Tag Archives: taser

VIDEO: NBA Player Sterling Brown Tased by Milwaukee Cops Over Parking Ticket

The Milwaukee Police Department issued an apology on Wednesday and released body cam video showing a January 26 2 a.m. incident during a parking violation enforcement stop in which some of the department’s officers swarmed and tased apparently cooperative 6-foot-6 NBA guard Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks.

[Read more: Milwaukee Mayor Calls Video of Police Tasing NBA Player “Disturbing”]

Video of the incident can be seen in its entirety below. The tasing incident happens shortly after the 8 minute mark.

The video contradicts initial police reports that described Brown as combative and instead show the responding officer taking an aggressive and belittling tone. Rather than simply issuing the ticket and moving on, the officer continued probing the rookie Bucks guard with antagonizing questions and called for backup, telling officers that Brown had gotten “right up in my face.” This resulted in a swarm of officers tackling Brown as another deployed a taser on him. Brown was issued a traffic ticket and arrested for resisting or obstructing an officer. However, police supervisors refused to refer the resisting or obstructing an officer charge to prosecutors after watching the body cam video.

As previously reported, Milwaukee city officials prepared for backlash in advance of the release of body cam footage.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Ashley Luthern published a police statement apologizing for the incident on her Twitter account, which can be seen below.

Milwaukee Police indicated that officers involved in the incident had been “disciplined.” The responding officer Joseph Grams, who first confronted Sterling Brown, was reportedly suspended for 2 days according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Two supervisors, identified as Jeffrey S. Krueger and Sean A. Mahnke, were also suspended, one for 10 days and the other for 15 days, though it is not yet known which supervisor received which length of suspension.

The Milwaukee Bucks released a statement on the incident, saying, “The abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable. Sterling has our full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated case. It shouldn’t require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment. We are grateful for the service of many good police officers that courageously protect us, our fans and our city, but racial biases and abuses of power must not be ignored.”

Fox Sports notes that Sterling Brown released a statement on the incident, indicating that he plans to sue the Milwaukee Police Department, “My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn’t happen to anybody. What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased, and then unlawfully booked. This experience with the Milwaukee Police Department has forced me to stand up and tell my story so that I can help prevent these injustices from happening in the future.”

He added, “Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community. Being a voice and a face for people who won’t be heard and don’t have the same platform as I have is a responsibility I take seriously. I am speaking for Dontre Hamilton of Milwaukee, Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Stephon Clark of Sacramento, Eric Garner of New York, and the list goes on. These people aren’t able to speak anymore because of unjust actions by those who are supposed to ‘serve and protect’ the people… This is bigger than me. My family, friends, legal team, Priority Sports, Milwaukee Bucks, the black community and the communities of all who stand against injustice plan to continue the fight. Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond. I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it. I will take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department to continue forcing change in our community.”

According to Yahoo Sports, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who said that he found the officers’ behavior “offensive,” said, “I am very sorry the Milwaukee police treated him in the fashion he was treated.”

The Milwaukee Police Association, the union representing the officers in question, deflected blame for the incident in a statement seen below and suggested that city leaders were to blame for the behavior, claiming that officers are understaffed and at risk, despite the fact that in the incident several officers were responding to what was a parking violation.

Police use-of-force trainer Robert Willis discusses where the officers’ behavior deviated from protocols in a below video by Today’s TMJ4.

Video Emerges of Officer Slager Apparently Deploying Taser on Restrained Suspect

North Charleston, SC police officer Michael Slager was recently charged with murder after bystander video emerged showing Slager shooting unarmed suspect Walter Scott in the back eight times as he attempted to flee on foot in an effort to avoid being jailed for failure to pay child support. Shortly after Officer Slager was arrested for the shooting, 33-year-old Mario Givens came forward and pointed out the fact that he had filed an excessive force complaint against Slager in 2013 when the officer deployed a Taser on him after mistaking him for his brother, who was wanted by police. Slager shocked Givens with his stun gun despite the fact that the alleged victim who raised allegations against Givens’ brother was on the scene and told Slager that he had the wrong man.

Meanwhile, The Post and Courier is reporting that another man has come forward with a complaint alleging that Officer Slager used excessive force on him during a routine traffic stop over a broken taillight. The August 25, 2014 incident, seen in the above-embedded raw dashcam video provided by WSCS-TV, started when 35-year-old Julius Garnett Wilson was asked to step out of the car as officers on the scene claimed that his South Carolina driver’s license was suspended. Wilson argued that he had obtained a valid Georgia driver’s license and initially struggled with police as they pulled him from his car.

