Kansas City, MO — After getting arrested and tased over a possible parking ticket, a store clerk has filed a lawsuit against the officer who used excessive force against him. Although the officer claimed that the clerk stood in a threatening position before he was forced to deploy his Taser, recently released dashcam video reveals those claims as lies.
The video starts with Kansas City Officer Dale Secor asking Short Stop Mini Mart clerk Damian Words for his ID. Both men are standing next to Words’ car, which is parked perpendicularly in a driveway. What should have been a conversation between community members possibly resulting in a parking ticket or not, escalates to violence as Officer Dale treats Mr. Words like some kind of violent criminal.
Before even speaking with Words, the officer immediately radioed for backup.
The exchange begins:
“You can’t park on the sidewalk,” Secor told Words.
“But you can’t go in nobody’s car,” Words responded.
“I can tow your car,” Secor replied.
Words, explains that he is a clerk at the store across the street and had to move his car while the spot he normally parks in is being worked on. Officer Secor then tells Words to turn around. Words, surprised he’s about to be arrested for a parking violation continues to try and explain to the officer that he has a “store to run.” Who wouldn’t be surprised by a cop who wants to arrest you for a parking ticket?
“Turn around or you’re gonna get tased. You’re under arrest!” says Officer Secor. Words does not follow the officer’s instructions.
Words never uses threatening language or gestures, but Officer Secor points his taser pistol at Words and shoots him. Words falls to the ground just as another police car races to the scene. The second officer jumps out of the car and starts screaming at Words to put his hands behind his back. Both officers busy themselves cuffing and restraining Words.
In his report, Officer Secor told lies to justify his behavior that are in stark contradiction with the dashcam video. From AlterNet:
Secor claimed that he feared Words may have had a weapon, but no weapon was found at the scene. Secor also wrote that Words, “bladed his body and got into a power stance” a moment before Secor fired his Taser.
But Secor’s dash cam video revealed that the officer provided false information in his report. During the moments before Secor fired his Taser, Words remained calm with his empty hands exposed and not standing in a threatening position. He simply wanted to know why Secor was arresting him over a parking ticket.
Secor also wrote in his report that Words was listed as a known gang member after running his license plate. But federal records and state records in Kansas, Missouri, and Michigan reveal that Words is not a gang member and has no history of violent crime.