On Friday, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, apologized for saying that the Tasered Dante Parker had been shot by the police in San Bernardino County. Parker died after the Tasering incident, but his death was not the result of having been shot by police, but of being Tasered by them.
Jon Stewart included Dante Parker’s name in a list of black men who had been shot by the police. Parker’s name was included in the list of names, along with people who have actually been shot by the police, like Tamir Rice, Kendrec McDade and Michael Brown.
Michael Ramos, District Attorney of San Bernardino County, said in a YouTube video that Jon Stewart and everyone else at The Daily Show “had their facts all wrong.” In Stewart’s report, he mentioned that Tamir Rice had been shot “in Cleveland,” by police, along with “Dante Parker in San Bernardino County.”
Ramos mentioned in the YouTube video that the San Bernadino police “did not shoot him; they Tasered him.” While the end result was the same, that both Rice and Dante Parker died, Ramos was correct in saying that Parker was not shot by the police. According to a coroner’s report, Parker died from a combination of cardiovascular disease and a PCP drug overdose.
In August, Dante Parker, 36, the father of five, died after a sheriff’s deputy used his stun gun and Tasered him during a scuffle with deputies. The deputies alleged that Parker was breaking into a Victorville residence. He was zapped not just once, but multiple times. The Tasering occurred when Parker was allegedly attempting to assault a female police officer.
Dante Parker was transported to a local hospital when he began having difficulty breathing in the back of the patrol vehicle, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times in August. While Dante Parker might have died anyway, due to the reasons the coroner mentioned, the Tasering he received likely helped to hasten his death along.
Jon Stewart issued an apology via Twitter to Michael Ramos. He admitted that it was “sloppy” to have included Dante Parker’s name in the list of black people who had been shot by the police. He said that, on Monday, he would issue an apology on The Daily Show.
The Civil-rights attorney who represents Dante Parker’s family, Mark Eisenberg, said that it was “a bit of semantics.” He suggested that both the examples of Tamir Rice and the death of Dante Parker represent “instances of excessive use of force by the police.”
Michael Ramos, in the almost four-minute long video on YouTube, said that only necessary force was used by the sheriff’s deputies to get Dante Parker subdued. In the video, Ramos wonders why people are not “protesting and marching about” San Bernardino County leading “the state in California” in the numbers of “officers being killed in the line of duty.”
Though The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, apologized on Twitter and plans to also apologize on The Daily Show on Monday, he also tweeted that “Larger point still stands.” The “larger point” is that often, the shooting deaths of black men or deaths due to the use of excessive force against them, are not “isolated” cases.
Written By Douglas Cobb