A shocking new video has surfaced, showing police assaulting a woman with a Taser for doing nothing more than recording the police. The Harris County Sheriff’s Internal Affairs unit has opened an investigation into whether or not the deputies acted appropriately when the handicapped woman was caught on camera, falling from her wheelchair as she was tasered by an over-zealous deputy.
Sheketha Holman suffered a back injury two years ago, and has used a wheelchair to move around ever since. Last Wednesday, her daughter was being arrested at a local gas station. Sheketha confronts the deputies and begins recording the incident. Despite the fact that she was bound to a wheelchair and posed no threat to the officers, one of them decided that the rules don’t apply, and proceeded to shock Sheketha with the Taser. “It’s bad what happened to me and whatever, but I feel like once the word is out, then they won’t be so quick to attack people like that,” she stated to the press.
The video shows Sheketha approaching the officers with her phone in her hand. Her intent was clearly to record, an expression of the first amendment that has been upheld by the Supreme Court for years. For recording the police, they jumped to their “she interfered with the investigation” routine and attempted to take her into custody. Sheketha pulled her arms away from the attempts to handcuff her. Finally, a deputy leans in and shocks Sheketha with the Taser on her lower back, causing her to slide from her wheelchair. She fell to the ground, scraping her knees and legs in the process. One deputy can be heard yelling, “If she doesn’t want to follow instructions, she’s resisting,” and “Taser her!” She says she was tasered again once she was on the ground.
Sheketha spent three days in jail on a charge of resisting arrest. She is optimistic the charges will be dismissed, stating that the officers should be disciplined. “I feel like the officers used the law to abuse a disabled person who can’t fight back. I think they should be punished.” According to reports, she was taken to the hospital and treated for her injuries before being transported to the jail on the following day.
A representative from the department said that if policies were violated, action will be taken. “When the investigation is complete, if any policies and procedures were violated, the disciplinary actions will be implemented, which may be suspension or termination,” said Senior Deputy Thomas Gilliland.
It’s difficult to discern the agency’s position on the matter, based on the statement alone. Many times, in those cases where clear cut misconduct involved, the tone of the statement is a clear indicator of how the investigation will pan out. This particular video is hard to watch, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that justice will prevail. While there has been no talk of a law suit, it is likely that one will follow.
The names of the officers involved have not yet been released.
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