An officer on the scene pulled a gun on Wilson, and he surrendered to police with two officers restraining him. At that point, around 20 seconds into the above video, Officer Slager deployed his Taser on the apparently pinned suspect, forcing his fellow officers to relinquish their grip and step back. Slager reported that he used the Taser on Wilson because the suspect would not place his hands behind his back.

The Post and Courier notes that the policeman that pulled his gun on Wilson, Officer Woods, said, “He almost got shot; I’m not lying, but he advised I was being recorded. I said, ‘Cool; you are, too.’”

Wilson, a felon, said he initially opted against filing a complaint but changed his mind after seeing Officer Slager gun down Walter Scott on video. “In my lifetime, I have witnessed violent acts by police officers… Without proof of such acts, the word of police officers is always taken over the word of the victims forced to endure their violent acts,” said Wilson.

Wilson’s attorneys John Gentry III and Nicholas Clekis have filed a civil rights lawsuit in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas against the North Charleston Police Department, Officer Michael Slager, Officer Brad Woods, Officer Jerome Clemens, and North Charleston Chief of Police Eddie Driggers, alleging police brutality. John Gentry III told The Post and Courier, “With all the media coverage in Mr. Scott’s shooting, the practices and procedures of use of force by police across the country is being brought into question.”

Nicholas Clekis told The Guardian, “We now have the fact that there’s a pattern of abuse of this officer; it gives more credence to the lawsuit.”

First-in-the-Nation CT Law Requires Police to File Use-of-Force Report After Firing Taser

In Connecticut, a new law just took effect which mandates that police fill out a use-of-force report after deploying a Taser on a suspect. According to The Stratford Star, Public Act 14-149, which went into effect on January 1 of this year, requires law enforcement officers to record the race and gender of each individual hit by a stun gun, as well as the number of times it was fired, the setting that was used while firing, and the injuries that it caused. Connecticut is the first state to pass a law requiring such reports each time a Taser is deployed.

Connecticut’s East Haven Police Department has served as a state-wide model on how to log Taser use-of-force reports, as it already implemented its own reforms as a part of a 2012 consent decree settlement with the Department of Justice. According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, a December 2011 DOJ report stated that East Haven officers demonstrated “a pattern or practice of systematically discriminating against Latinos,” which prompted federal officials to recommend the new policies, which have been in force there since that time. Public Act 14-149 also stipulates that each Connecticut police department must adopt specific use-of-force policies for Taser deployments.

East Haven Police Chief Brent Larrabee described his department’s Taser rules to WNPR News, “In our case, they had a policy dating back to 2009, which was probably — at the time — just as good as it could be. But because of the circumstances here, we’ve certainly gone much farther and much more in depth, particularly about supervisory review, capturing all of the electronic data, storage of the electronic data, [and] mandating officers to make sure any time they use force, that a supervisor is there to investigate.”

The law requires that police download on-board data from the weapon itself after each use and mandates that all Taser deployments be posted online by the Office of Policy Management’s Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division.

ACLU of Connecticut representative David McGuire described the new Taser reports in comments to WNPR News, “It’s a very thorough report. It goes through the person’s race, their age, their height, their weight; how the Taser was used; what mode it was used in; how many times it was fired; whether the person had an injury; whether medical assistance was provided.”

Though other states, counties, and municipalities are wrestling with the issue of use-of-force by police and may implement their own reforms in the near future, Connecticut is the first US state to enact such a clear policy on Taser use.

Texas Cop Uses Stun Gun on 76-Year Old Man for Expired Registration

A Texas police officer was placed on administrative duty after a dashboard camera video emerged showing the 23 year old officer aggressively detain and tase a 76-year old man after pulling him over for an expired registration sticker.

The Victoria Advocate reported Officer Nathanial Robinson pulled Pete Vasquez when he noticed the registration. Vasquez pulled into a car lot to attempt to get the manager to explain to the cop that the car was exempt from inspection because of the car dealer tags.

On the dashcam video Robinson can be seen arresting Vasquez. As the elderly man exits his vehicle to show the officer the plates are exempt, Robinson grabs him by the arm before shoving him onto the hood of the police car. As Vasquez attempts to escape the assault the officer wrestles him to the ground. The two men move out of the frame but Victoria police confirmed that at this point Robinson used the stun gun on Vasquez twice while he was on the ground.

Vasquez told the Advocate that the officer “just acted like a pit bull, and that was it. For a while, I thought he was going to pull his gun and shoot me.”

