Blytheville, Arkansas police officer, Stephen Sigman used a taser on an unarmed Black man for not telling him his name on 4th of July.
Footage from the body camera of Officer Sigman shows an initial interaction between Chardrick Mitchell and the officer asking what his name is. The unarmed Black man asked for an explanation but officer Sigman could be heard saying “because I asked you to,” even before he could explain that he was working on a case.
Mitchell denied his ex-girlfriend entrance into his apartment after she claimed that she had her clothing in there which she needed to get. This situation got his ex-girlfriend irritated and subsequently, she called the police to intervene.
Officer Sigman got the scene and requested Mitchell to allow his ex-girlfriend access into the apartment to get her belongings. It was just at that time that the officer started his interrogations, asking him of his name without explaining his mission. Mitchell then walked away after a quarrel with his ex-girlfriend. Immediately, the cop shot the taser in his back before telling him that he was under arrest. Mitchell fell to the ground and was unconscious for a while.
His lawyer, James Harris has filed a lawsuit against the officer. In his statement he said, “At no time did Mr. Mitchell resist arrest, especially since he had already been tased when he was first told he was under arrest, even though he had at that point committed no possible criminal act,” the New York Daily News reports.
A taser can be treacherous to one’s health as seen in the case of James Greer who died as a result of being tased by a cop. For this reason, officers are to have enough reasons to use it in any form of arrest. But in the case of Mitchell, the officer hadn’t even tried to arrest him, talk less of him resisting.
The professional duty of the police is to ensure peace and reinstate public confidence in them but not escalate harmless situations into violence.
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