Natasha McKenna

Natasha McKenna

February 8, 2015

Alexandria, Virginia

What Happened: Natasha McKenna, a 37 year old woman with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and depression, was killed in police custody due to the use of a taser. McKenna was being held in Fairfax County Jail and meant to be transported to a different facility in Alexandria, but there was a week-long delay in which her mental health deteriorated. During cell extraction, she was restrained during a struggle with deputies and was tasered four times. McKenna stopped breathing shortly afterwards, her death later pronounced as the result of the controversial excited delirium syndrome. 

Charges: The officers involved faced no criminal charges, and the cause of death was ruled as accidental.

Aftermath: Taser use was suspended by the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office in April 2015. The NAACP held public protests in response, and there was considerable discussion surrounding the treatment of the mentally ill.