ONTD Political

What the I just what?

2:58 pm - 09/22/2009

The Merced Police Department's Internal Affairs Division is investigating a complaint alleging that an officer twice used a Taser against an unarmed, wheelchair-bound man with no legs.

The incident occurred Sept. 11.

The man who was Tasered, 40-year-old Gregory Williams, a double-leg amputee, spent six days in jail on suspicion of domestic violence and resisting arrest, although the Merced County District Attorney's Office hasn't filed charges in the case.

Williams, who was released from jail Friday, said he was violently manhandled and Tasered by police, even though he claims he was never physically aggressive toward the officers or resisted arrest.

Even worse for him, Williams says he was publicly humiliated after his pants fell down during the incident. The officers allegedly left him outdoors in broad daylight, handcuffed on the pavement, nude below the waist. Williams said the arrest also left him with an injured shoulder, limiting his mobility in his wheelchair.

And although the two lead arresting officers are white, and Williams is black, it remains unknown whether race was a factor in the incident. Those two officers remain on duty.

Williams said the officers never used any racial epithets toward him. Although he does believe race and class played a role in his arrest, he also feels the police just wanted to be "downright nasty" to him. "They did what they did because they can get away with it," he said. "They've been doing it so long, it doesn't matter who they do it to. They just think they can get away with it."

A handful of residents who live in Williams' apartment complex claim they witnessed the incident and support Williams' charges. A short video clip, shot by a neighbor in the complex and obtained by the Sun-Star, clearly shows Williams sitting on the pavement with his pants down, his hands cuffed behind his back.

A Merced police report obtained by the Sun-Star tells a somewhat different story from that of Williams. The report, written by the responding officers, suggests that police had tried to reason with Williams before the arrest, to no avail. The officers wrote in the report that Williams was uncooperative and refused to turn over his 2-year-old daughter to Merced County Child Protective Services, among other allegations.

In the report, police also say a hostile crowd had gathered as the officers attempted to perform their duties.

The Merced Police Department's spokesman officially declined to comment on the matter, saying he can't legally speak about it because of the internal investigation.

The Sun-Star interviewed Williams and several neighbors who said they witnessed his arrest.

Police use Tasers more often

Tasers have become more controversial as they're more widely used by law enforcement. Proponents, including most U.S. law enforcement agencies and related foundations, say the weapon allows officers to control suspects and criminals without resorting to deadly force, pepper spray or batons. The stun guns, which transmit up to 50,000 volts of electricity, are supposed to disable a suspect or criminal for several seconds so officers can handcuff or otherwise control him. Tasers have become popular over the last decade, and more than 12,400 police departments worldwide use them.

Opponents blame Tasers for more than 150 deaths in the U.S. in recent years. A 2005 report by the American Civil Liberties Union claims that the weapon is "largely unregulated." In a survey of more than 50 departments across central and northern California, the ACLU concluded that "in the absence of strong regulations on how police use the weapon, we are likely to see more unnecessary deaths."

apis_cerana 22nd-Sep-2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
castalianspring 22nd-Sep-2009 08:32 pm (UTC)

amypond 22nd-Sep-2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
I remember hearing about this on the news.
bludstone 22nd-Sep-2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
This article doesnt mention the phone they seized from someone who recorded the incident, them deleting the video, and returning the phone.

Or the fact that they forcefully took the 2-year old off his lap, then made her watch the tasing.

I bet these guys get paid leave, a nice vacation, for their inhuman sociopathic behavior.
brewsternorth 22nd-Sep-2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
You got source for the other stuff?
bludstone 22nd-Sep-2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
not off hand, this story has popped up on most of my news aggregators and libertarian sites.
bludstone 22nd-Sep-2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
try carlosmiller.com theagitator.com and reddit.com

i wish i could give direct links but im on my way out :O
apis_cerana 22nd-Sep-2009 08:46 pm (UTC)

Brb hating humanity :(
bludstone 22nd-Sep-2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
box_in_the_box 22nd-Sep-2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
celtic_thistle 22nd-Sep-2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
turtleyurtle1 23rd-Sep-2009 12:55 am (UTC)
Oh, oh, I see! Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!

showercapfrog 23rd-Sep-2009 12:03 pm (UTC)
TBH this is where my mind went as well.
thechangingwind 22nd-Sep-2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
Merced County is one of the crappier counties in California. I swear, though, not all of inland California is like that. :(
trojanchick99 22nd-Sep-2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see this happen in Fresno, Tulare, Kings or Kern Counties. I've been pulled over for driving while brown up there, never in the 10+ years I've been in LA.
thechangingwind 22nd-Sep-2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Driving while brown. Best statement ever. You're completely right, though. I got a ticket in Kern County for not having my headlights on at 7:30 AM. Fresno County is still pretty bad, especially in the city of Clovis, but we're getting better.
rex_dart 23rd-Sep-2009 12:05 am (UTC)
I just pictured a cop in LA trying to pull someone over for driving while brown and just sitting by the side of the road unable to think or move or do anything because there are so many brown people driving by and he just can't make up his dumb cracker mind.

That might explain it.
thechangingwind 23rd-Sep-2009 12:50 am (UTC)
The counties that trojanchick99 mentioned, except for possibly Kern County, have waaaaay more brown people than the LA area. The Central Valley has tons of agriculture here, which means quite a few illegal immigrants from Mexico working in the fields as well as a lot of migrant workers moving throughout the state during certain farming seasons. The majority of LA is just more awesome than some of the cowboy wannabes in the Central Valley. :/
rex_dart 23rd-Sep-2009 12:53 am (UTC)
Ahh, I'd have no clue about that since I'm from noooooowhere near California. I just have to go to LA once a year for business.
reticent_lass 23rd-Sep-2009 08:07 am (UTC)
I got my driver's license there! In a little tourist town that only woke up around 10:30 in the morning, and I had my test at quarter to eight. Considering I'd already failed it twice, I could've kissed the whole DMV. Yet I would still advise everyone living there to pack up and let Nature reclaim the whole damn thing. Dear god, blazing-hot hideous redneck heaven is not something I'd wish on anybody.
thechangingwind 23rd-Sep-2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
Sadly, there are way too many cities like that in California. California isn't the liberal haven people think it is. :(
scolaro 22nd-Sep-2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
foofighter0234 22nd-Sep-2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
mercystars 22nd-Sep-2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
Well, quite obviously this man was going to stump the cops to death and they were afraid for their lives, hence the taser and then leaving him laying in the street cuffed and with his pants down.

schonste 22nd-Sep-2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
b-b-b-but policeymans need tazers
youbeboy 22nd-Sep-2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid I wanted to be a policewoman. Now the entire system just makes me sick. It seems like every other day we hear about policemen abusing their authority and acting like barbarians.
goddessdream 23rd-Sep-2009 12:50 am (UTC)
I heard about this yesterday I think. Makes me want to cry :(
randomneses 23rd-Sep-2009 01:07 am (UTC)
This is awful :( Poor guy!
morbidimpishfae 23rd-Sep-2009 01:35 am (UTC)
noir_aya 23rd-Sep-2009 04:07 am (UTC)
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evildevil 23rd-Sep-2009 04:36 am (UTC)
the video is a lie, it could be CGI for all we know!! everyone knows that da polize never lies, no sir...
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