ways to take down an unruly inmate without having to use powerful and potentially deadly electric shocks.

Are county jail staff, six of them no less, so inept or afraid that they can’t use their own brains and brawn in numbers to control one inmate? How did they handle these situations before Tasers came along? Maybe they need to go back to police academy for retraining.

David Vogel



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