Westland PD responds to video of officer using Taser on man holding 2-month-old baby
Police say firing Taser was the 'safest option'
WESTLAND, Mich. – The Westland Police Department on Monday responded to an incident in which an officer was seen on video firing a stun gun into the chest of a man holding his baby.
The incident occurred about 9 p.m. Friday when officers responded to a report of a male physically assaulting a female and damaging her vehicle, according to police.
Cellphone video from the scene shows a father becoming frustrated toward police and raising his voice. The father was holding his 2-month-old son. Officers reportedly asked the father to take his child inside, but he refused.
The video shows officers surrounding the man and firing a Taser into his chest.
The mother, standing nearby, was able to catch the baby as the father fell to the ground. Police said the child was examined by Westland EMT and was not injured.
Watch the video below:
Police responded to the incident Monday, saying that firing the Taser into the father's chest was the "safest option."
Officers said they arrived on the scene and made contact with the man involved in the alleged assault. They determined that he would be arrested for assault, damaged property and a number of outstanding warrants.
Once the man learned he was going to be arrested, he grabbed his child from the mother's arms and refused to let go, even as she asked for the child back, according to police. That is when officers made the decision to deploy a Taser.
An investigation is underway to determine whether policy and procedure was followed and whether the incident was handled correctly, according to police.
Full statement from the Westland Police Department:
On August 17th Westland Police Officers were dispatched to an address on Alberta Court in Westland on report that a male subject had physically assaulted a female and that he had damaged her vehicle.
Westland Police Officers made contact with the man involved in the incident. It was determined that the man was going to be arrested for the assault, the damaged property and also for a number of outstanding arrest warrants. Once the man learned that he was going to be arrested he grabbed the child from the mother’s arms and held the child tightly. The man refused to release the child back to the mother who was also asking for the child back.
At that time the police officers on scene felt that a close quarters direct taser deployment directly to the subjects back was the safest option. The video shows that during the deployment the child was also in the hands of the mother. The child was not injured during the arrest. The child was examined by the Westland EMT and turned over to the mother.
Like all Use of Force incidents, The Westland Police Department will conduct a thorough internal investigation to determine whether policy and procedure was followed and whether the incident was handled correctly. At this point in time that investigation is only in the beginning phase.
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