Civil Liberties

Videos Show Cops Tasing, Pepper-Spraying Man After Alleged Jaywalking

The Schenectady Police Department is investigating the incident, though the police chief says the officers' use of force was justified.


Schenectady police Tase, pepper-spray man after alleged jaywalking
The Daily Gazette / YouTube

Two videos, taken by bystanders, show cops in Schenectady, New York, pepper-spraying and tasing a local man.

According to The Daily Gazette, police attempted to stop 22-year-old Shaquille Parker for crossing the road against the signal on June 3. Parker told the Gazette officers asked for his identification, which he provided.

The trouble started when Parker refused to consent to a search. Instead, he says he began walking away from the officer, who Parker claimed "told him to stop or he would be pepper-sprayed," according to the article.

Parker didn't stop, and the officer pepper-sprayed him. Parker continued walking, and shortly thereafter several other officers arrived. One of them tased Parker, dropping him to the ground. Another officer pepper-sprayed Parker.

Parker admits he had marijuana on him at the time but claims the officers involved didn't know about it until after the arrest.

In a follow-up piece, Schenectady Police Chief Brian Kilcullen told the Gazette he "believes the officer's actions were justified."

But not everyone is convinced. From the original article:

Shown the longest available video, Melanie Trimble, executive director of the local chapter of the [New York Civil Liberties Union], said there didn't appear to be any reason to physically engage Parker for what amounted to a ticket. Regarding Parker's account that the officer wanted to search him after the jaywalking, Trimble said officers can only do that if they have probable cause to perform a search. Jaywalking alone would not provide that, she said.

Parker "was charged with felony second-degree assault, misdemeanor resisting arrest, and violation-level disorderly conduct and marijuana possession," per the Gazette.

Though Parker has not filed an official complaint, Kilcullen said the department is investigating Parker's claim that excessive force was used. In addition to the two bystander-shot videos, "surveillance cameras and police cars' cameras [will] be reviewed."

View the two videos below: