Elderly Man Tasered by South Carolina Police for “Fighting Stance”
The South Carolina police department sued by an 86-year-old man tasered after he exited his vehicle with his hands up settled for $900,000 on Friday.
“Stop!” police can be heard shouting at Albert Chatfield, who suffers from dementia.
“Tase him!” another officer can be heard screaming.
Kingstree cop Stephen Sweikata tasered Chatfield, knocking him to the asphalt, cutting his face and breaking his nose.
Chatfield was rushed to McLeod Regional Medical Center where he spent a month in the intensive care unit after it was determined his brain was bleeding in three places.
Sweikata attempted to stop Chatfield on October 16 after receiving a call about a white SUV tailgating another car preventing the driver from turning.
Chatfield made a U-turn to avoid the officer, according to his police report.
Sweikata wrote in his police report that he was only trying to save Chatfield’s life by tasering him after he began walking into traffic.
According to Sweikata, Chatfield took a “fighting stance,” which caused him to fear for his life.
“Chatfield ignored all these orders and took up a fighting stance against myself,” he claims in the report, according to the PostandCourier.
“Chatfield then started jogging/walking backwards in the lanes of traffic.”
However, the video tells a different tale.
It shows Chatfield exit the vehicle with his hands up before he was struck by probes from the stun gun.
Officers roll him over, handcuff then carry him to the roadside.
“The court has been very clear that officers can use Tasers to defend themselves or defend someone else who is being attacked,” Chatfield’s attorney Justin Bamberg said. “I have yet to see an officer who would legitimately fear your average unarmed 86-year-old.”
“If you cannot restrain an 86-year-old, you need to eat some spinach,” Bamberg said.
“It’s unconstitutional to tase someone just because they’re not listening. Plus, he’s 86.”
Jodi Mack, Chatfield’s daughter said her father would never hurt anybody.
“He wouldn’t hurt anybody,” she said.
“He would only make you hurt laughing.”
Watch dashcam footage of the incident below.