Sales manager Larry Urich can also be seen on the video coming out to inform the officer of the exemption. Urich said the officer told him to stand back, “but I didn’t shut up. I told him he was a goddamn Nazi Stormtrooper.”

After Vasquez is placed in the back of the police vehicle he can be heard talking to another officer. The officer asks him what happened, to which Vasquez states, “He came over here and got nasty with me. I’m not going to put up with that. I don’t care who it is.”  When the officer inquires whether Vasquez was hurt after the scuffle he responded, “Not yet. Probably later on. I’m 76 years old.” He goes on to say that “I hit my knees and my back and everything else. My shoulder and everywhere else.”

The following day Vasquez told the Victoria Advocate that his body was aching, but more than that, “I feel like my rights were violated.” Chief of Police  J.J. Craig personally apologized to Mr. Vasquez for the incident. Officer Robinson’s actions are currently under investigation.

“The police department is supposed to train their police officers to be more conscientious and use common sense. I don’t think he had any.”


A California police officer has been fired for not using violence

A California State University Monterey Bay police officer has been fired from the force after he chose not to use his Taser on a student threatening suicide in February.

The officer, a 20 year veteran of the force who has not been named, was reportedly the first officer on the scene when a CSUMB student was threatening to kill himself in a dorm room.  The student in question was holding a knife, hammer, and was threatening to light himself on fire, according to the Free Thought Project.

Rather then using his Taser on the student, the officer began to talk to the student which resulted in a deescalation of the situation.  The officer then went to get the student a glass of water when officers from the local Marina Police Department showed up and began to use their Tasers on the suicidal student.

Marina Police Chief Edmundo Rodriguez said, according to the Monetery Herald, when his officers arrived on the scene, they found blood in the student’s dorm, and the student’s sweater appeared to be singed. The knife and hammer were also in the room, but the weapons were not in the student’s hands.

Rodriguez then said, the student “was clearly a danger to himself and he was in crisis… We were trying to keep him from accessing the weapons or leave, to get him medical attention.”

After the incident, Rodriguez’s department issued a “failure to act” complaint against the campus police officer because he did not engage in the situation as the other officers had done.  “He just stood there,” said Rodriguez.

The president of the Statewide University Police Association (SUPA), Jeff Solomon, said according to the Raw Story, “Our officer said and felt that there was no need for the level of force that was applied.”

Solomon then said, “The other officers started yelling and screaming to get down, Tased him multiple times, and from what we understand (told the university officer) to Tase him again.”

Later, the father of the suicidal student told reporters, “It defies logic and is extremely disappointing that, at a time when law enforcement is under fire for using more force than necessary, an officer is being terminated for attempting to use civilized methods to resolve a situation,”

University officials did not comment on the details of the case, but they did say the situation “is much more complex than was conveyed.”

Police Abuse? Cops Shoot 14-Year-Old In The Face With A Taser


The photo above is of 14-year-old Joseph Williams’ face after police in Bucks County, Pennsylvania tased him.

Williams’ mother, Marissa Sargeant, released the photo and is demanding an investigation into the officers who arrested her teen. She said, “The picture speaks a thousand words.”

Williams was arrested on Tuesday in Walmart — he and his 19-year-old cousin Jordan Gibson were caught shoplifting.

According to police, they cuffed the 14-year-old but he ran away before they could put him in a cruiser.

Police officers told NBC10 that they “yelled warnings at the teen and fearing for his safety, they fired a stun gun to subdue him. The D.A. says the Taser struck the boy in the face and with his hands cuffed, the boy had no way to brace himself against falling face-first.”

Williams was left with a broken nose, multiple deep gashes, and eyes swollen shut.

Screen shot 2013-11-18 at 7.31.45 PM

Sargeant first posted photos of her son’s fresh wounds on her Facebook account. She wrote, “He was handcuff but they say he resisted arrest that yall tazzed him in his face (sic). Not only that they took him to lower bucks hospital with out his mother consent they broke his nose n (sic) both eyes were swollen shut. These prejudice cops need a rude awakening.”

Sargeant said she doubts that police are telling the truth about how the incident transpired. She said, “There’s no way, if he was running from behind, that he would get hit with a taser in the front of his face.”

She believes that cops kicked or hit her son.

But Bucks County officials stick by their story and defend the officers’ actions. District Attorney David Heckler said, “He should have stopped when police told him to. You take off running at a full clip and someone pulls your legs out from under you, and you’re cuffed from behind, you’re going to break your fall with your face.”

Williams’ family is currently threatening to sue.

“I just want some justice. I even pray for the police officers because they need help,” said Sargeant.


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