The pathologist who conducted Randall Hatori’s autopsy provided additional information about the Big Island man’s injuries Friday morning.
Dr. Lindsey Harle, a board certified forensic pathologist based on Maui, was called to Hawaii Island to conduct the autopsy because of the case’s difficult nature.
Hatori had some minor blunt force injuries, but no “traumatic” injuries, Harle said, when asked whether there was evidence of police “beating” him, as Hatori’s family’s attorney claimed on Thursday.
Harle said she found no evidence that being tased contributed to Hatori’s death. She made that determination based not just on Hatori’s autopsy, but also by examining the Taser’s own records and a video of part of the incident. Police have said they attempted to arrest Hatori on an outstanding warrant, but Hatori ran away from them. In the process of being subdued, an officer used a Taser. Hatori continued to struggle after the Taser was discharged, Harle said.
She said the Taser struck him in the “extremities.” That, combined with the continued struggle, indicates the Taser was not a factor in his death, she said.
“When (Tasers) are a factor, the person is hit in the chest and almost immediately collapses,” Harle said.
The Taser also malfunctioned several times when the officer attempted to deploy it, she said.
Harle noted that her determination that Hatori’s manner of death was homicide is based on a medical definition of the word, not a legal one.
Harle had been out of the office Thursday and was unavailable for an interview until Friday.
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