Las Vegas, NV — (RT) A video shows Las Vegas police officers using excessive force against an unarmed man. Several officers attacked the victim, while he was tased several times and put in an unapproved chokehold. Had he survived, he would have faced no criminal charges.
The man, identified as 40-year-old Tashi Farmer, died in custody on May 14, but the video clearly showing the details of the incident has only recently been released.
An officer’s body camera video, as well as outside security camera footage, feature the chase and attack on the unarmed man. At first Farmer is seen running from a police officer, later identified as Kenneth Lopera, and approaching a white pickup when the first stun gunshot comes.
Lopera was trying to prevent Farmer from carrying out what he believed was a carjacking, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) statement. However the driver then said that he did not suspect those intentions, Review Journal reports.
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) May 18, 2017
Farmer is then seen lying on the ground as the policeman is heard yelling “Don’t move! Get on your stomach!” While the man cried out “I will,” still lying on the ground and attempting to pull the Taser probe out of his back, he was struck several more times.
The stun gun was used seven times in total during the incident, according to police.
During the tussle on the ground Lopera, assisted by up to three other officers, also punched Farmer in the face and head. As the victim continued to struggle, the policeman applied a “rear naked choke,” a martial arts tactic which is not approved by police authorities, the LVMPD statement says.
The neck hold is not seen on the body camera footage, but it was better captured by the outside camera. Three people are seen assisting the officer during the attack on Farmer, who are subsequently replaced by three arriving police officers.
Emergency Services were called to the scene, when “it was realized he [Tashi Farmer] wasn’t breathing,” according to the LVMPD. Some 40 minutes after the incident, Farmer was declared dead at the Sunrise Trauma Center. The official cause of the death has not been announced so far.
Farmer had a criminal history, including arrests for robbery, theft and attempted murder, and a conviction for criminal property damage. He was released from prison in January 2016.
“At the present time the Force Investigation Team has concluded that there are no applicable charges that would have been levied against [Farmer] had he survived the incident,” LVMPD Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said during at a news conference.
The victim’s mother, Trinita Farmer, said she couldn’t watch the released video.
“I don’t want to look. I just want to bury my son,” she is cited as saying by AP.
The LVMPD is currently carrying out an investigation into the incident and Lopera’s use of force, while the officer has been put on paid leave.