Marin lawmakers avoid Taser incident questions

September 14, 2010 7:28:45 PM PDT
A Marin County supervisor wants a review of the Taser policy, by law enforcement, following a controversial incident that resulted in a lawsuit.

Marin county supervisor Steve Kinsey represents the district where peter McFarland lives. The 64-year-old was Tased in his own home by a sheriff's deputy in june of 2009.

"Any video that shows that kind of painful experience is a troubling video," he said.

Tuesday was the first supervisors meeting since ABC7 first aired the controversial incident late last month.

McFarland filed a lawsuit last month against Marin County and the two deputies who went to his home. The incident occurred just after paramedics treated him when he fell down the steps to his house.

McFarland admits he was drinking, but the deputies wanted to take him to the hospital thinking he was suicidal because he made a crack about killing himself.

He refused the deputy's commands while the Taser is pointed at his chest and once he got up he was Tased three times.

The incident report says: "when the subject charged towards deputies, the EDC or taser was discharged."

The video received more than 12,000 hits on YouTube and many angry responses.

The sheriff can't talk about it because of the pending lawsuit. So, ABC7 asked the supervisors to respond. Two years ago, they allocated $166,000 to buy Tasers for the department. They are state-of-the-art and have video cameras mounted to the devices.

Some supervisors like Charles McGlashan voiced concerns at the time.

"My concern was that there may be a phenomenon of using them too quickly or too easily," he said.

But not all supervisors wanted to respond, saying it was now a legal matter.

"The board of supervisors can't make any comment on it," Marin County Supervisors President Judy Arnold said.

"We'll be investigating and finding out the full?that's all I am going to say," said.

After McFarland was Tased, he was jailed and booked for resisting arrest, but a judge later dismissed that charge.


Load Comments