Feds open investigation into Taser death in Fairfax jail

Natasha McKenna died days after she was shocked while in Fairfax County Sheriff's Department custody. (Courtesy NBC Washington)

WASHINGTON – The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has opened a federal investigation into the February death of Natasha McKenna.

McKenna, 37, was a prisoner at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center at the time of her death.

A Justice Department spokesman says the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia are involved in the probe. The investigation will consider whether federal charges are warranted in McKenna’s death.

She died after a  Fairfax County deputy used a Taser while attempting to remove her from her cell. She was at least partially physically restrained when she was shocked.

McKenna died a few days later.

An autopsy report determined the manner of death was an accident, but that it was caused by “excited delirium associated with physical restraint including use of conductive energy device, contributing: Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar Disorder.”

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh is considering – separately from the federal investigation – whether state charges are warranted in the case.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

© 2015 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.