Chicago, IL – A citizen watchdog group is investigating a case where a Chicago Police Department officer who deployed her Taser on a wanted suspect who was running from her, hitting a sensitive part of his body.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released the video recently of the Nov. 28 incident, according to the Chicago Tribune. (Video below)
In the video, Officer Marissa Garbacz is shown pulling over Stephen Baldwin for an expired license plate. He then told the officer he had no form of identification or anything with his name on it.
When Officer Garbacz asked him to step out of the car and started to arrest him, Baldwin ran.
WBBM-TV reported that Baldwin was wanted on an out-of-state fugitive warrant.
Officer Garbacz found Baldwin hiding in a stairwell. Baldwin then tried to run again, but Officer Garbacz deployed her Taser on him when he was climbing a chain-link fence.
Baldwin fell to the ground, hitting his head. The police report said that Baldwin was taken to the hospital and treated for bleeding on the brain.
The video showed that Officer Garbacz had to repeatedly remind Baldwin to keep his hands up after he was captured.
It also showed that Baldwin ignored Officer Garbacz’s warning that she would use her Taser if he didn’t stop climbing the chain-link fence.
The incident happened just weeks after the Chicago Police Department began new guidelines on the use of a Taser.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the new guidelines state that officers should try to avoid using the weapon during a number of situations “when practicable.”
That includes if suspects are running away, elevated above ground or could fall and injure their head, the newspaper reported.
That encompasses most situations where a Taser could reasonably be used.
WBBM reported that Baldwin was charged with drug possession, resisting arrest, using a fraudulent driver’s license and reckless conduct. He is being held in Cook County Jail without bond.
You can see the video of the incident below. The action starts about 3 minutes in: