Alonso "Tiger" Ashley was at the Denver zoo with his girlfriend on July 18, 2001, when, according to police, there was a domestic disturbance between Ashley and his girlfriend, he went into a frenzy, attacking zoo personnel as well as police, hitting, even biting cops and causing a head injury before they tased him into submission with a contact tase. A contact tase does not disable, it is used to force compliance by causing extreme pain. It is not at all effective for dropping a perpetrator, but the individual can be touched by others without danger to them during a contact tase. Ashley didn't stop fighting until he convulsed and stopped breathing. He died at the hospital.
Police also say they found drug paraphernalia on him. The girlfriend, who has asked to be identified only as "Elaina," says the cops' story couldn't be farther from the truth. She says he overheated and vomited and was trying to cool off at a water fountain when he brushed off concerned zoo personnel, who then blew everything out of proportion by calling cops. She insists that there was no drug paraphernalia. The coroner's report seems to add weight to her claims by calling the death a homicide, but the Denver D.A. has issued a statement saying it will not pursue charges, because the coroner's report does not name a specific cause of death making the case unwinnable. Regarding the coroner's report the D.A. added, "Dr. Carver can respond to questions concerning his medical use of the word 'homicide.'" Angry citizens already planning an Anti-police Terror protest made Ashley the focus of their rally in response to the D.A.'s letter.