EVERGREEN, Ala. — An Alabama police officer was fired from the department effective Monday for TASERing a city councilman's sister while she was restrained in a chair at a county jail according to the Press Register.
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Just having the newspaper article and a piece of video footage isn't enough to make a decision on whether the use-of-force in any incident is justifiable or not. As an expert witness, I know the importance of getting all the facts first, i.e. all interviews, reports, documents, videos, personnel files, internal affair findings, etc.
We all know that whether the officer's actions are justifiable or not depends on the totality of the circumstances known to the officer at the time of the incident.
Jail surveillance video shows officer Klaetsch, his wife Melissa and a corrections officer choked and restrained Crystal Skinner Coleman for more than two hours while Melissa TASED her in August.
Former Conecuh County correctional officer Alicia Brown is shown pulling Skinner's arm.
In the jail surveillance video, Klaetsch appears to be smiling, gesturing and laughing along with his wife and Brown after the TASERing incident. Klaetsch's attorney argued that's no grounds for termination, according to WSFA.com.
Mayor Pete Wolffe III said the officer had been the focus of "complaints of unprofessional and harassing conduct" and decided to uphold the firing.