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Coroner: Man hit by BPD Taser died from cocaine, heart disease

BRADENTON — Derrick Humbert, who died Sept. 28 after being hit by a Taser fired by a Bradenton Police Department officer, died from cocaine toxicity and heart disease, according to the medical examiner’s office.

“His heart was enlarged. He had at least one large blockage,” Dr. Russell Vega said in an interview today. “We see that as a cause of death by itself.”

Humbert, 38, of Bradenton, was Tasered by a Bradenton Police officer after he fled from a traffic stop in the 700 block of 27th Street East. He was stopped for not having a light affixed to the front of his bicycle.

Humbert bolted with two officers chasing him and was Tasered. According to reports, he was conscious and breathing immediately after the 5-second stun.

He died about an hour later at Manatee Memorial Hospital. Police later discovered he had a warrant for his arrest for marijuana possession.

Vega said it appears the Taser did not cause Humbert’s death.

“If it did, it appears to be have been a minor role or none. There’s no way to confirm that,” Vega said. “We simply couldn’t find any evidence the Taser played a role.”

The medical examiner’s office has ruled Humbert’s death as accidental, he said.

The death investigation is expected to be completed this week. A Bradenton Police Department’s internal review of the incident should wrap up next week.

This weekend members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights group that opposes the use of Tasers, is scheduled to meet with officials at Bradenton Police Department about the incident.

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