New leaked police body camera footage from 2016 shows a sergeant repeatedly stunning a handcuffed man in the same Dallas suburb where a fired cop fatally shot 15-year-old Jordan Edwards.
A white officer with Balch Springs Police Department can be seen shoving the stun gun into the cuffed man’s side, prompting him to cry out in pain while falling to the ground.
The suspect, Marco Stephenson is 39 years old.
“Don’t pull away, do you understand? You understand? Don’t pull away,” the officer can be heard demanding, following what appeared to be a calm apprehension prior to the stun gun use.
Balch Springs police acknowledged the unsettling video in a statement this week and expressed assurances that unspecified changes had been made to their force. Additionally, police Chief Jonathan Haber said the sergeant’s officers went over his head to report the incident.
“We understand people are upset and angry from the video that occurred in 2016 and we have made changes and corrections to better serve our community,” officials said.
The video was leaked just weeks after former police Officer Roy Oliver shot and killed Jordan, a passenger in a car full of teens fleeing a house party. Oliver was fired from the Balch Springs Police Department and charged with murder in Jordan’s death.
At present it is unclear who sent the video. It was recently mailed to the television station in Dallas.
The footage begins with an officer kicking away an apparent weapon with his gun drawn. Another cop wearing the body camera approaches Stephenson, who was on his knees with his hands on his head, from behind in an undisclosed residential neighborhood.
Stephenson was detained after allegedly threatening a group of kids with what appeared to be a firearm, which he adamantly claimed was a BB gun as officers rifled through his pockets.
“That’s the thing. It’s their perception that counts,” said one officer, as another sliced a backpack’s straps off Stephenson. “They perceived it as a threat so you are under arrest.”
“You’re also acting up, too. We’ve had to deal with you about every day for a … you know,” he said, trailing off. Stephenson was known to the officers as a repeat offender having pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, criminal trespass and mischief, court records show.
While sliding the bag off Stephenson’s back, a cop cautioned, “You better watch it, Marco.”
Stephenson and another officer exchange words about a toothpick while the sergeant walked up and jabbed him with the stun gun, repeating its use while he laid on the grass.
“Do you get it? Are you going to straighten up? Because I’m not playing with you today. Do you understand,” the officer asks. “Now, we’re going to get up and you’re not going to do anything stupid again.”
Haber said the sergeant, who was not immediately identified, was forced to take conflict resolution and anti-bias classes but no criminal charges were lodged against him.
“The video was reviewed by the highest and prestigious Law Enforcement agency in Texas and that was the Texas Ranger Division,” the department said in its statement. “It was determined charges would not be filed against the Balch Springs Police Officer after the video was reviewed by an independent agency and an internal review was conducted.”