Police Taser Video Refutes Police Charge of Resisting Arrest
(Police taser gun video from KVAL)
A police taser gun video shows that a Eugene officer shocked a protester with 50,000 volts once for five seconds and then shocked him again 11 seconds later for another five seconds while the protester lay largely immobile, face down with his thin arms twisted behind his back or pinned under his side.
The police video was shown in stop motion at the trial of Ian Van Ornum today. Police allege Van Ornum slowed traffic at a pesticide rally last May and resisted arrest. Numerous witnesses alleged police brutality at the Broadway and Willamette event.
Eugene Police Officer Judson Warden testified for the prosecution that pesticide protester Van Ornum was â€œstrugglingâ€ with officers and â€œswung his armsâ€ with a handcuff on one wrist that the officer feared could be â€œused as weapon.â€
But defense attorney Laura Fine confronted Warden with video from the officerâ€™s own stun gun. After watching the video, Warden admitted that after the first tasing and a second before the officer tased him again, â€œit looks like both hands are behind his back.â€
The tasings appeared to cause involuntary muscle spasms during their five second durations. â€œIt appears that heâ€™s in pain,â€ Warden said of his gun video.
Asked about the discrepancy between his earlier sworn testimony and the video from his own gun, Warden said he was â€œstressedâ€ with menacing protestors during the arrest, â€œthereâ€™s so much going on.â€ Warden said he was â€œvery scared.â€
The three burly police officers at the scene did not draw their automatic handguns. The police guns are capable of emptying a large magazine in seconds. The protesters were unarmed. Testimony at the trial indicated there were as few as a dozen pesticide protesters at the noon rally which officers described as â€œpeacefulâ€ until the taser arrest.
Two other protesters plead guilty to attempted assault of the police while Van Ornum was being tasered on the ground. Van Ornum was not charged with trying to attack police and no police were injured.
Protester Anthony Farley, a former Eagle Scout now studying at the UO, admitted at the trial that he wrongly â€œpushedâ€ Officer Warden at the rally after observing what he alleged was unjustified police brutality against his friend Van Ornum. â€œI was overwhelmed with emotion.â€
Police admitted twisting Van Ornumâ€™s arms, pulling his hair and shoving him against a wall and to the ground before tasering him in the process of arresting him for the misdemeanor charge of impeding traffic. Van Ornumâ€™s attorney said he suffered a concussion.