Virginia cop quits after after using Taser on possible stroke victim
Fredericksburg Police Officer Shaun Jergens has stepped down after video was released showing him using a Taser and pepper spray on a man who was suffering from a medical emergency.
The incident occurred after a hit-and-run that the victim, David Washington, had been involved in after driving through a road sign and passing over the median. It is now believed Washington had suffered a stroke that caused him to drive in this way.
When officers found Washington, he was still in his car but did not respond to commands to put his hands up. That’s when Jergens, the third officer on the scene, stepped in. He deployed his Taser, but when that failed to connect properly, he used his pepper spray through the open window.
“It was dispatched via the radio that citizens reported that the suspect was moving around a lot inside of his vehicle,”Jergens said in a statement to the Free Lance-Star. “I believed that the suspect may be looking for a weapon or looking to conceal a weapon based on this information and the fact that he was believed to be fleeing a felony (hit and run of an occupied vehicle).”
However, police policy states that officers cannot use stun guns on passively resisting persons.
“The use of force demonstrated in the incident involving Mr. Washington was not in compliance with department policy or training,” Captain Rick Pennock said in a statement. “We take matters such as these very seriously and require that officers at all times exercise appropriate restraint and good judgment in their dealings with citizens.”
Bodycam footage below.