Texas City Reviews Use Of Force Policy After Officer Uses Taser On Official


Police in Prairie View, Tx., have pledged a review of department use of force policy, particularly regarding stun guns, after video of a city councilman getting tased drew attention from national media, reports the Houston Chronicle. The Thursday night footage, released Saturday by police, shows Councilman Jonathan Miller repeatedly declining officers’ orders to leave an area, and later to put his hands behind his back. He was then tased in the back while kneeling, and arrested on charges of resisting arrest and interfering with public duties. “We’re going to see if any policies were violated, but also see if there are some deficiencies in our training,” said Police Chief Larry Johnson. “See if there are ways we could do better.”

There is no statewide policy for acceptable use of a stun gun, said James McLaughlin of the Texas Police Chiefs Association; each agency makes its own rules. Video of the recent incident attracted amplified media coverage because it happened in Prairie View, the small town northwest of Houston where the the controversial arrest and death of Sandra Bland made international headlines in July. Johnson said an officer had noticed men inside of a parked car in a suspicious area—the dead end of a dark road known for drug activities. She ordered the men out of the car and ran their IDs. They were friends of Miller, who lived on that block, gathered to practice a dance routine for a homecoming event, and were in the vehicle to change clothes, Johnson said. Footage recorded on a police body camera begins when Miller approaches the officer and says that the men are his friends at his house by invitation.

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