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Video: Police TASER knife-wielding man at Whole Foods

The man took knives from a display rack and refused to drop them, despite police trying to talk him down

By PoliceOne Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police repeatedly used a TASER on a man known to suffer from mental illness after he was caught shoplifting and grabbing knives from a display rack at a Whole Foods grocery store on Friday.

A witness caught the tense standoff between police and the man on cell phone video and posted it to YouTube, according to the Oregonian.

Officers can be heard repeatedly yelling, “Drop the knife! Get down on your knees!” to suspect Stephen Shaw Scates, 47, who is off camera.

Four officers are seen with guns and a TASER drawn in an attempt to negotiate for several minutes before one officer deployed his TASER and they moved in to arrest him.

Scates was cited for menacing and second-degree disorderly conduct before he was taken for a mental health evaluation, according to the report.

The bureau's new Behavioral Health Unit will follow up with Scates, police said.

The encounter comes in the wake of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation last year that found Portland police engage in excessive and unjustified use of TASERs against people with mental illness. Officers must give a warning before using a TASER, unless it would put someone at risk, and should consider the person’s mental health condition, according to the new policy.

"As in all police uses-of-force, the incident will be thoroughly reviewed and investigated to ensure that Portland Police Bureau policies and procedures were followed,'' a police news release said.

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