Merced double amputee taser lawsuit is underway

July 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The civil trial is now underway for the Merced police officer who used a taser on a double amputee in a wheelchair.

This video obtained by the Merced Sun-Star shows Gregory Williams in handcuffs on the ground during his arrest in September of 2009.

Williams testified Tuesday in federal court that both of his legs were amputated in 2004 because of a medical condition. His attorneys say Officer John Pinnegar used a 50,000 volt taser on Williams -- before humiliating him by leaving him outside with his pants falling down and his genitals exposed.

Gregory Williams said, "How much resisting I'm gonna do with no feet? No legs? How much resisting am I gonna do?"

Merced police went to Williams' apartment that day for a domestic violence call. An attorney representing the city played an audio file in court from Officer Pinnegar's digital recorder in which Williams' wife said he punched her in the stomach three times and was trying to take their two-year-old daughter. Shortly after the incident, Chief Norm Andrade said Williams resisted officers and refused to let go of the little girl.

Chief Andrade said, "The safety of the child and the domestic violence victim were our main concerns throughout the incident."

The city's attorney also told jurors officers were dealing with an angry crowd closing in on them, and that's why they didn't notice Williams' pants had fallen down. The 44 year old went to jail and was released six days later. His attorneys now say the incident only spiraled out of control when Williams tried to assert his constitutional rights to free speech, freedom from an unlawful arrest and later his right to remain silent.

The officer and the city of Merced are represented by attorneys from San Francisco. Gregory Williams is represented by the same firm in Oakland that worked on the Rodney King beating trial.

This trial will continue Wednesday morning and is expected to wrap up by Friday.


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