Caught on police dashcam video using a stun gun against a handcuffed suspect for no apparent reason, a Mississippi police officer was recently fired for use of excessive force. In addition to violently assaulting the handcuffed man, the officer also threatened to taze him in the face if the suspect did not immediately stand up after the initial attack.
On July 16, the Meridian Police Department responded to a shoplifting report at the Walmart on Highway 19. According to police reports, the suspect attempted to drive away in a van when officers quickly pulled over his vehicle.
In the police dashcam video, an officer approaches the driver’s door with his gun drawn and opens the door as the driver calmly exits the van. As the first officer cuffs the driver’s wrists behind his back, Officer Daniel Starks slams the handcuffed driver against the van before striking him in the neck with his forearm without provocation.
Despite the fact that the handcuffed man is not resisting or fighting back, Starks suddenly pulls his stun gun from his holster and accidentally drops it to the ground. With no justification, Starks picks up the stun gun before firing it against the back of the handcuffed suspect’s neck.
Shortly after the driver collapsed to the ground, two officers attempt to lift him to his knees when Starks grabs him by the neck before aiming his stun gun directly at the restrained man’s face. Although Starks clearly threatened to shoot him again if the suspect did not immediately stand up, the handcuffed man could only stand for a few seconds before losing his balance and falling to the ground again.
Police refuse to release the suspect’s identity or whether he was charged with any crimes. Following the incident, Starks was suspended without pay. On Monday, Starks was issued his final notice of termination, which went into effect Wednesday.
“To let this particular act or anything like it just go away or get swept under the rug, that’s not acceptable. To not just this department, but as far as I’m concerned all law enforcement agencies,” Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose stated.
After announcing Starks’ termination, Chief Dubose recently released the dashcam footage depicting the officer’s blatant use of excessive force against a handcuffed man who was not resisting. Starks currently does not face any criminal charges for the assault under color of authority.