At-risk youth worker tased by Glendale police

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by Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine

azfamily.com

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 11 at 12:28 PM

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Some people are saying several Glendale police officers went too far when they tased an at-risk youth supervisor on Sunday.

Demario Dixon said he was supervising kids selling candy to raise money for youth projects on Super Bowl Sunday.  The kids thought the game might bring people to the shopping areas near University of Phoenix Stadium so Dixon dropped two of the kids off outside one of the stores.  However, the store asked them to leave, and Dixon said they did.

Glendale police officers followed the group to a nearby Circle K where Dixon said the cops told him they were going to cite the group for trespassing at the store where they had been asked to leave.

Dixon began explaining the situation to police officers who asked him to sit down.  Dixon said he asked the cop why he should sit and told the officer he would rather stand. 

“And he got mad and he was like, ‘OK, well, sit down right here’ and I was like, ‘Why do you want me to sit down?  Why do I have to sit down and look like a criminal?  I'll stand by the curb,”’ Dixon recalled.

According to Dixon another officer then came up behind him, attempted a take-down and ended up tasing Dixon several times including on the back of the head while he was already on the ground.

“He was telling me, like, to move my arms and put them on the pavement and stretch them out and put them on the pavement flat,” Dixon said, describing what happened after he was tased and already lying face down.  “And I was like, ‘I can't, I can't, my arms are underneath me, I can't, I can't, like, I'm trying but I can't…’  [The officer had] too much force on me.  And he was like, ‘Put your arms on the pavement now,’ and then I just felt myself get tased in the back of the head.”

Dixon ended up hurt badly enough to need a trip to the hospital.

Darrin Dennis and his wife saw the whole thing and started filming video of Dixon lying on the ground screaming in pain and asking “What did I do?”
(Watch the video)

“I find it appalling.  You don't do what a cop says [and] we're going to tase you?  We're going to brutalize you?  We’re going to embarrass and demoralize you in public?” Dennis said.  “I'm stunned… anytime you're interfacing with law enforcement it shouldn't go like this.”

However, Glendale police said Dixon was interfering with their investigation of the kids trespassing at the store.  They released a statement based on the police report that said in part:

“Mr. Dixon begins yelling at the officer and interfering with his investigation.  Mr. Dixon smelled of marijuana and would not listen to the officers instructions…  Mr. Dixon remains non-compliant and begins to struggle with one of the officers.  Ultimately a Taser deployment occurs.”

Glendale police also said they have not had a chance to review the video and could have further comment after doing so.

Dixon was cited for obstructing police.

Darrin Dennis' video

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