North Bay News

Sheriff says man 'charged' deputy before being Tased

Friday, September 03, 2010
A Marin Sheriffs deputy fired his Taser at 64-year-old Peter McFarland. Marin County Sheriffs deputies repetedly Tased Peter McFarland. Marin sheriffs deputies Tased a man. Peter McFarland was Tased inside his own home. Peter McFarland talks about how he was Tased inside his own home.

The Marin County Sheriff's Department says a deputy fired his Taser at 64-year-old Peter McFarland at his home in June 2009 because McFarland "charged at deputies."

But the video recorded by a camera mounted atop the Taser appears to show McFarland getting up from the couch calmly, not displaying any aggressive move toward the deputies.

The incident report was included in the Marin County Sheriff's 2009 Electronic Control Device Report as one of some 87 Taser deployments by deputies last year.

The report says, "When the subject charged towards deputies, the ECD (electronic control device) was discharged."

McFarland's lawyer, John Scott, responded by saying, "I'd like the Sheriff to explain how his office can come to that conclusion after viewing the video. I've looked at it many times, and that's not what I saw."

The incident began just before midnight when McFarland fell down the steps to the home. He says he had been drinking at a party that night. Paramedics were called and they treated McFarland at his home. Two deputies showed up sometime later.

Video shows one pointing his Taser at McFarland while ordering him to stand up or be Tased.

The deputy repeats his command numerous times but McFarland continues refusing.

The video shows that when he finally gets up from his couch, the deputy fires his Taser.

McFarland falls to the floor, withering in pain.

The deputy fires twice while McFarland is on the ground, ordering each time to "stop resisting."

McFarland was arrested and jailed on charges of resisting arrest. A judge later dismissed the charge.

McFarland is suing Marin County and the two deputies.

The Sheriff's Department offered a written statement saying it takes the use of force seriously and that when all the facts are in, the deputies will be vindicated. The department has declined numerous requests for interviews and it has not returned calls for the past two days after ABC7 asked for information on its investigation of the incident.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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marin county, taser, lawsuit, north bay news, vic lee
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