An Ohio police officer was placed on paid leave earlier this week after a video showing him forcing a family — including a little boy — on the ground while brandishing a taser was widely circulated on the Internet.
Washington Township Officer Eric Hart pulled over Cassandra Meyers for allegedly altering her license registration, according to The Blade. Moments later, her father in law, Aaron Tatkowsi, pulled up in a truck and reportedly confronted the officer.
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“I’m [expletive] sick of you cops,” Tatkowsi allegedly shouted at the officer. “I’m [expletive] sick of you harassing people for no reason.”
According to Tatkowsi, he then obeyed the officer’s instructions to get back into his truck.
“He hollered for me to get back in my truck so I got back in my truck,” Tatkowsi told WTOL-TV. “Next thing you know, I’m yanked out of the truck and it made my girlfriend say a few things. He yanked her out of the truck.”
Hart’s police report, however, tells a different story, saying that Tatowski was forced to lie on the ground because he would not follow instructions to go back into his truck.
Tatkowsi, nonetheless, told WTOL-TV Hart threw him, his girlfriend, Meyers and his 14-year-old son to the ground. The man also claims he was trying to comply with the officer’s orders, but was worried because his two granddaughters were still in the backseat of his truck.
In the video, the officer can be seen pointing his taser at the individuals. According to the police report, Hart also unholstered his handgun.
A woman can be heard shouting at Hart, throughout the incident. She reportedly alleges the officer smashed her cell phone when she attempted to dial 911. Later in the video, Hart can also be seen tossing another man’s cell phone to the ground when he dials 911 for help.
Police Chief Christopher Kaiser said his department had ordered an investigation into the officer’s conduct, but was unsure how long it will take.
“He’s not in trouble, but to keep things aboveboard, we put him on administrative leave until an internal investigation is fully complete,” Kaiser said. “I’m not saying he did anything wrong, but we’re trying to show we’re not trying to sweep this under the rug or cover it up.
Watch the video below (Warning: Explicit language is used):
Tatkowsi pleaded not guilty to charges of misconduct at an emergency, obstructing official business, and resisting arrest.
(H/T: The Blade)
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