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Video Shows Westland Police Officer Using Taser On Man Holding Baby

Police say an internal investigation is now underway

August 20, 2018 - 5:33 pm
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WESTLAND (WWJ) - Westland police will be conducting an internal investigation after a man was shocked with a stun gun while holding a baby. 

 Police dispute what family members said happened last Friday night, after officers responded to a call to a home on Belding Court, in the area of Palmer Road and Venoy.

While the mother of the infant said she had to catch the baby boy after his father was hit with a police Taser, police assert that video, shot by a neighbor, shows the two-month old was being held by both the mother and the father at the time of the incident. 

**Please note: This unedited video may contain profanity and may be disturbing to some viewers. 

According to police, the man -- who was wanted on a number of outstanding warrants -- knew he was going to be arrested; and when he saw the officers, he grabbed the baby and wouldn't let go, even when the mother asked for the child back.

According to Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik, it was then that officers decided that using the Taser was the safest option. 

"They felt the man was uncooperative, he was intoxicated, he was aggressive, and the officers had indicated they felt that he had an extremely tight grasp on the baby," the chief told WWJ's Sandra McNeill and other reporters at a news conference, Monday afternoon. 

"So at that point...the officers are making a decision on we're going to be arresting this man, we don't want to get into a tug of war with this man, we don't want to direct this man to the ground while he's holding a baby."

The man was hit with the Taser in the back several times before he was taken into custody.  He faces multiple charges, according to police, including neglect of a minor.  

The baby was not injured, Jedrusik said, and was not affected by the Taser.  (More footage of the incident can be seen on Facebook here.)

The officers involved remain on duty, as an investigation continues into whether policy and procedure was followed and whether the incident was handled correctly. 

Meanwhile, Kenneth Reid with the Coalition Against Police Brutality says he plans to sit down with the family. 

"If there's warrants, you know, again, you come out and place the person under arrests and go on about your day," Reid told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "But when you come in with the wild, cowboy-style type action, you know, it doesn't do anything for community relations, I can say that."

No names have been released. 

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