A video surfaced on the internet this month that shows the tasing and arrest of a man accused of jaywalking. The incident, which occurred in Casselberry, Florida, started simply enough. The video initially shows the two male police officers approaching Zikomo Peurifoy in a parking lot next to a chain business and some parked cars.
The officers ask for Peurifoy’s identification and inform him that he had crossed the road against the traffic signals. Peurifoy retorts with the question, “Did anyone get hurt?”
The police officers continue to ask for the man’s identification numerous times and he continues to ask them why they want his identification. Peurifoy’s companion, the woman who filmed the entire video, Noelle Price, repeatedly demands that the officers inform their supervisors of the situation.
The situation becomes extremely intense after a few minutes of this repetitive conversation when one of the officers pulls out a taser and holds it to his chest. Peurifoy keeps saying, “Do not hurt me.” The officers eventually tase Peurifoy three times and handcuff him after he falls to the ground in the wake of the third application of the taser gun.
The Daily Mail reports that both Peurifoy and Price were arrested and charged after the incident, Peurifoy for resisting arrest and battery of an officer, Price for resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon. Price was allegedly and illegally carrying a handgun, pepper spray and brass knuckles.
Officers for the Casselberry Police force have stood by their actions. Police Captain David Del Rosso believes that the officers were doing their job very competently, stating in a report by the Raw Story, “The officers were polite the whole time through and gave good verbal commands…You hear the officer saying why he stopped him.”
The New York Daily News reports that the video may be used as a training implement in the police force in order to show new officers how to handle situations like this one. The biggest question looming over this incident is how necessary the use of a taser gun was for a peaceful resolution to this situation.
Peurifoy was legally carrying a loaded gun but it is unclear if the officers were aware of the weapon. He did not appear to be acting out violently or attempting to use the weapon against the officers. In fact, he looked fearful of what they might do to him. Although this situation was tense and uncertain, taser gun protocol remains a touchy subject. When is it appropriate to apply high voltage to a human body? What actions or reactions necessitate the use of such a weapon and in which scenarios?
Photo Credit: Jasonesbain