Florida police Tasered a non-violent man three times after he committed the “crime” of ignoring crosswalk signals on a Casselberry street.
ABC News reports that Zikomo Peurifoy was stopped by Casselberry police for allegedly jaywalking. The two officers repeatedly ask Peurifoy for identification, which he refuses to provide on the grounds that he believes their request is unlawful.
Noelle Price, Peurifoy’s friend, records the encounter on a cell phone camera.
As Peurifoy continues to disobey commands to show ID, which is a standard police procedure during any stop which allows officers to check for outstanding warrants, the officers escalate the situation by threatening to arrest him.
“Give me your ID, or you are going to go to jail,” one of the officers says.
“It’s not a lawful command,” Peurifoy protests, asking the officers to cite the pertinent statute that gives them the authority to demand a citizen’s identification.
As the officers attempt to arrest him, Peurifoy offers light, mostly verbal resistance. He accused them of assaulting him as they try to handcuff him. That’s when they threaten to shoot him with their Taser stun guns. Peurifoy retorts that doing so would constitute a crime and they would be charged. All the while, Price yells for the officers to call their supervisor.
Unfazed, the officers proceed to Taser Peurifoy, who screams in agony as he is repeatedly shocked.
“You just committed a crime,” Peurifoy bellows. “You assaulted me with a Taser.”
Peurifoy was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and battery on a law enforcement officer. Both officers allegedly received minor injuries as they attempted to subdue the non-violent jaywalker. The arresting officers also found a concealed firearm on Peurifoy, but he had a permit to carry the weapon.
Price was also arrested and charged with resisting an officer without violence for failing to provide her full name when ordered to. A search of her backpack turned up a gun, a knife, brass knuckles and pepper spray. Having no permit for the gun, Price was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
Casselberry Police Capt. David Del Rosso asserted that the officers who Tasered Peurifoy were following procedure and that the YouTube video of the incident could be used to train officers how to properly deal with an uncooperative suspect.
“The officers were polite the whole time through and gave good verbal commands,” Del Rosso told ABC News. “You hear the officer saying why he stopped him.”
This isn’t the first time police have resorted to using violence against jaywalkers in recent years. In San Francisco, a jury found 35-year-old Benjamin King not guilty of assault with a deadly weapon in 2009 after a jaywalking King defended himself against a police officer who hit him so hard with a baton that the weapon broke in half.
And in 2010, a Seattle police officer was caught on tape punching a jaywalking woman in the face.