Originally published on April 30, 2015, at NationofChange.org
Two former South Carolina police officers were sentenced to prison this week for using excessive force against a mentally disabled woman. After pleading guilty to violating the victim’s civil rights, the officers admitted they had no legitimate reason for tasing her eight times while she posed no threat to herself or others.
On April 2, 2013, Officer Eric Walters of the Marion Police Department noticed Melissa Davis walking out of the yard of a house for sale. Suspecting Davis of breaking into the home, Walters confronted her and deployed his Taser. Davis immediately fell to the ground and injured her head.
According to his plea agreement, Walters recalled ordering Davis to put her hands behind her back and firing his Taser four more times into her back without giving her time to comply. By the time backup arrived, Walters had Davis in handcuffs and was removing the probes in her back after determining she had not committed a crime. Claiming one of Davis’ hands had slipped from her improperly applied handcuffs, Officer Franklin Brown fired his Taser at Davis three more times even though he later confessed that she was not attempting to escape.