By Amanda Warren
A union defending the California State University Monterey Bay campus police have butted heads with the Marina Police Department surrounding an incident with a suicidal student.
Jeff Solomon, president of Statewide University Police Association (SUPA) reports that the unidentified corporal – a 20-year veteran officer – is on leave and faces getting fired. The officer worked at the campus for 8 years.
He had responded to the suicidal student in February by de-escalating and calming the student, then giving him water at the student’s request. That’s before the three Marina officers arrived at the scene at the dorm – and took matters into their own hands.
The Marina officers who arrived on the scene began tasing (an already calmed?) student in a dorm that contained a knife and hammer, not in his hands. They claimed to have seen blood and a singed sweater.
Marina Police Chief Edmundo Rodriguez said the student,
was clearly a danger to himself and he was in crisis… We were trying to keep him from accessing the weapons or leave, to get him medical attention.
By indiscriminately tasing…
Furthermore, the Marina department lodged a formal complaint against the university officer for “failure to act” and claimed “he just stood there.”
Our officer said and felt that there was no need for the level of force that was applied, and my understanding was that’s why he didn’t deploy his Taser,
Worse yet, the officers tried to get the campus officer to join them in their Taser games…
The other officers started yelling and screaming to get down, Tased him multiple times, and from what we understand (told the university officer) to Tase him again.
Marina Department claims he froze. But the campus officer didn’t see the need for more tasing. The officer has indeed been issued a notice of termination, Monterey Herald reports. This is his first disciplinary offense.
The student’s baffled father said:
It defies logic and is extremely disappointing that, at a time when law enforcement is under fire for using more force than necessary, an officer is being terminated for attempting to use civilized methods to resolve a situation.
As of 2012, over 500 Americans have died from the use of Tasers alone. This number may or may not be included in the overall estimate of 500 Americans dying from police force each year – over 5,000 since 9/11, a number greater than American soldiers lost in Iraq. Actual numbers will not be revealed. Meanwhile, the number of officers dying in the line of fire has overall, declined. An almost all-time low of 27 officers last year, and an estimate of 50 by the end of this year.
In the aftermath of the fatal Eric Garner incident where the only person indicted was the one who filmed it – it’s incredible that an officer is fired for administering help – not harm – to a college student.
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