A Florida police officer tasered an elderly man in a wheelchair four times, officials said.
Body-cam footage shows the officer trying to make the man stand up before tasering him.
The St. Petersburg Police Chief said that the officer had been fired after an internal investigation.
A Florida police officer has been fired after tasering a 64-year-old in a wheelchair multiple times, the St. Petersburg Police Chief said.
The incident took place in June when officer Matthew Cavinder and his partner responded to a call that Timothy Grant was trespassing at a gas station, according to Fox 13.
They ran Grant’s name and discovered he had five active warrants when they arrived.
Body-camera footage shows the officers arresting Grant, who is sitting in a wheelchair. Footage shows them attempting to lift him and telling him to stand up.
Chief of the St. Petersburg Police Department Anthony Holloway said in a press conference on Thursday that the officers had seen Grant walking around the business and panhandling before the arrest.
In the video, Grant lies with his back on the ground and asks the officers why he was being arrested.
Cavinder tells him: “You’re making this a lot harder. You’re about to get tased.”
The officers then flip Grant over and hold his hands behind his back. Cavinder tasers him, and Grant moans in pain.
Chief Holloway said in the press conference that Cavinder, who joined the force in 2020, was fired following an internal investigation of the incident.
“We know for a fact that he tasered Mr. Grant four times,” Holloway said in the press conference.
“He wrote a report, and he said that Mr. Grant was resisting with violence,” Holloway said. “You all saw that tape. Mr. Grant was not resisting with violence.”
Holloway said that Cavinder acted improperly as he immediately went to use his Taser rather than de-escalate the situation.
“I think I looked at that video over 20 times,” Chief Holloway said. “Today, I still cannot explain to you why that officer went to his Taser. We train officers every year. Everybody at this police department is trained on de-escalation.”
The chief said that police department policy is to review every use of force incident report and that Cavinder’s supervisor had forwarded the materials for an internal investigation.
“The victim didn’t complain. The people at the scene didn’t complain. It was the supervisor,” Holoway said. “I want to commend my supervisor for seeing something wrong and taking care of it.”
Officials said that there will likely not be charges brought against Cavinder, as there was no clear evidence of “intent,” Fox 13 reported.
Holloway said that the charge against Grant was reduced to resisting arrest without violence and that he is still in custody for his five active warrants.
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