Video showing a black man standing up against a wall in the Richmond County (Ga.) Jail with his hands behind his back before deputies used a Taser on him directly contradicts a police report stating that the man had become combative, WSB-TV reports.
Carlos Seals, the man in question, acknowledges that he used profanity toward the officers during the August 2015 incident, but when they told him to get up against the wall, in the video, he is seen obeying, standing with his face toward the wall and his hands behind his back.
Shortly after, officers can be seen approaching him with their stun guns drawn. Seals is shot with the stun gun, and falls straight back to the floor, knocked out cold.
“I watched him come through the door and he say, 'Pop his a—.' As soon as [he] said that, dude shot me back,” Seals told the news station.
“I screamed, and everything was over with,” he added.
Toward the end of the video, after Seals is on the ground, out cold, four deputies are seen standing over him for about a minute and a half before one of them checks his pulse.
According to WSB-TV, an initial police report of the incident indicates that Seals was being combative and did not comply. The report said that one deputy deployed his Taser, but it didn't connect. However, the report indicates, because Seals was still combative, another deputy reached for his stun gun, which did connect.
“None of those facts applied," said DeKalb County-based attorney Anita Lamar of Seals. "He was in the surrender position.”
“I'd rather go by the video rather than what they say is on the video," added Craig Jones of the Orlando Firm.
Both Lamar and Jones have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on Seals' behalf against Richmond County, Deputy Donnie Crawford and Deputy Christopher Alexis.
WSB-TV notes that the sheriff's office would not comment on the lawsuit, but said that it fired Crawford, while no disciplinary action has been taken against Alexis.
Seals suffered a head injury in the encounter and is reported to have medical bills totaling more than $20,000.
“They are refusing to pay the bills, so now, not only does he have injuries to live with but has bills to pay,” Lamar said.
“You don't shoot a dart and then run electricity through the dart unless they are violently resisting you,” Jones added.
Read more at WSB-TV.