Thursday, October 29

UCPD says officers in Twitter video did not harm black man with stun gun

A UCPD spokesperson confirmed UCPD officers did not shock a man with a stun gun after an incident on Kelton Avenue was captured on video. (Daily Bruin file photo)

This post was updated May 31 at 3:07 p.m.

UCPD officers did not shock a black man with a stun gun in an incident captured on video Thursday, a UCPD spokesperson confirmed.

A video surfaced on Twitter on Thursday showing UCPD officers approaching a black man on Kelton Avenue with a stun gun. The one-minute video ended with the sound of a stun gun being activated.

UCPD spokesperson Scott Scheffler said officers approached the individual because of several reports of criminal threats and assault against a student and staff member, but they did not harm him in the encounter.

The officers approached the man because he matched the descriptions provided by the victims, Scheffler said in a subsequent emailed statement.

The noise in the video was a warning to the suspect, who then complied, and no probes or cartridges were deployed, he said.

UCPD declined to provide the Daily Bruin with arrest records or dashcam footage because the incident is still under an active investigation with pending criminal charges.

UCPD is still in the process of implementing body cameras for patrol officers and does not have body camera footage of the incident, Scheffler added.

UCPD planned to implement body cameras for officers by 2016. In 2017, a UC spokesperson told The Bruin the UC was finalizing UC body camera policy.

The man was booked for felony assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, battery and providing false information to a peace officer, according to a UCPD daily log.

The video, which has since been deleted, came in light of increased tensions following the death of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by a police officer Monday. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday to protest Floyd’s death.

[Related link: Protests erupt in Los Angeles in response to death of George Floyd]

Philip Germain, the fourth-year political science student who filmed the video, said he was at his residence on Kelton Avenue when he heard shouting outside.

“Based on what happened and what continues to happen with police, I wanted to see what was going on,” Germain said.

Germain said the man begged with police officers, telling them not to shoot because he was trying to cooperate. The man told police he did not want to get on the ground because he had not done anything wrong, Germain said.

At this point, Germain said he heard a Taser go off. Germain said he was unsure whether the man was hit with the stun gun, but said the victim flinched and twisted around very quickly in response to the sound.

The man was stripped of his belongings and taken into custody after the encounter, Germain said.

Germain added that the country has had problems with aggressive force by the police against people of color, and he wanted to make sure the incident was documented.

“Based on the trends, … I felt it was necessary,” he said.

Contributing reports by Kari Lau, Daily Bruin contributor.

News editor

Mendez is the 2020-2021 News editor. He was previously a staff news reporter for the Science & Health beat and a developer for The Stack. He is also a third-year math student at UCLA.

Assistant News editor

Sherwood is the 2020-2021 Assistant News Editor for the City & Crime beat. She was previously a contributor for National News and Higher Education. She is a second year political science and communications student and digital humanities minor at UCLA.

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