An Idaho Springs police officer issued no warning to a 75-year-old man before he was shocked by a Taser and after placing his knee on an unconscious man’s neck, newly released body camera footage of the incident shows. .
Michael Clarke, 75, was living independently at the time of the incident but now lives in a nursing facility after suffering health complications following the incident, according to his lawyer, Sarah Schilke.
Schilke released the body camera footage Thursday after receiving it from the district attorney’s office.
“Finally being able to watch the videos has been true on some level for this family, as they confirm what Mr Clarke has said, but, after fighting for so long to get them, they The horrors that exist are painful in themselves,” Schilke said in a statement on Thursday. “The tragic, needless abuse in this man’s own home cannot be ignored.”
Officer Nicholas Hanning, who used the Taser on Clark, was fired from his job on July 13 and is facing assault charges for his actions. The other officer on the scene, Ellie Summers, is employed by the Idaho Springs Police Department.
The two officers were called to the Idaho Springs apartment building on May 30, when a woman called 911 alleging that her neighbor punched her in the face.
The video shows Hanning and Summers knocking on the door of Clark’s apartment without declaring themselves as police. Hanning and Summers immediately began screaming when Clark, wearing only his boxer shorts, opened the door holding a sawhorse sword. Hanning then pushed Clark into a wall.
Clark placed the sword on top of a bookshelf after officers told him to put it down. Hanning and Summers yelled at him for coming to the ground, to which he replied “No.” Then, standing at the entrance to his apartment, Clarke began to explain the situation.
As Clark spoke, Hanning shot him in the stomach with a Taser probe, the video shows. Clark immediately fainted and fell backwards.
Officers drag Clark out of his apartment and into the hallway. The video shows Hanning placing his knee on Clark’s neck for eight seconds while Clark lay motionless, on the ground. Officers handcuffed Clark and turned him on their side.
Body camera footage also shows Hanning grabbing the sword from the bookshelf where Clarke had kept it and placing it in the hallway.
Schilke has said that Clark was hospitalized with heart complications and suffered a stroke 36 hours after his arrest. He has not been charged with any offence.
In a statement through his lawyer, Clark said he wants the videos to be released publicly.
“What the world will see in these videos is not my worst case scenario, but a police department,” Clarke said in the statement. “I am a patriot. I love my country. There are so many good people out there… good police officers. These are not them. Such people should not be police. What did they take from me that day, I can’t put into words I can’t. I’m going to do whatever it takes with the little time I have left to prevent this from happening again to anyone else.”