Vancouver police officer charged related to use of force incident
July 28, 2023
On July 25, the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed Assault IV charges against a Vancouver Police officer related to an incident involving use of force that occurred on May 21. The incident was captured on the officer’s body cameras as well as the business’s surveillance camera.
“The actions of the officer who deployed the Taser in the video are disturbing”, said Vancouver Police Chief Jeff Mori. “I want to emphasize to the community that my expectation is that at all times our personnel serve the public with professionalism, compassion and respect. Our department process includes supervisor review of all use of force incidents. Upon review of this incident, the involved officer was placed on administrative leave, an internal investigation was opened, and the case was referred to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office for independent investigation. In order to maintain the integrity of the criminal justice process and the internal investigation, at this time, we will not be commenting further”.
Below is an overview of the incident:
On May 21, Vancouver Police patrol officers responded to a call from a Walmart loss prevention employee who was requesting law enforcement trespass two individuals who they had seen conceal merchandise and leave the store without an attempt to pay for the items. Two arriving VPD officers located the subjects matching the description in the parking lot, made verbal contact with them and informed them they were not free to leave. The male subject took several steps away and one of the officers grabbed the subject’s arm to prevent him from fleeing. The female subject took off running and was not located. The two VPD officers were able to get the male to the ground however, before he could be handcuffed, he jumped up, punched one of the officers in the face and kicked the other officer in the chest. Both officers began struggling with him to gain control. One of the officers deployed a Taser to the subject’s back to gain compliance, which was not effective enough to get him handcuffed. During the struggle, one of the officers exposed the subject’s genital area and threatened to activate the Taser if he did not stop resisting. He then complied and was able to be handcuffed. He was provided medical aid at the scene and was subsequently transported to the hospital for additional evaluation before being booked into the Clark County Jail for Assault III and Theft III.
The incident was recorded on the body cameras of both officers and security footage from Wal Mart’s camera. The reports and body camera footage were appropriately filed by the responding officers, in compliance with department protocols. All use of force incidents are reviewed by a supervisor. Based on the supervisor’s review, this incident was brought to the attention of the office of the chief on May 24 and the officer who deployed the Taser was immediately placed on administrative leave. The case was referred to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office on May 24 for independent investigation. Additionally, an internal VPD investigation was also opened. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office investigation was completed on July 20 and forwarded to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review. On July 25, the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed Assault IV charges on the officer that deployed the Taser.
The Vancouver Police Department is committed to transparency. A link to a video, which includes the body camera videos from both officers, and the Walmart surveillance video, is viewable through this link: https://youtu.be/DnxVNdrpfvo
The video is graphic in nature, viewer discretion is advised.