A Florida cop has been fired after footage showed that he continuously used a Taser on a man who had his hands raised while talking to the officer.
The video, which was captured by a camera attached to the Taser, shows Zephyrhills, Fla., officer Tim Claussen ordering the suspect to come outside.
“Come outside now, or you’re about to get Tased. This is the last time,” Claussen warned the suspect. When the man refuses to leave his home, officer Claussen begins to shock him with the taser, the Tamba Bay Times reported.
Claussen, a 10-year veteran of the police force, stated in his incident report that the suspect “refused to show his hands.”
After an internal investigation by the Zephyrhills Police Force, which concluded that the deployment of the taser was unjustified, Claussen was terminated from his position.
Although Claussen is caucasian and the suspect, Lester Brown, is black, Police Captain Derek Brewer said they did not see an evidence that the incident was racially motivated. As such, Brewer assures that the officer was not fired out of fear that the incident would spark public outcry.
“We recognized that there was an issue and that’s why we acted quickly. Given the circumstances of this incident, I feel like it was the right decision,” Brewer said.
Brown, who was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of retail theft, complained of dizziness and shoulder pain and was taken to the hospital prior to being booked into Pasco County Jail.
As a result of requests made by the Zephyrhills Police Department, The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office later dropped the charge against Brown.
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