American police officers are yet again facing scrutiny over the use of excessive force after footage was released of them tasing the wrong man.
Officers from Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, Georgia, had an arrest warrant for Michael Clay, and went to the address they were instructed to.
Upon arrival they believed they had their man but it was in fact Patrick Mumford, who upon protesting and despite stating his name was Patrick, was then tased with 2,000 volts.
As reported by WJCL, footage was released by an attorney pointing out every mistake in the officers’ approach:
Attorney, Will Claiborne, claims Mumford was tased on February 1 with little or no cause, but SCMPD have countered, arguing the footage is heavily edited to misrepresent the situation.
In response they have released the following statement:
Earlier today, a local defense attorney released an edited version of a SCMPD officer’s body worn camera video.
Because the edited version is misleading, is apparently intended to be inflammatory, and to continue our transparency with the community, the SCMPD is releasing all of the body camera video of the incident. The video released by the defense attorney was edited and omits significant portions wherein a relative asks the individual to be cooperative.
The relative on the video also suggests the arrestee is similar in appearance to the wanted person, who purportedly lived at that residence. The edited video also omits other calm interactions the officers had with relatives and the arrestee.
The statement can be read in full here, and their full version of the footage viewed below:
Claiborne, who is not currently hired as a representative of Mumford but is acting as an advocate, said:
We let the video speak for itself. These two gentlemen don’t look anything like each other. Patrick was minding his own business, sitting in a car that he owns, in a driveway of a house where he resides. Law enforcement came upon him, they were immediately aggressive, it speaks for itself.
Patrick tells them the truth, and they never ask him for his ID. They assume he’s lying and falsely arrest him…young black men who reach for their back pocket to get their wallets have bad things happen to them, so what was Patrick supposed to do?
Claiborne certainly has a point. You do see officers ask his name but not for identification, and the subject’s response is audibly ‘Patrick’.
The lack of trust between civilians and police is now endemic, and until attitudes change we are likely to continue witnessing displays where escalation to use of lethal force is always possible.
This has to stop.