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What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo! 

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Old 12-24-2017, 02:48 AM
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What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo!

“What did I do?” an unarmed man with his hands in the air — and believed to be high on PCP — asked police officers as they repeatedly fired taser shots at him inside a Whalley Avenue convenience store, in a scene captured by one of the police department’s new body cameras.

You can watch the scene in the above video, released to the Independent Thursday in response to a Connecticut Freedom of Information Act request.

Top cops have been watching that video over and over since the incident it captures took place at 9:18 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, inside Whalley Food Market at the corner of Whalley Avenue and Hobart Street.

The video caused consternation within the department, as some officers feared that other officers had mistreated a citizen and gotten away with it. Those officers’ fears led to a review of the incident by the department’s assistant chiefs. And that review was aided greatly by the existence of head-on video captured on one of the 800 Axon body-worn cameras the department purchased and then began distributing to all officers in November.

After the review, the chiefs came to two conclusions, Assistant Chief Racheal Cain, who oversees internal affairs and department protocols, said in an interview Thursday afternoon.

Conclusion one: The officers involved “did not violate any of the general orders” by using their tasers and OC (pepper) spray on the arrestee, 36-year-old Rashae Jamaal King.

Conclusion two: “We do believe that things could have been done better.”

The department is not disciplining the officers, Cain said. But it has ordered them to go to the police academy for retraining.

Specifically, she said, the officers could have done more to de-escalate the confrontation with King before it turned violent. And the officers improperly deployed their tasers, she said. That’s why they shot so many times; the two prongs failed to penetrate to King’s skin and immobilize him.

The department is continuing an internal investigation in the case — not in the conduct of the officers, but into allegations that someone else in the department distributed an image from the body camera video on social media. Cain said she wanted to make sure the video itself had not distributed on social media, before she made the video available to the Independent.

King — who has pleaded guilty in 11 separate criminal offenses involving drugs, assault, and larceny, among other offenses, since 2009, according to state records — was released after the misdemeanor arrest on a promise to appear in court. An ambulance crew took him to the Yale-New Haven St. Raphael campus for medical attention. He has not yet entered a plea in the case. He could not be reached for comment for this story.

He has not filed a complaint with the police department over the incident, according to Cain.

Besides raising questions about the department’s use of tasers and of the efficacy of its de-escalation training, the incident shows how the new age of body cameras will add to public discussion about police interactions with citizens.

Cain said the department obtained the cameras to build “transparency” and “accountability.” This is the first public case to put that proposition to the test.

The video shows three officers — Lindsey Nesto, Gregory Reynolds, and Kenroy Taylor— entering the Whalley Food Market. They’d been looking for a man who earlier in the evening had been acting erratically in the neighborhood. He was believed to be high on PCP, bothering citizens, blocking traffic, yelling, “Call the cops!”

The man was reported to have entered the store. The cops did find him inside. He was calmly buying lottery tickets from the clerk, Mohammed Elmarzouk.

The video shows the officers approaching him.

“You got an ID on you?” one asks.

“Yes I do,” King responds.

An officer asks to “take a look at it real quick.”

“I’m here to buy a lottery ticket for my mother,” King responds.

The officer keeps asking to see the ID. King continues not to produce it, continuing with the purchase.

“Where’s your ID, bro?”

“I’m here buying a lottery ticket.”

“I don’t care about the lottery ticket. Where’s your ID?” one officer asks.

To which another adds: “Turn around. Turn around.”

King is then shown putting his hands behind his back.

“Why you bothering me? I didn’t do nothing.”

“Cover for me,” one officer is heard telling another.

“I didn’t do nothing, yo!”

The cops move in. King still has his hands behind his back.

“The camera’s on,” he tells them.

“I know.”

“Camera’s on. I didn’t do nothing.”

King asks which way they want him to turn around.

“Face the wall.”

He starts to turn. Then he looks at the officers. Officer Taylor is aiming a taser gun at him.

“Don’t tase me yo!” King calls out.

“That’s what I’m going to do now,” Taylor responds.

“What for? It’s on camera! Please!”

“This is the last time I’m gonna tell you,” an officer declares.

King turns to Elmarzouk, the clerk: “See what’s going on?”

“Turn around! Turn around!”

Two blasts are fired. “Turn around!”

The tasings do not penetrate through King’s clothing. He turns around, thrusts his hands in the air. “Please call the cops!” he cries.

Then he removes his jacket. “Yo! Listen! I didn’t do anything! You can’t do this!”

King moves partway behind a display for Elite iPhone cases and chargers. An officer fires another taser shot.

“Why y’all doing this? Help! Help! Help!”

“Get on the ground!” orders an officer.

“I’m trying to get on the ground! You’re tasing me! You’re tasing me!”

“I’m gonna tase you again! I said turn around! Get on the ground!”

“I will!”

“Get! On! The ground!”

“I will.”

“I didn’t do nothing!” King repeats. Then he starts slapping his cheeks with both hands.

