There was an article in the Charleston Daily Mail this morning about a police officer in East Bank, West Virginia, who was “horseplaying” with his taser, tasering a pregnant 18 year old, and a town firefighter. This same guy filed criminal charges against the town recorder/ police commissioner for “retaliating against a police officer.”
This guy – Sgt. Steve Smith – is absolutely out of control. Where are the authorities here? Somebody has got to reign this guy in, take away his gun and put him on administrative leave. He is cited in the article as describing the taser as a “tool” rather than a weapon. I’m not sure how many tools have a trigger and shoot electrically charged barbs that penetrate your skin to send electric volts through your body… but hey, I guess that is just semantics.
The fact is that this guy is dangerous and has no business with a badge or any kind of weapon. Period. If he does this as “horseplay,” can you imagine what he would do to you if he was arresting you, or even pulling you over for a traffic violation.
It’s very scary that some of these smaller-town police departments in West Virginia have absolutely no oversight, and many of the officers have little experience. If they wanted to, they could pull you over, plant some cocaine, put you in handcuffs and take you to jail. Then it’s your word versus theirs. It has happened… The only thing you can do about it is refuse to live in a community that does not responsibly oversee their police department.
– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Attorney.