Bay Area Rapid Transmit police tasered a harmless, unarmed man more than once, even as he was lying face-down and restrained on the floor of a passenger train.
Horrified onlookers — who repeatedly asked the officers to stop tasering the man — recorded the incident on cell phone cameras.
The unnamed black man was apparently intoxicated. Police claim that they approached him because he was harassing other passengers, although some of the eyewitnesses disputed that.
The police asked the man to get off the train. When he refused, they tasered him. A few minutes later, as the man was held against the floor, an officer tasered him again — this time, for five long seconds. He was eventually dragged off the train and charged with public drunkenness and resisting arrest.
Passengers objected to the subsequent tasering, commenting that the man wasn’t doing anything wrong. One woman said the tasering was excessive, unnecessary and dehumanizing.
But BART Police Chief Kevin Rainey defended the actions of his officers, noting that ”police work isn’t always pretty.”
Rainey told ABC 7 News that there was a warrant out for the man’s arrest relating to parole violations.
Still, Rainey has launched an investigation into how the man was treated.
Was it brutality? Watch the video below and decide.