The orders continue. Instead of getting to the ground, King cries for help and crouches behind a lottery display, which falls to the ground. He grabs a “Scratch Games” sign declaring “WE SOLD A $1,000 WINNER!” as a shield.

Then he inches toward the officers, one of whom commands, “Get back!” King steps back.

“You’re not getting to the ground?” an officer asks.

“I got the phone and the camera right here,” King says, moving toward the main counter. He hops on the counter. An officer fires the taser again. Another officer fires the OC/pepper spray.

King hops back down, then up again on the counter, several times. “They’re trying to kill me!” King cries.

An officer grabs King’s leg; King falls backward behind the counter, then stands back up and runs to the right. One officer hops over the counter and chases him; another runs around the other side.

They catch him, wrestle him to the ground and subdue him.

“Wipe my DNA off,” he appears to be asking as they handcuff him.

Police charged him with on disorderly conduct and interfering. An AMR crew arrived and took King to the Yale-New Haven St. Raphael campus for medical attention.

Officer Nesto gave the official version of the case in a written incident report. Here’s her account:

She and fellow Officers Reynolds and Taylor responded to a call of “an emotionally disturbed person running up and down the street” and “appear[ing] to be under the influence of something” on Whalley. She arrived to find the suspect walking into the Whalley Food Market. She recognized the man from an encounter an hour and a half earlier, when she and Officer Kenroy Taylor had seen him pacing Ellsworth Avenue “erratically, yelling ‘Call the police!’” scaring a woman on the street, blocking traffic and almost getting run over. He escaped from them at that point.

Now the officers followed the man into the food market. He told Nesto he “was trying to buy a lottery ticket for someone.” The officers repeatedly asked him for identification. He “took out his wallet,” but rather than showing ID, he spoke “erratically” and nonsensically, at times repeating, “Call the cops.”

The man “appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance. [His] eyes were glassy, his speech was slurred and he was sweating profusely. Through my training and experience, he was showing symptoms of someone who has recently used PCP,” Nesto wrote.

The man refused an order to put his hands behind his back, instead, he raised them, kneeled, then headed for the exit. The officers blocked him; he “became physically aggressive.”

Officer Taylor allegedly warned him several times he’d be tased if he didn’t stop. He “would not comply,” so Taylor shot him with the taser. The tasing “was unsuccessful due to [the target] having a hooded sweatshirt and a thick jacket.” The man “took off his jacket and got into a fighting stance.” The officers warned the man again. Officer Taylor executed two more “unsuccessful” tasings and then one by Nesto.

Next Taylor hit the man with OC spray. The target “was not affected and still disregarded… commands.”

Instead, he “jumped over the counter.” Reynolds “tried to grab” him, but instead “went over the counter” with him. From behind the counter, the man sought to flee; Nesto blocked him. Then she and her two fellow officers took him to the ground “in an attempt to handcuff him.” The man allegedly fought back and “tried to tuck his hands under his chest in an attempt to not be handcuffed.”

Nesto radioed for backup officers, who arrived and helped restrain the man and handcuff him.

After he went to the hospital, all three officers filed reports. Reynolds’ and Taylor’s reports echoed Nesto’s.

The cashier who witnessed the events, Elmarzouk, echoed the officers’ version.

“This was the craziest thing I’ve seen” in 11 years working behind the counter at Whalley Market, Elmarzouk, a native of Morocco, said one subsequent evening in between selling lottery tickets, candy, and tobacco products to a steady stream of customers. The arrestee, he said, “was out of control.”



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Old 12-24-2017, 07:06 AM
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Re: What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo!

control and violence is all they're interested in

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Old 12-24-2017, 04:34 PM
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Re: What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo!

He nearly made it
Those cops were dangerous and incompetent

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Old 12-24-2017, 07:50 PM
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Re: What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo!

Idiot unable to follow simple instructions escalating things quickly with idiot cops unable to cope with a scared-shitless idiot.

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Old 12-24-2017, 11:17 PM
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Re: What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo!

Their tazers look like water guns.....maybe water guns would have been more effective in this case. I would think after giving 27000 commands, another method would have been used.

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Old 12-25-2017, 10:26 AM
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Re: What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo!

If he was the wrong guy all he had to do was listen lol

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Old 12-26-2017, 05:51 PM
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Re: What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo!

Is this an episode of reno911? The cops look they went to the criminal justice school for clowns.

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Old 01-07-2018, 09:51 AM
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Re: What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo!

The pigs were assholes. But he was being pretty stupid about it.

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Old 07-08-2018, 02:34 AM
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Re: What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo!

THESE COPS SHOULD BE FIRED. A 1/2 OF A MAN WOULD HAVE LAID THE GUY ON THE GROUND IN 30 SECONDS AND SUBDUED HIM.
CHRIST-SHOULD BE USED IN TRAINING

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Old 07-08-2018, 02:10 PM
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Re: What Did I Do? Don’t Tase Me, Yo!

They should have shot and killed the perp right away.

Perhaps try the taser one time.

Then shoot to kill.

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