Florida police officer fired for using stun gun on man who was 'not physically resisting,' chief says




  • In US
  • 2022-01-28 09:48:07Z
  • By Fox News

A Florida police officer was fired after he used a stun gun on a compliant suspect, rather than following de-escalation protocols, officials said.

St. Petersburg Police Officer Matthew Cavinder was relieved of his duties after he used a stun gun on a suspect, violating the department's protocols, an internal investigation found. During an arrest on June 21, 2021, the suspect was "not physically resisting," when Cavinder used his stun gun, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway said Thursday, Fox 13 of Tampa Bay reported.

"I think I looked at that video over 20 times," Holloway said during a press conference, where he re-enacted the scene with a stun gun, according to the report. "Today, I still cannot explain why that officer went to his Taser. We train officers every year. Everyone at this police department is trained on de-escalation."

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"There was no de-escalation," the police chief added, per the report. "He went right to his Taser."

During the June 2021 incident, Cavinder and his partner were dispatched to a Chevron gas station after its owner called the police on a panhandler who was allegedly trespassing, Fox 13 reported.

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The officers, who were wearing body cameras, arrived at the scene where they found Timothy Grant, 64, in a wheelchair and ran his name in their database. He had five active warrants for his arrest, so the officers explained the previous charges and attempted to detain him, according to the report.

When Grant did not immediately comply with the arrest, Cavinder pulled out his stun gun, the police chief said.

"What he did was place the Taser up against his body," Holloway explained, noting he did not activate the prongs - a technique he referred to as a "dry stun."

Cavinder then later wrote in the arrest report that the victim was resisting, according to the report. Holloway explained: "Mr. Grant was not resisting with violence."

The internal investigation was initiated by Cavinder's supervisor, who was responsible for reviewing the use of force incident - a police department policy, Holloway explained - and reported it accordingly.

Cavinder is not likely to be charged, however, as he showed no "intent," Fox 13 reported.

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