Mississippi, Damn! You’d think that institutionalized racism would change or evolve as time went on but police in the state continue to prove everyone wrong. For the faint of heart instead of referring to it as racism consider it “police bias”. It is this bias that finds more minorities at ends with police. It is this bias that empowered a white officer to roid out on a handcuffed black man for no reason. This bias motivated Officer Daniel Starks to Taser the handcuffed man not once, but twice.
Carbonated TV reports:
“Dash cam footage released by the Meridian Police Department shows Officer Daniel Starks pushing the unnamed suspect before tasering him, even though a fellow officer had already put him in handcuffs, which meant he was unthreatening during the arrest.”
In the video, the handcuffed suspect is pressed against his vehicle when Starks rushes in from off screen. After the initial taser strike, the unidentified man falls to his knees. Ignoring the effects of the taser, Starks demands the man rise to his feet.
According to ABC News:
“Two other officers stand on either side of the suspect in an attempt to get him on his feet, and Starks places his hand around the suspect’s neck and applies pressure, a police tactic commonly used by police officers to force someone to stand up.”
The trembling and shaken man gets back up only to receive a taser strike to the head.
The Mississippi cop was initially suspended without pay following the release of the video. He was fired effective Wednesday due to the use of excessive force.
“It’s not something I’m proud of that’s connecting to the police department,” said Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose of the video. “By no means. I know it’s going to be a lot of feedback and a lot of negative feedback,” he said.
“Often times, when a person is tased, they have to have a period of recovery. You’ve got to understand this guy just got hit with several volts of electricity,” explained Debose, adding that the officer knew he was wrong.
“We train to never use them when a suspect is being compliant,” said Meridian Police Capt. John Griffith.
It is still not clear if the suspect is willing to press any charges against Stark for torturing him. It is also not clear if the suspect was charged himself for shoplifting or not.
What is clear is that there were more than one officer present during the tasering incident. There were a number of “good cops” just standing around when Starks assaulted the man. None attempted to restrain the officer. None of the officers stepped up and spoke out about Starks’ actions. Clearly, Mississippi has an obligation to make this right to the community. Not only should Starks be fired, but the other cops need to be punished as well.