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July 18, 2012
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ACLU targets jaywalker TASER video

Police plan to use arrest footage to train officers, but an ACLU attorney claims officers made things worse

By PoliceOne Staff

CASSELBERRY, Fla. — An ACLU attorney claims police violated civil rights by using a TASER on a jaywalker who wouldn’t show ID to officers, despite police and city employees insisting the move was necessary.

Video of Zikomo Peurifoy being arrested last week quickly went viral after it was posted on YouTube. It shows officers politely give the reason for the stop, ask for identification and attempt to handcuff him, at which point he resisted and officers used a TASER three times.

Due to officers’ "by the book" response, Police Capt. David Del Rosso said the clip will be used in police training as an example of how to handle noncompliant subjects. City of Casselberry spokesperson Sara Brady agreed that officers were correct.

"[The suspects] crossed one of this region's deadliest highways against the light and into oncoming traffic, which is not only an infraction, but posed a danger to themselves and to motorists,” Brady wrote to the Huffington Post. "It was their increased resistance that forced officers to take the necessary and appropriate step of using a Taser device to subdue and handcuff Mr. Peurifoy."

ACLU staff attorney Emma Andersson disagreed and told the website, "The police's characterization of this incident as a perfectly appropriate use of force runs contrary to longstanding Supreme Court precedent."

Citing the Fourth Amendment, she claims the infraction was too minor to warrant the response – and went as far to say that officers made things worse.

"By Tasing Mr. Peurifoy, the Casselberry officers unnecessarily escalated the situation, making it more dangerous to everyone involved," Andersson said.



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