Man tased, sent to hospital during East Ridge police encounter
Dramatic police body-camera video has some questioning if proper protocol was followed during an arrest last month. The video shows six East Ridge Police officers and 27-year-old Christopher Penn in an altercation. At the end of the video, Penn is in the back seat of a patrol car unconscious.
We requested the video and the use of force report officers filed through a public records request. It hasn't been sent to us yet, but our partners at the Times Free Press obtained a copy.
Christopher Penn admitted he had been under the influence of drugs during the arrest. However, Criminal Defense Attorney Robin Flores said it does not justify the excessive force he believes the East Ridge Police used.
“Here, you got someone who is handcuffed, you have multiple police officers, and to put a chokehold on him in that circumstance, in my law enforcement experience, was very unnecessary,” Flores said.
According to the report obtained by our partners at the Times Free Press, on October 21st police responded to a home on Welworth Avenue. A friend said Penn was taking pills and was delusional claiming someone let people into the home who wanted to kill him.
Body cam footage shows Penn getting handcuffed. Throughout the interaction, Penn is seen struggling with police, trying to run away and even shoving some officers. Police tase him in the groin.
“It is standard to this day, you don't strike to the knee, you don't strike to the groin, and you don't strike to the face or the head," Flores explained.
The night ends with an officer placing Penn in a chokehold. He becomes unconscious and placed in the back of a patrol car.
“He did that because either he didn't know what else to do, which is a training issue,” Flores added.
Officers brought Penn to a hospital, which was about half a mile away from where the incident happened.
Administrators with East Ridge Police have refused to answer any of our questions. like if department policies were violated or if the officers involved were disciplined.
As we learn more, we will be sure to update this story.