Police release video of officer tasing alleged shoplifter at Glendale Walmart
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — During a Wednesday press conference, police released body-cam footage of an officer using a taser on a woman suspected of shoplifting at a Walmart in Glendale. Police say the woman was resisting arrest when the officer decided to use his taser.
The incident happened on Tuesday at a Walmart near 55th and Northern avenues. Glendale police spokesperson Officer Gina Winn says around 1:30 p.m., an off-duty officer in his uniform was working with the store’s Loss Prevention team when he was notified of a shoplifter inside the store. The store associate told the officer a woman was seen reportedly stuffing clothing and jewelry into her bag, Winn said.
The body-cam video shows the officer and a Walmart employee confronting the woman. Sgt. Randy Stewart said the officer immediately went for her right arm to arrest her after seeing a brass knuckle and pepper spray hanging from her bag.
The video shows the officer trying to twist the woman’s arm behind her back to cuff her. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m going. Can you please stop?” she says.
The officer told her that she was under arrest. She then went to the ground and faced the officer, seemingly confused why the officer grabbed her. The officer told the woman multiple times to place her arms behind her back because she was under arrest. ”Put your arm behind your back,” he said.
However, police say the woman ignored the officer’s commands and refused to be handcuffed. “What are you doing? I haven’t even left the store!” she yelled. She then appears to be on the phone, telling someone, “they’re [expletive] crazy. This cop is like tackling me!” The officer tried to turn the woman around on the ground, but she resisted and continued talking on the phone. It is unknown if she was actually on the phone with anyone.
Officer Winn says this was when the officer pulled out his Taser 7 to get the woman to comply. “Do you want to get tased?” he asked. “I don’t need to be tased,” she tells the officer. “Dude, please come in here they’re going to like tase me,” she says on the phone. The officer then tases her as she begins screaming. She begins to tell the officer she gets seizures and continues screaming. “Somebody help me!” she yells as the officer tases her again, and she starts kicking and scratching.
The electroshock weapon was set to “drive stun,” Winn says, which causes pain but not incapacitation. Winn added the weapon was activated 14 times for a total of about 10 seconds. However, this does not mean she was shocked continuously for 10 seconds or 14 times. The video shows the officer using the taser some of the time, and the longest continuous shock lasted about 3 seconds, according to Winn.
Once the officer was able to fully handcuff the woman, he noticed she was having a medical issue and contacted paramedics. Sgt. Randy Stewart says a taser using its probes, which would attach to the upper and lower body, could cause a medical episode. However, he said the shock didn’t cause the medical issue. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital and was shortly released and booked into Glendale jail.
During the press conference, Officer Winn says the department has taser policies only for suspects resisting arrest and not for misdemeanors and felonies. She added the use of the taser would depend on the situation.
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