Dangerous Amputee

by digby

This is appalling:

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

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

Clearly, he didn't understand the new unspoken "common sense" federal law which says that when in the presence of a police officer, you stop in your tracks, hold your head down, answer every question with a quick "yes sir" and do not move until they give you instructions, lest you get electrocuted on the spot. It has nothing to do with whether or not you present a danger to anyone --- it has to do with whether or not the police officer is satisfied with your response, so best be very, very very obsequious and docile whenever you are in the presence of authorities, no matter what the circumstances. Otherwise, this country won't be free.

There is video at the link.

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


Between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sept. 11, Williams said, he and his wife, 28-year-old Demetrice Shaunte Phifer, were arguing when a marked Merced Police Department patrol car arrived at the couple's studio apartment.

While one officer spoke with his wife, Williams said, another officer arrived and ordered him, "Go back to your house!"

Williams, who had his 2-year-old daughter Ginni in his lap, said he rolled his wheelchair back to his apartment.

The officer, who's identified in the police report as John Pinnegar, approached him in the doorway of his apartment. Pinnegar said that his wife had accused him of striking her, which Williams denied.

Shortly afterward, police Sgt. Rodney Court and a worker with Merced County Child Protective Services entered the room, Williams said. "I'm trying to tell him nothing happened. We were just having an argument," he said.

Pinnegar grabbed William's 2-year-old daughter from his lap, handing her to the CPS worker. "I said, 'What are you doing? I haven't done anything!' " Williams said.

Williams said Pinnegar unholstered his Taser, jammed it into his rib cage and shocked him twice. Williams said he fell from his chair onto his stomach on the ground outside his doorway.

While he was down, Williams said, Court put his knee on his neck, and one of the officers then cuffed both of his wrists. At some point after he fell out of his chair, Williams said, his shorts slid down his legs.

With his hands cuffed behind his back, Williams said, he was unable to pull his pants up. He said police left him for five to 10 minutes in that position on the pavement, with his private parts showing as neighbors and onlookers watched.

Williams, a lifelong Merced resident who's married with three children, said that both his legs were amputated in 2004 after he was diagnosed with deep-vein thrombosis that led to gangrene in both legs.

Doctors amputated both his legs below the knees when he was 34. Now only withered stumps of skin hang where his lower legs once were. He lost his job as a truck driver and now supports himself and his family from a Social Security disability allotment of $1,004 a month.

Obviously they had no choice but to shoot the man full of electricity. Otherwise, he might have kept on showing disrespect for the officers by protesting his innocence and we can't have that or the whole system will fall apart.

*Obviously, I have no idea if the man hit his wife and if so, it was obviously wrong. But two wrongs don't make a right --- and tasering an unarmed man in a wheelchair is completely unnecessary in order to take him into custody.

And, by the way, the man spent six days in jail before they released him without filing charges.