Cop Who Tasered Man, 76, Wants His Job Back

Lawyer says level of force 'reasonable'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2015 10:57 PM CST
Updated Jan 12, 2015 12:03 AM CST

(Newser) – The Texas police officer who Tasered a 76-year-old man twice during a routine traffic stop has been fired—but his lawyer says the decision was unfair and he plans to appeal it. Nathanial Robinson was canned by the Victoria Police Department last week after an internal investigation found he violated department policies on conduct, use of force, and arrest without warrant during the Dec. 11 traffic stop, reports the Victoria Advocate. Much of the incident was captured on dashboard camera video, but the lawyer says that off-camera, Pete Vasquez kicked Robinson after the officer threw him to the ground, and there was "nothing unreasonable at all" about the level of force Robinson used.

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"The problem with police work is that officers usually have a second or two—sometimes three when they're really lucky—to make decisions," says the lawyer, a former police officer. "Then, the people that sit in judgment of police officers have days, weeks, months in sterile environments to sit and make decisions and say, 'I could have done it different.'" He says there were no other complaints about Robinson during his 18 months on the force and the 26-year-old "deserves his job back." The Texas Rangers are investigating the incident. Vasquez, who was pulled over for driving with an expired inspection sticker, says he hasn't slept well since the arrest. "I'm really afraid to get out in the street now because I don't know what is going to happen to me," he tells KTRK. (Read more Texas stories.)

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