A lawsuit has been filed against the Lancaster Police Department for use of excessive force and violation of civil rights of Sean Williams, who was tasered on June 29.
The incident was caught on video, where Williams is apparently complying with the police officer’s instructions when he was tasered. Two other officers arrive at the scene and appear to be attempting to block the video view of the arrest.
In the lawsuit, Williams stated that the police asked him to take a seat on the curb. He did so, but was “surprised” because he “had not done anything wrong.” He was unarmed and complying. The officer is heard telling Williams to straighten his legs “or you’re getting Tased.” Williams straightens his legs but crosses them at the ankle and is then tasered.
According to the police report, officers were responding to a complaint of a male going after a group of people with a bat on South Prince Street and West Mifflin Street. When they arrived at the scene there were several men in the area and police ordered all to sit on the curb. According to the report, Williams initially refused to comply.
Williams did sit on the curb and was threatened with the use of an Electronic Control Device (Taser) if he failed to follow instructions. An officer shot him with the Taser, the probes striking him on his back.
“The use of the ECD had the desired effect and Williams was placed into custody without further incident or use of force,” according to the report.
Williams’s lawsuit claims that after being placed in handcuffs and taken into police custody, no care was taken for his well-being. He wasn’t offered medical attention nor a drink of water, despite being in “extreme pain.”
His suit also says that Williams suffers from “severe head, neck, shoulder, and head pain,” and has had “crippling anxiety.”
The police report claimed that Williams, who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest and was originally charged with possession of a controlled substance (PCP) and public drunkenness, was checked by EMS after taken into custody.
He was released on unsecured $5,000 bail.