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Cop Fired Following ‘Absolutely Unacceptable’ Conduct in Tasing of Fort Worth, Texas, Woman

A rookie officer tased a woman who called 911 for help on the orders of Sgt. Kenneth Pierce (ABC News screenshot)
A rookie officer tased a woman who called 911 for help on the orders of Sgt. Kenneth Pierce (ABC News screenshot)

A Fort Worth, Texas, police sergeant has been fired after an investigation into his use of force in the apprehension of a black woman that proved to be “absolutely unacceptable,” the Fort Worth Police Department announced Monday.

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Now-former Police Sgt. Kenneth Pierce was terminated for violating the department’s code of conduct, ABC News reports.

According to the report, the incident started when a woman called the Police Department for help (funny how that works) during a domestic disturbance back in August. What bodycam footage revealed was that far from getting help, the woman was still harassed by cops who attempted to intimidate her before ultimately tasing her.

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Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald acknowledged that Pierce became “impatient, initiated an unnecessary physical confrontation and then ordered a rookie police officer to Tase the woman.”

Pierce and the unidentified rookie confronted a couple at the residence before asking them to turn around and face a wall. The woman refused, saying that her baby was inside. The man, identified by ABC as the woman’s boyfriend, insisted, “Y’all going for the wrong people.”

When the rookie officer askedif the two got into an argument, the man said no.

That was when officers asked the woman to get her ID out of her purse, which the woman did, but refused to hand it over to officers. Pierce demanded that the woman hand over her ID, threatening to arrest her, even as the woman refused.

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That’s when the rookie cop grabbed the woman and attempted to handcuff her.

“Let my hand go! Let my hand go!” the woman could be heard protesting. As Pierce went over and attempted to restrain the woman, he ordered the rookie officer to “tase her.”

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The woman dropped to the ground screaming as she was hit with the jolts of electricity.

“I’m confident that everyone who sees this video, including members of this department, will agree this supervisor’s response and subsequent behaviors are absolutely unacceptable,” Fitzgerald said of the incident.

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“We are built on a foundation of being problem solvers,” the police chief added. “Pierce responded in an opposite manner and he escalated the situation, endangering everyone involved, including his fellow officers.”

Of course, an attorney for the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas said that the video, which is 12 minutes long, doesn’t show the whole picture.

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“They are making claims that Pierce escalated the situation, and I don’t see it that way,” Terry Daffron, who will represent Pierce in his appeal, told the Star-Telegram. “I see that she was completely noncompliant with everything she was asked to do. He came in and was trying to help the rookie officer gain control to try to get her to comply.”

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Read more at ABC News and the Star-Telegram.

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi

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DISCUSSION

megantj
Dinosaurs and Nachos, Very Legal and Very Cool!

YOU DON’T FORCE A POTENTIAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM TO COMPLY, YOU FUCKS.

There is nothing they need to comply WITH. Jesus fuck, this isn’t hard.

You separate them and question them outside of each other’s presence. You determine if there are children in the household. Then you determine if there are guns in the household. Answers to those questions may determine what you do next, but those are the first fucking steps!

You also expect that the person who has been the victim in the situation is probably going to appear the most out-of-control. You expect them to behave somewhat irrationally. YOU FUCKING EXPECT THEM TO REFUSE TO LISTEN TO YOUR BASIC INSTRUCTIONS. I’m not even in law enforcement and I know that this is standard training for some jurisdictions! FUCK.

It’s a normal human reaction when you are in the midst of dealing with an abuser to try to take back control, even over the most minor aspects of your life. Like, not handing your ID over to a stranger. When you are still in the state of trauma from an attack that is not actually over for you right now (because your abuser is still there and hasn’t been arrested yet but now they are good and angry with you), you try to assert control over anything you can grab on to. THIS IS NORMAL.

Everything about this interaction tells me that this was a woman who was afraid for her life. And then she gets tased. Great job, jackasses. Really superb work there, you dillholes.