Key West, Florida-- A shocking video uploaded to YouTube on Sunday shows an elderly gentleman with his hands up, posing no risk or threat to the officers, get tased in front of horrified witnesses.
The video, taken by a witness who was with his family on their way to Key West, shows officers yelling at people to get out of their vehicle. The elderly man exits the passenger side and an officer grabs and twists his arm. Another officer comes around to the other side of the vehicle yelling "let him go." As the officer lets go, the man puts his hand back in the air, and the second officer tases him for no reason.
The man drops to the ground as the witnesses gasp in horror and question whether or not he is alive, noting that his body is limp.
"I hope we don't get harassed because I'm recording this," the man filming states before turning off the camera.
It is a sad shame that the mistrust of police is so high, rightly, that we cannot even feel safe to film their wrong doing.
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Florida officers have a deadly history of taser deployment. In December, we conducted an investigation into the death of Charles Elmers. Video from the officer's taser captured officer Gary Lee Lovette bragging about stomping a man into the sand as he tasered his head.
We often ask “why didn’t that cop use a taser instead of his gun?” However, it is important to remember that while a person is less likely to die from a taser shock than a gun shot, they are still an often fatal weapon, and should be treated as such. This man was posing no threat to the officers and this use of potentially lethal force is horrific and unjustifiable.
According to Amnesty International, between 2001 and 2008, 351 people in the United States died from being shocked by police tasers. Electronic Villiage has documented another 283 taser-related deaths in the United States from 2009-2014. That means there have been at least 634 documented taser-related deaths in America since 2001. You can view the list here.
There are 50,000 volts of electricity that shoot out of a police issued Taser and into their target. The American Heart Association has been vocal about the fact that tasers can cause cardiac arrest and death. Naturally, the elderly are more susceptible to these risks. There is no excuse for the officers playing roulette with this man's life.
If anyone has any details on this incident, and most importantly the condition of this man, please contact us at [email protected]