Marin County resident Peter McFarland and his wife Pearl returned home from a charity fundraising event. McFarland slipped on steps leading to his home and suffered injuries to his leg, arm and head. His wife then called paramedics from a nearby fire station who helped him in and treated his wounds.
McFarland says as the paramedics were leaving, two Sheriff’s deputies “bolted into his home.”
“The sheriffs ran up the stairs into the room here like a bunch of cowboys,” he said.
ABC7 obtained the audio and video captured by a camera mounted on the Taser. It shows McFarland sitting on a couch with the gun’s laser beam targeted on his chest. The deputy repeatedly tells him that he is going to take him to a hospital to be evaluated because of a comment McFarland made previously that he would “shoot himself in the head.”
It is unclear who heard the comment but McFarland told ABC7 in an exclusive interview that it was just “hyperbole” and that he was tired and in pain from his injuries.
The interchange continues for about five minutes with the deputy ordering McFarland to get up from the couch. Finally, McFarland yells at the deputies to get out of his home and then stands up. At that point, a deputy fires his Taser — not once, but three times as McFarland cries out in obvious pain on the ground while the other deputy tries to handcuff him. All the while, the deputy tells McFarland to stop resisting.
Watch the video in order to judge for yourself how much McFarland was “resisting” arrest. He can barely climb off the couch, perhaps because he’s 64-years-old and has a heart condition. Oh, and he’d just tumbled down some steps.
The Sheriff’s office said it takes allegations of excessive force seriously, but also “That reaction can all too often also be influenced by using only small, selected segments of a much lengthier video that better depicts the complexity of the event in question.” So ABC has also posted the full, unedited video here. Again, judge for yourself if McFarland posed any grave threat to the officers.
Maybe cops should be required to attend comedy clubs once a week so they can recognize a joke – even a bad one – before they immediately jump to electrocuting a citizen in order to “save” him by nearly exploding his heart.