Lakeland, FL — A disturbing video uploaded to YouTube Saturday shows Lakeland police officers yank a non-violent man from his vehicle, repeatedly taser him — and then taser his dog.
The video appears to be a traffic stop and the man in the truck appears to be a soldier or a veteran as he is dressed in ACUs.
As the video begins, three Lakeland officers have the man surrounded in his truck and he does not appear to be complying with their demands to get out of the vehicle. An officer then attempts to tackle the man who is not fighting back at all.
After an unsuccessful attempt at tackling, the officer deploys a taser, sending the man collapsing to the ground. During the melee, it appears that the man dressed in ACUs is holding a bible.
When officers move in to place the man in handcuffs, he resists, gets up and runs a short distance before stopping. He appears to be in a diminished mental state as he protests with the officers.
While the officers’ reaction to the man could have been considered reasonable force, what happened next was certainly not.
The man was accompanied by his dog who appeared to be a pit bull. After the officers placed the man in cuffs, the man filming pans back to the truck saying that the cops tasered the dog too!
About halfway through the video, you can clearly see the taser wires hanging from the passenger side window of the man’s truck. What purpose would tasering a dog through a car window serve?
Toward the end of the video, once the man is in the back of the police car, he appears to be reciting scripture and then tells the people filming that he loves them.
The Free Thought Project reached out the Lakeland police, however, we’ve yet to receive a response.
Whether or not the force used to get this man arrested was necessary is debatable, but tasering a dog inside of a vehicle appears to be over the top.
Sadly, veterans, especially those with PTSD are victims of the police far too often.
The Free Thought Project reported on the murder of Tommy Yancy, a father of two, who was savagely beaten to death by five law enforcement officers during a routine traffic stop on Mother’s Day. Yancy, a veteran who suffered from PTSD, served in Afghanistan and Iraq in the 259th Field Service Unit following the 9/11 attacks.
In January of last year, a video emerged of a 70-year-old veteran abused by police for walking with a cane.
In February 2015, an officer pleaded not guilty after gunning down Raymond Keith Martinez, 51, an unarmed homeless veteran who was loitering, but posed no threat to anyone. In another incident that month, another officer turned away as his partner beat an innocent and handcuffed veteran- so that the assault would not be captured on his body camera.
In March of last year, police gunned down a naked and mentally ill veteran in broad daylight.
In April 2015, a horrifying video was posted online of a police officer beating a veteran in front of her child, after she screamed out that she was pregnant. Her 9-month-pregnant stomach was left covered in bruises.
The list goes on and on. A search of the term “veteran” on our website should be enough for any person with a “support our troops” sticker on the back of their car to be outraged, so where are they?