An Idaho Springs police officer issued no warnings to a 75-year-old man before shocking him with a Taser and later placing his knee on the unconscious man’s neck, newly released body camera footage of the incident shows.
The 75-year-old, Michael Clark, was living independently at the time of the incident but now resides in a nursing facility after suffering health complications following the incident, according to his attorney, Sarah Schielke.
Schielke released the body camera footage Thursday after receiving it from the district attorney’s office.
“Finally being able to view the videos has been vindicating for this family on some level, since they confirm all that Mr. Clark has said, but, seeing the horrors that they contain, after fighting for so long to get them, has been traumatic in its own right,” Schielke said in a statement Thursday. “The tragic, needless abuse of this man in his own home cannot be unseen.”
Nicholas Hanning, the officer who used the Taser on Clark, was fired from his job July 13 and is facing an assault charge for his actions. The other officer on scene, Ellie Summers, remains employed by the Idaho Springs Police Department.
The two officers were called to the Idaho Springs apartment building on May 30 when a woman called 911 to allege her neighbor punched her in the face.
The video shows Hanning and Summers knocked on Clark’s apartment door without announcing themselves as police. Hanning and Summers immediately started yelling when Clark, wearing only his boxer shorts, opened the door holding a sawtooth sword. Hanning then shoved Clark into a wall.
Clark placed the sword on top of a bookshelf after the officers told him to put it down. Hanning and Summers yelled at him to get on the ground, to which he responded “no.” Then, standing in the entryway of his apartment, Clark started to explain the situation.
As Clark spoke, Hanning shot him in the stomach with a Taser probe, the video shows. Clark immediately fell backward, unconscious.
The officers dragged Clark out of his apartment and into the hallway. Hanning placed his knee on Clark’s neck for eight seconds while Clark laid motionless, facedown on the ground, the video shows. The officers handcuffed Clark and rolled him onto his side.
Body camera footage also shows Hanning grab the sword from the bookshelf where Clark had put it and place it in the hallway.
Clark was hospitalized due to heart complications and had a stroke 36 hours after his arrest, Schielke has said. He has not been charged with any crime.
In a statement through his lawyer, Clark said he wanted the videos publicly released.
“What the world will see in these videos is not me at my worst, but a police department at their worst,” Clark said in the statement. “I am a patriot. I love my country. There are a number of good people out there… good police officers. These are not them. People like this should not be police. What they took from me that day, I can’t put into words. I’m going to do whatever it takes with what little time I have left to stop this from happening to anyone else ever again.”
Source: Read Full Article