A Stone Mountain man says he was the victim of excessive force after Gwinnett County police officers repeatedly used a Taser on him during a March arrest for jaywalking.
John Efford told Channel 2 Action News he was on his way to a job interview when officers stopped him — twice — for allegedly crossing Holcomb Bridge Road outside a crosswalk.
After the second incident, police said the 29-year-old refused their commands and resisted arrest, prompting officers to deploy their Tasers three times, Channel 2 reported.
Body camera footage obtained by the news station appears to show Efford on the ground claiming not to have done anything when the officer uses his Taser. He can be seen writhing in pain as electricity from the stun gun courses through his body.
While he was being handcuffed in the middle of the road by a second officer, the first officer deploys his Taser a second time into the man’s back, the footage shows.
“Hands behind your back now,” the officer said to him. “You’re going to get Tased again.”
As he was led to the police car in handcufffs, Efford asked the police what he did wrong.
“You jaywalked — again,” an officer replies. “Right in front of us. Again, bro.”
Efford was charged with two counts of obstruction and crossing a street outside a crosswalk, but those charges were ultimately dropped after prosecutors saw video of the arrest, his attorney said.
An internal investigation into the officers’ use of force determined their actions were consistent with department policy because Efford refused to follow verbal commands and physically resisted, Channel 2 reported.
Efford is calling for the officers to be fired.
“This video is a classic case of police brutality,” his attorney, Jackie Patterson, told the news station. “All you had to do was write him a ticket and let him go.”
In a statement, Gwinnett police told Channel 2 while use-of-force incidents can be difficult to watch, it does not mean the officers violated department policy, procedure or the law.
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