Police Brutality, Possible Cover-Up, Jar Residents of Philadelphia
Colwyn Borough is in a state of emergency today after allegations of police brutality and a possible cover-up rattled communities in and around Philadelphia. Mayor Daniel Rutland was compelled to make the declaration after suspending four members of the small police force.
Deputy Chief Wendell Reed, Corporal Trevor Parkham, Officer Michel Drucker and Lieutenant Wesley Seitz were all suspended from the force after Mayor Rutland learned that Da’Quan Jackson, a 17-year-old teen was allegedly tasered by Parkham while shackled in a locked jail cell.
Fellow Officer Alerts Mayor to Possible Cover-Up
The mayor learned of the incident after receiving anonymous phone calls from concerned citizens. Seitz was quickly reinstated after it was revealed that he had come forward to alert the mayor and it was apparent he had nothing to do with it. The mayor appointed Seitz acting Deputy Chief while those involved are being investigated.
The suspended officers are currently being investigated by the Delaware County District Attorneys’ Special Prosecution Unit for possible criminal charges. Computers were confiscated on Thursday afternoon as part of the investigation.
The officers may also face civil charges. Philadelphia personal injury attorneys from the Cherry Law Firm, along with attorneys from the Beasley Firm, represent Jackson and are investigating the incident on behalf of Jackson. In addition to the alleged assault with the taser, there are indications that Jackson shouldn’t have been picked up in the first place. If that’s the case, the officers may face additional charges for falsely arresting Jackson.
A Humiliating and Frightening Night
Jackson was arrested on the night of April 24 th after witnessing a fight. At the time of his assault, Jackson was sitting in a holding cell after being charged with disorderly conduct. Jackson doesn’t believe his conduct in the holding cell merited being tasered. In an interview with Philadelphia’s NBC 10, Jackson said, “I started going back and forth with him. I was being quiet and I kicked the cell twice. He came in with the taser and warned me once. I kept talking and that’s when he tasered me. 30 minutes later he let me out.”
To make the image clear, at the time Jackson was tasered, he was already in custody in a holding cell and his movements were restricted by having his arms and his legs shackled.
The outrageous conduct of Cpl. Parkham did not stop with assault on the teen. Jackson said Parkham teased him about being tased and sent text messages to his friends saying, “I tasered this boy, LOL.”
Officers Under Fire
Proper police procedure would have required the officers involved to follow certain police protocol and file certain papers. Apparently, none of these requirements were met. Although Chief Reed told reporters he was unaware of the incident until shortly before the Mayor learned of it, the Mayor has openly voiced his skepticism. Sources told philly.com that Reed intended to fire Seitz on Thursday for investigating the assault on Jackson and reporting it to the mayor.
Taser Injuries No Laughing Matter
The unauthorized use of a taser should not be taken lightly. Taser injuries can be very serious.
Tasers are commonly associated with cardiac injuries, such as a heart attack; however a recent Canadian study has revealed that tasers can also cause neurological problems, such as seizures.
Injuries from falls are not uncommon. Tasers are designed to incapacitate people. People who hit their heads after falling can suffer mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and post-concussion syndrome.
When you are injured you need a strong advocate on your side. If you are injured, getting informed is crucial. An experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can review your case and discuss your options with you.