Police officers are armed with various kinds of weapons to help them defend the public and their own lives when they respond to dangerous situations. However, it is common for officers to misuse these tools to injure people and create more problems for taxpayers. This violent behavior is especially egregious when a suspect poses no threat of danger or resistance.
A Santa Rosa police officer is in serious trouble after he was recorded deploying a taser and beating a man who was not engaged in any kind of criminal activity.
Resident hit with taser and beaten in his own home
The altercation happened in a neighborhood called Boyes Hot Springs on Highland Boulevard. The victim was in a dispute with his wife and a neighbor called 911 after hearing them argue. The police apparently kicked down the victim’s bedroom door shortly after entering, when the argument had already subsided.
At the beginning of the video, the victim can be heard telling the officer that he is being recorded. The cop deploys the taser anyway, and the victim is also hit with a baton and shot with tasers multiple times. After the phone stopped recording, the beating apparently continued and may have gotten even worse.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department evaluated the video shortly after the incident and launched their own investigation. They ended up firing the officer for excessive use of force and he is also facing a criminal charge for assault. The victim has also retained his own lawyer and will file a civil lawsuit related to the incident. The attorney stated that the same officer was terminated from two other similar agencies over violent behavior, and hinted that there may be some related claims for negligent hiring in addition to the excessive use of force lawsuit.
How much force is allowed?
Police are allowed to use force with tasers and other weapons to diffuse violent situations and protect themselves. However, these tools are meant to help officers gain control of areas where further injuries or property damage may occur. This is much different than beginning an unprovoked attack on a suspect who is already subdued or not creating any threat of violence.
Civil lawsuits related to excessive use of force are the best option for victims. While there were also criminal charges filed related to this incident, the victim can still sue either way. The criminal case is controlled by a local prosecutor rather than the victim or their lawyer.
Civil cases can help pay for psychological and emotional problems caused by the act of police violence, as well as pay for things like medical bills and lost wages. Video evidence is also helpful, as images such as ones captured by the victim above can show a high level of disregard for proper law enforcement behavior.
Local lawyers are available to help
For help after issues with police violence or misconduct in the Santa Rosa area, contact The Law Office of Erin Aaland. Erin helps people with all kinds of injuries file lawsuits and receive proper compensation.