When is it appropriate for police to use a taser? VIDEO - New York News

When is it appropriate for police to use a taser? Video prompts questions about police action in Clinton Township

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MT. CLEMENS, Mich. (WJBK) - In a video spreading across social media, a Michigan man says police and hospital security roughed up a man.

The story starts when Clinton Township police are said to have arrested Maurice Taylor for a DUI following an accident. They took him to McLaren Macomb Hospital where the allegations of brutality were caught on camera.

"That video was clear as day. I saw everything with my own eyes. He did not touch an officer; he did not bite at an officer; he did not kick an officer," says Richard Carman, who recorded the incident.

VIDEO: Click on the video in the video player above to watch parts of Carman's video in Fox 2's Randy Wimbley's report

Police were unavailable for comment but the hospital says Taylor was combative, refused to leave the cruiser and had to be forced into a wheelchair. Hospital security helped detain him and while he was in handcuffs police tased him, three times by Carman's count.

"It's not a defibrillator. They're not using it to jumpstart somebody and make them move. You're using it as a defense mechanism against someone hurting you. He was not hurting anybody," says Carman.

Taylor's girlfriend saw the video but couldn't bear to watch it with the volume on.

"I was heartbroken. I couldn't even listen to him like that. I never heard him in that much distress," says Dnedra Herring.

Fox 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton has a different take on what we see in the video.

"Look at this guy. They had four five cops around him and he's still resisting!" Langton says. "The police have a right to detain him. If the guy is combative, the cops can taser him because he was resisting arrest. There's no doubt about it, this guy was in some trouble and you've got to cooperate with police. I didn't see that today."

Ron Scott of Detroit's Coalition Against Police Brutality disagrees.

"I think that the taser was excessive was excessive. Police are trained in holds, different kinds of holds they can execute. So, the only reason [tasering is] done is in terms of officer safety. You tell me whether any of those officers were unsafe at that particular point," Scott says.  

While police and security restrained Taylor, a guard realized Carman was recording the entire ordeal.

"The other security guard came at me like a linebacker, so I backed up. He ended up hitting me, well, pushing me, and taking my phone out of my hand," Carman says.

McLaren Hospital released a statement saying:
 
"The unauthorized use of video equipment and cameras is prohibited anywhere on our hospital campus. The person who captured this video was on hospital property and did not have permission from the prisoner or any other team member to video this interaction."

"I was on McLaren's property so they could tell me to get off their property, which they never told me to do. If they would've told me to do that, then I would've been trespassing. They did not ask me that; they asked me to stop recording. There's no policy that I saw written anywhere that says I'm not allowed to record anywhere," Carman says.

Langton says security may have overstepped their bounds by putting their hands on Carman.

"I'm an Army veteran. I fought for being able to do exactly what I was doing, and it was completely uncalled for," Carman says.

A spokesperson for McLaren emphasized that its security guards do not use tasers and the safety and security of its patients is the hospital's top priority.

Both Taylor and Carman are considering taking legal action against the police department and the hospital.

Carman's video on Facebook has been shared more than 3,000 times in about 48 hours.
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