Back in September of 2011, Seaford, Delaware resident Reginald Johnson was pulled over by police officers while driving on the night of his 43rd birthday. The officers believed he was somebody else, and after tasing him and putting him in handcuffs, they realized they didn’t have the right guy. Still, the officers arrested him.
When the officers, Cpl. March D. Russell and “Officer Mills,” pulled Johnson over, they immediately asked him to get out of his car, and without even giving him a chance to respond, they shot him with the taser gun.
"As can be seen on the video, a total of 14 seconds elapsed from the time defendants first requested that plaintiff exit the vehicle and the time plaintiff was shot with defendant Russell's Taser," said Johnson’s attorney Stephen Norman in court documents.
During the arrest, Johnson argued that he had done nothing wrong, and surveillance video shows the moment that the officers realized their mistake.
“Dude, we got the wrong guy,” said one officer while placing Johnson in the police car.
“Someone drop the dope in here,” said another officer, joking about how they should plant drugs in Johnson’s car.
Johnson was ultimately arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and arrest, but after the details of the incident became known, the charges were dropped. Johnson then proceeded to file a federal lawsuit against the officers, and now, he has finally settled with the Seaford Police Department for $270,000.
“By putting that much money on the table, they recognize their officers were out of line there,” said Norman in a statement following the settlement.
Johnson reportedly sustained serious injuries as a result of being tased and dragged on the ground by the officers during the ordeal.
May 2, 2014
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