Funeral held for Bronx man who died after police used stun gun

A viewing was held Tuesday for the Bronx man who died after police used a stun gun on him earlier this month.



Ariel Galarza, 49, died of a heart attack after an NYPD sergeant discharged the weapon twice on Nov. 2, according to his family.



Police were called to Galarza's home after being notified of an emotionally disturbed person at the residence on Mayflower Avenue in Pelham Bay.



Galarza threatened officers with a broken glass bottle, police say. Sgt. William Melrose, a 13-year veteran of the NYPD, used the stun gun. After a brief scuffle, he used it again. The Bronx District Attorney's Office is investigating the case, and a lawyer for Galarza's family says a special investigation is also underway.



Galarza's sisters say they don't think it was necessary for police to use the stun gun a second time on their brother. They also want the sergeant involved to be placed on modified leave.



In October, Deborah Danner, 66, was shot and killed by an NYPD sergeant after allegedly swinging a baseball bat at officers. Her family says she was schizophrenic. The two incidents have prompted public outrage and a revamp of NYPD protocol when responding to calls of emotionally disturbed individuals.


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