[WATCH] 86 Year Old Man Gets $900,000 Settlement After Being Tased by Georgia Police

An 86-year-old black man injured after being jolted by a white officer’s Taser will get a $900,000 payout — one of the most significant for a stun gun case in South Carolina history — as video emerged Friday of the Kingstree encounter that raises further questions about police training on the use of force.

Albert Chatfield, who has dementia, put his hands in the air after a brief car chase Oct. 16 in the small Williamsburg County community, but he jogged backward from the officers trying to arrest him.

An officer said in a report that Chatfield was shocked with the stun gun to stop him from getting hit by passing traffic. But the only car in the video footage is backing slowly away from the action.

A federal court last year also declared unconstitutional any Taser use against someone who doesn’t present a danger to another person. Chatfield’s lawyer, state Rep. Justin Bamberg, said that an elderly man in a bout of confusion posed no threat and that the officers’ justification of the takedown contradicted the video.

Chatfield fell, and his head hit the pavement.

That a supervisor had ordered the officer to use the Taser shows a pervasive lack of training on the regulations, Bamberg said Friday.

“This is a learning opportunity,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate that such a learning session has to come at the expense of an 86-year-old grandfather. But it’s an opportunity to look at Taser training and try to stop it from happening from somebody else.”

The State Law Enforcement Division opened an investigation into the ordeal at the Kingstree police chief’s request, but no criminal charges were expected to come of it, a decision that Chatfield’s family did not oppose.

The settlement, announced Friday but reached a week earlier, was negotiated with Kingstree’s insurer at the Municipal Association of South Carolina.

Bamberg has represented families in other high-profile cases involving police, including the 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott by a North Charleston officer that was captured on cellphone video.

Chatfield’s agreement, though, amounted to one of the “quickest and most considerable” settlements ever in a South Carolina police Taser case in which no lawsuit had been filed, Bamberg said.

The video, which the lawyer distributed publicly, brought further scrutiny to how the police justified their Taser user against Chatfield. The authorities had denied The Post and Courier’s open-records request for the information.

Early one foggy morning last month, someone told police that the retired entrepreneur was tailgating other cars in his Ford SUV. He drove away from the responding Kingstree officers and ran red lights.

He soon stopped at an intersection and got out, raising both his arms into the air.

Police said he “took up a fighting stance” against Officer Stephen Sweikata, who is white, and Lt. Carl Scott, a black supervisor.

The video showed Sweikata pulling down Chatfield’s arms in a bid to handcuff the motorist, but Chatfield pulled away and moved swiftly backwards. He walked out of his own shoes.

For full story visit: http://www.blackcoatmedia.org/2017/11/86-year-old-man-reaches-900000-settlement-with-kingstree-georgia-police/

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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