Newly released police body camera videos show a Fredericksburg police officer use his Taser and pepper spray on a 34-year-old driver having a medical emergency reported by WTOP. The three officers responded to calls for a hit-and-run and driver traveling in the wrong direction in the northbound lanes of Jefferson Davis Highway near the University of Mary Washington pedestrian bridge. David Washington hit a Jeep, crossed the median and hit a street sign. The Hyundai eventually stopped in the middle of an intersection. In the newly released videos, Sergeant Crystal Hill and Corporal Matt Deschenes drew their guns. As the two officers yelled at Washington, his right arm appeared to be raised to the steering wheel, but his left arm appeared motionless. Hill yelled to Deschenes that she cannot see the driver’s left hand. When Shaun Jurgens arrived, he drew his Taser and then Jurgens pepper sprays Washington’s face. When Washington does not get out of the car, Jurgens and Deschenes pull him out onto the ground and put him in handcuffs. Washington can be heard moaning, “I can’t breathe.” Washington tells the officers that he has been sick for days, but that he does not know what is wrong. Ambulance arrived and transported Washington to a hospital. Sources tell the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, reported that Washington had a stroke. Washington has since been released from the hospital and is recovering. Jurgens believed that Washington may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs because the officers founded beer in the back seat of Washington’s car and he acted to control a situation that he worried would escalate. The department is still reviewing whether the two other officers seen in the videos Corporal Matt Deschenes and Sergeant Crystal Hill will face any departmental charges or reprimands stemming from the incident. They remain on duty, according to the department. Officer Jurgens resigned from the city police department on May 14. Charges have been filed against Washington for hit and run, reckless driving and driving on a revoked license. However, he has not yet been arrested on the charges, according to police.
Two men were shot by an Olympia police officer for attempting to steal beer from a local grocery. According to KING-TV, police say the incident started before 1 a.m. at a Safeway in west Olympia near Capitol High School. The two men allegedly stole beer from the store before throwing it back at a clerk and fleeting. About 20 minutes later an officer recognized the men based on a description of the suspects given by the victim. Officer Ryan Donald then rendered aid to the suspects and called for medics. About two minutes after that, the officer, Ryan Donald reported firing shots. Andre Thompson, 23, and Bryson Chaplin, 21, stepbrothers from Olympia, fled into the woods across the street before confronting the officer again in the middle of the road, Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts explained. During the second confrontation, the officer shot the second suspect multiple times in the torso, the police chief said. Donald then rendered aid to the suspects and called for medics. Thompson was listed in serious and stable condition at Tacoma General Hospital, while Chaplin was in critical condition at St. Peters Hospital. Medical officials say both are expected to survive.
A Los Angeles police officer went on trial for assault last Wednesday over allegations she kicked a handcuffed woman in a patrol car and disregarded her request for medical attention during an arrest that ended with the woman’s death, reported by Al Jazeera and Reuters. Officer Mary O’Callaghan is charged with assault under color of authority but not in the subsequent death of 35-year-old Alesia Thomas, who died in the back of the patrol car after telling the officer she could not breathe. A video camera in the police cruiser demonstrated O’Callaghan kicking Thomas in the stomach and groin and hitting her in the throat. After Thomas lost consciousness inside the police car, paramedics were called, but she died soon after arriving at the hospital. O’Callaghan faces up to three years in prison if convicted. According to the LA Times, officers were at Thomas’ home that day responding to allegations that she had abandoned her children, and after an interview, she was placed under arrest. Thomas’ family sued the LAPD in order to obtain the dash camera footage. The first trial in which O’Callaghan was accused of abuse was declared a mistrial by the judge in February because of the introduction of new evidence.
An 82-year-old Texas man says authorities entered his home in military gear and arrested him without provocation. According to Raw Story, Herman Crisp claims Georgetown deputies in SWAT uniforms did not give any warning before they threw a flash-bang device outside his home last September as he was sitting in a chair. Crisp said that Georgetown deputies had a warrant to search his home as part of an investigation into his nephew, but it was not clear what they were searching for. He also mentioned that the explosion knocked him out of his chair, and then officers slammed him on the ground and handcuffed him. The force of hitting the ground broke his hip, who was 81 years old at the time. Eventually officers did help Crisp inside the home before leaving, but he said they did not call paramedics. The next day, his family said that they found him lying on the floor in his own feces. Crisp filed a lawsuit against Williamson County and the City of Georgetown seeks damages in excess of $1 million for Crisp’s medical care and mental anguish. The lawsuit cites that the officers used excessive force and caused bodily injury. Crisp had two surgeries and physical therapy and walks with the assistance of a cane.