On June 29, 2009 McFarland and his wife Pearl were returning home from a charity fundraiser just before midnight. McFarland injured himself as he stumbled and fell down the long steps to his front door.
"Mainly it was to my knee and the front of my leg, my shin," McFarland said.
His wife called paramedics, who helped him into the house and treated him. As the paramedics were leaving, two sheriff's deputies arrived.
"All of a sudden, they just showed up, they came in here like there was a fire going on, like a gunfight was going on," McFarland said.
What happened in the following minutes was captured on a camera mounted on the deputy's Taser.
The deputy tells McFarland he is going to take him to the hospital because he may be suicidal.
"We want to take you to the hospital for an evaluation, you said if you had a gun, you'd shoot yourself in the head," the deputy can be heard saying.
McFarland says it was just hyperbole. He was tired and in pain.
The deputy orders him numerous times to get up or else.
"Stand up, put your hands behind your back or you're going to be Tased," the deputy says.
McFarland keeps refusing.
The exchange goes on for about five minutes; his wife keeps pleading with the deputies not to Tase him, saying he has a heart condition.
Then, McFarland tells the deputies in no uncertain terms to leave.
As he gets up to go to bed, McFarland is Tased. Not once, but three times.
McFarland says he never had any suicidal thoughts. In fact, he considers himself lucky to be alive.
"I'm a survivor of pancreatic cancer; one of 4 percent in this country," McFarland said.
Scott says his client was arrested, jailed and charged with resisting arrest. A judge later dismissed the charge.
No search warrant, no probable cause, inside the man's home with his wife present. Are you feeling nice and free now?
Seriously, that's one of the worst I've seen and I've seen hundreds of these by now. The police entered his home without a warrant or permission and told him they were forcibly taking him to a hospital (presumably because the paramedics had reported the comment) then shot him repeatedly full of electricity when he failed to comply, even after his wife told them he had a heart condition. He broke no law, appeared fully in control, was sitting on his couch talking to the officers. That's something out of an East German nightmare circa 1954.
But I guess you can see why the cops all over the country are saying their privacy rights are being violated by videos of their activities. It really hurts the ball team when stuff like this comes out.
Judging from the comments most people are pretty horrified. But there are always a few authoritarian robots in every crowd:
Peter McFarland should be thanking the sheriffs not suing them. They thought he was a danger to himself and they were going to get him help despite himself. The fact that they held off from using any type of force for as long as they did amazed me. McFarland had ended the dialog with officers the second he became belligerent They showed restraint by patiently waiting and giving him repeated chances to comply. Officers need to be encouraged to ignore the excuses such as "it was just hyperbole".
Just watch the video. You'll especially enjoy the part where they taser him repeatedly while he's screaming and writhing in pain on the ground, as they tell him to "stop resisting."