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Posted under: News

Cops in Georgia tase wrong man after failing to ask for his ID

A man in Georgia was confronted by police and tased after he was wrongly identified as a suspect they were looking for. On Thursday, video was posted on YouTube by the Claiborne Firm, a law firm based out of Savannah, Georgia which focuses on "federal civil rights cases, catastrophic injuries and high-stakes domestic disputes." Trigger Warning: This video features a man being tased on camera.  They posted a video of their client, Patrick Mumford, 24, in a terrifying situation with police. The three cops were looking for a man named Michael Clay. The cops are seen asking Patrick was his name was, and once he tells them, they attempt to remove him from of the car. He tells them that he just came from seeing his probation officer (he is a first-time offender on a minor drug charge), so clearly he would not be with his PO if there was a warrant out for him. When Patrick demands to see a warrant, they do not show him one, force him out of the car, tase him twice, and handcuff him. Once they take his wallet and see on his ID that he is not the person, the officer says that they asked for his ID and he didn't show it -- but they didn't ask. Patrick and onlookers say that he did not ask for ID, but the officer says that he did, and it is on camera. However, the body camera footage does not show the officer asking for the ID, and the officer neglected to say that he asked him for ID in the police report. Patrick was charged with obstruction of justice, and had to have the taser prongs removed his back at a hospital. According to the Claiborne Firm, he faces a probation violation, which could revoke his first-offender status. This could result in him losing his job as a certified collision specialist, and he may possibly have to drop out of college (he is pursuing an associate's degree). If he loses his probation violation hearing, a judge could sentence him to up to 7 years in prison.
“I hope for the Savannah police department’s sake that this would be a teachable moment,” Claiborne told The Daily Beast. “It does add some context as to why folks can be fearful of law enforcement," said Will Claiborne to The Daily Beast. In response to the release of the video from Claiborne Firm, the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department says that it is "highly edited" and a "gross misrepresentation" of what happened. The police department also released the full body cam footage on YouTube as well. Their full statement reads in part, "We are reviewing the actions and decisions which our officers made in the current case. In doing so, we must consider all the facts and not rush to unfair judgements based on highly edited videos which are apparently intended to mislead and inflame the public against the officers involved." Despite releasing the full footage, many still believe the officers were in the wrong and don't understand how this escalated. Many are even going as far as to say the full video tells the same narrative as the edited video from Claiborne Firm.
YouTube SCMPD Police Dept 1
YouTube SCMPD Police Dept 1
YouTube SCMPD Police Dept 1
YouTube SCMPD Police Dept 1
Patrick's attorney is still unmoved. "We let the video speak for itself. Patrick was minding his own business, sitting in a car that he owns, in a driveway of a house where he resides. Patrick tells them the truth, and they never ask him for his ID. They assume he's lying and falsely arrest him. Young black men who reach for their back pocket to get their wallets have bad things happen to them, so what was Patrick supposed to do?" he said.

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Trey Mangum is the lead editor of ShadowAndAct.com. Follow him on Twitter @treymangum.