Caught on police body cam video beating an unarmed man in the back of the head with a Taser, an Arizona police officer recently resigned after an internal investigation called for his termination. The former officer had five previous disciplinary actions filed against him prior the use of excessive force against an unarmed man on the ground.
In June, Glendale Police Officer Joshua Carroll responded to a report of a man appearing to sleep in a parked car. With the driver’s side window partially rolled down, David Dulaney remained in the vehicle and informed the officer that he was just waiting for his friend to arrive.
According to the body cam video, Officer Carroll opened Dulaney’s door shortly before Dulaney removed the keys from the ignition. As Dulaney attempted to slowly exit the car, Carroll ordered him to remain in the vehicle with his hands on the steering wheel.
Visibly distraught, Dulaney repeated that he needed to use the bathroom while asking the officer why he was being harassed. Without warning, Carroll suddenly grabbed Dulaney in an attempt to remove him from the car.
As Dulaney struggled to remain inside the vehicle, Carroll repeatedly shot him with a Taser while dragging his body from the vehicle. Dulaney remained motionless on the ground as Carroll kept striking him in the back and the back of the head with his stun gun.
Trying to block the strikes against the back of his head, Dulaney placed his right hand on his head briefly before Carroll cuffed his right wrist. The officer kept screaming at Dulaney to stop resisting when he clearly was not resisting or fighting back.
Carroll later attempted to justify the beating by claiming that Dulaney might have had a weapon in his obscured left hand. But according to the video, Dulaney never had a weapon, and his left hand was obscured because it was trapped under Dulaney’s chest along with the full weight of Carroll pressing down on him.
Despite the fact that Dulaney physically could not move his left arm behind his back, Carroll psychotically continued to strike blows against the back of his bleeding head. Lying in pool of his own blood, Dulaney begged the officer to stop hurting him as Carroll refused and threatened him with more violence.
After the arrest, Dulaney was taken to the hospital where his head wound required staples. A responding officer recalled that Dulaney expressed several times he didn’t know why he was in custody.
In an interview with investigators after the arrest, Dulaney recalled, “He was hitting me on the back of the head with something, I don’t know what it was. It wasn’t his hand, I know it wasn’t his hand, there’s no way it felt like-like that but he was hitting me in the back of the head, it was hurting my head, face and pushing me into the stones that were really, really hot. I said why are you doing this? Why are you doing this? Please stop. Please stop.”
An internal review panel found that Carroll was justified in deploying his Taser, using a control hold, and striking Dulaney’s head with his hand, but not in hitting Dulaney in the head with a Taser. Although the panel recommended that Carroll be terminated, the officer resigned before police officials could fire him.
“Officer Carroll has a pattern of discipline involving poor decision making that has escalated to a point that I no longer have confidence in his ability during routine contacts and stressful situations,” wrote a Glendale police commander, in a memo to an assistant police chief.
“He has demonstrated an inability to maintain composure and appropriate officer presence, and to respond appropriately to the situations with which he is faced,” the memo continued. “These poor decisions have occurred while he is on and off duty and he has violated multiple policies. These decisions have put our Department, other officers and our community at risk.”
Carroll had at least five previous disciplinary actions taken against him since 2016, including running red lights, unnecessarily shooting at a suspect, and improper Facebook posts.
Although officers reportedly found marijuana and a prescription bottle containing pills believed to be Xanax in the car, the Glendale Police Department has not yet decided whether to press charges against Dulaney due to the use of excessive force during his arrest.
“I am extremely disappointed in the actions of this former employee,” stated Interim Chief of Police Chris Briggs.
No criminal charges have currently been filed against Carroll.