Albany County, NY — A video was posted to Facebook this week which shows the unnecessary tasering of a man who was pulled over for speeding.
Chris Dimmitt of Voorheesville, NY was pulled over around 2:00 AM Sunday by an Albany County Sheriff’s Deputy. He and his two passengers had pulled into his driveway and were exiting the vehicle.
The deputy immediately drew his taser and aimed it at Dimmitt and his friends, demanding they get back in the vehicle.
The three men were all non-threatening and had their hands in the air.
Dimmitt tries to explain to the deputy that the entire situation is being filmed and everyone has their hands on their heads.
“I am not a threat, this is my house, I am home,” says Dimmitt as the officer orders the men back into the vehicle again.
Dimmitt, believing he is in the right, then dares the officer to tase him.
The officer is telling the three men that he is fearful because there is only one of him and five of them. Apparently he was already contemplating the exaggerated police report, because there were only three men.
The conversation, or rather the disagreement over getting back in the car, continues for several more minutes until backup arrives — that is when everything changes.
Instead of explaining the situation to his backup and having him attempt to help in the investigation, the deputy immediately yells, “Get on the ground,” and tasers Dimmitt who was no threat.
According to the police report, Dimmitt was arrested and charged with Speeding, DUI, and Resisting Arrest. He has since retained an attorney to fight the charges.
In an odd statement, the Sheriff’s Office released the dashcam video of the incident saying that it shows the “full story,” despite the fact that it shows the same story.
“This is the problem that people are posting all of these videos with 30-second, one minute glimpses of an incident that had a series of sequences leading up to that,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said.
Apparently Sheriff Apple thinks that a 4-minute video of the entire incident is only a small glimpse of the incident.
“At first glance, it appears he followed our policies and procedures,” Apple explained. “You know, I understand that everyone has, unfortunately, a dislike toward law enforcement right now. But you still can’t be defiant and antagonistic when you’re at a vehicle stop.”
While the actions of Dimmitt weren’t exactly complete subservience to the authority of this sheriff’s deputy, they were most assuredly not threatening.
According to the police use of force continuum a suspect must be actively resisting (facilitating an escape or physically preventing an arrest) before an officer can deploy the taser. Neither of these two issues were factors in this stop.