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Video Shows Cop Tasering 75-Year-Old Without Warning

Cop later fired, charged with assault in Colorado
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2021 12:56 PM CDT
Body Cam Video Shows Cop Tasering 75-Year-Old Man
Nicholas Hanning, then a police officer in Colorado, used a Taser on a 75-year-old man less than a minute after he answered his door with a "Hawaiian sword" but after he put down the weapon and without issuing any warning, according to a court document released Tuesday, July 13, 2021.   (The 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office via AP)

(Newser) – A grandfather is in the hospital and a former police officer is facing charges. Nicholas Hanning, until recently part of the Idaho Springs, Colorado, police department, said he jolted Michael Clark, 75, with a Taser when Clark refused to put down a weapon, the Washington Post reports. But newly released body cam footage shows a different narrative, and Hanning has been fired for actions “not reflective of the culture of our organization,” says Idaho Springs Police Chief Nathan Buseck. Police responded to a 911 call from Clark’s neighbor, who accused Clark of punching her. The video, released by Clark’s lawyer, shows police standing out of view of the peephole while they knock. When Clark answers, he’s wearing only underwear and holding something that looks like a sawfish bill—which Hanning can be heard calling a machete.

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When told to drop it, Clark places it on top of a piece of furniture several feet into the apartment and returns to the doorway with his empty hands at his side. Police yell at him to get down, using strong language. Clark said “no,” and is hit with the Taser. He fell backward into the apartment, hitting his head on the way down, and losing consciousness. It wasn’t until he had regained consciousness and been placed in handcuffs that police told him he was accused of punching his neighbor. Clark denied that accusation, per the AP. Clark’s children say he’s been in the hospital for the six weeks since the incident after suffering a stroke and a burst appendix. “People like this should not be police,” Clark said in a statement. (Read more police brutality stories.)

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