Police video released Friday shows a man on fire after rubbing hand sanitizer on his skin when a police officer used a stun gun on him at a New York police station in October.
As part of its investigation in Jones’ death, the attorney general’s office made the security footage public. An investigation is launched after any death involving an officer under state law, according to Fox News.
On October 30, Jones walked into the police station from a bar close by, according to The Times Union. In the security footage, Jones is seen taking his hoodie and undershirt off, throwing a shoe at a table, taking items out of his pockets, and knocking a jug of hand sanitizer over as three police officers watch him. Then, a few minutes later, Jones picks up the large hand sanitizer and squirts it on his back and head. But when an officer uses his Taser to subdue him, there’s a flash as Jones bursts into flames.
Jason Jones, 29, is seen with flames on his upper back and head, rolling on the floor in the Catskill police station lobby, according to security footage released by the state attorney’s general’s office. Jones can be seen rubbing his own head to put out the flames after the three officers in the room left.
After the flames were out, one police officer comes back and appears to pat Jones’ upper back and head to assist him, the security footage shows.
Jones was on fire for approximately 25 seconds, appearing to have burns on his upper back, the area a bright red in the security footage. He was in intensive care for six weeks at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse and taken off life support in December, according to Jones’ family attorney, The Times Union reported. He died on December 15.
The village police has a use-of-force policy mandating officers to account for “environmental conditions or exigent circumstances” before using anything “more than a firm grip,” Fox News reported.
The Times Union reported that the officers were apparently unaware that hand sanitizer is combustible. The chief described the incident as “horrible.”
Police Chief Dave Darling said officers in Catskill, about 33 miles (53 kilometers) south of Albany, were familiar with Jones from previous encounters and were likely afraid he was going to hurt himself.
Jones had been a standout track and basketball athlete at Catskill High School more than a decade ago, The Times Union reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.