SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — An encounter between San Diego Police officers and a man accused of damaging police vehicles ended with officers deploying a stun gun on the man, taking him to the ground.
“I could see the gentlemen had been tased from behind and dropped to the ground,” said Michael McConnell, who caught the incident on camera.
McConnell witnessed the incident that took place at 10th Avenue and Park Boulevard near Petco Park Tuesday morning. McConnell says he was at a nearby coffee shop when the man walked by him before 8:20 a.m.
“I noticed a gentleman coming down the sidewalk, a black man, who had a cane,” McConnell said. “He didn’t appear to be using the cane. He was just carrying it. He was talking to himself. Shortly, after the gentleman walked by me, some police officers were quickly walking down the sidewalk, and I thought they might be following this gentleman, so I got up and filmed.”
McConnell is an advocate for the homeless, though he's not sure if the man is homeless.
San Diego police say it began when the man damaged at least one police vehicle parked in the area. According to police, the damaged one of the mirrors to a Mobile Command vehicle.
According to SDPD, officers saw the man do the damage, so they followed him. As they did, they say they say the man, “brandished his can towards another citizen.” More officers were called in. Police say officers asked him to drop the cane several times, but the man didn’t. An officer then deployed a stun gun.
In McConnell’s video, there appears to be an object that falls to the ground around the time the stun gun is deployed.
ABC 10News reached out to Francine Maxwell, the NAACP San Deigo Branch President, about the incident. She says the video raises concerns about de-escalation tactics.
“We would like to see what occurred before the video started that warranted a lot of space not being given, so there could have been some other de-escalation techniques,” she said. “What was so urgent that he needed to be rushed with all these officers to be tased?”
“We feel things are just being rushed too much in San Diego when an individual black man is at the scene of something,” she added. “We need to slow down.”
Police say the man was arrested, and the primary charge is felony vandalism. Police say there is a body camera video, and the incident is being reviewed, which is standard anytime force is used.