Ala. mayor asks state agency to investigate officer who used Taser on handcuffed man at close range

·2 min read

Mayor Johnny Hammock is calling for a probe of Tallassee Police and the immediate termination of the offending officer.

The outgoing mayor of Tallassee, Alabama, is asking for help from the state after video emerged of an officer using a Taser on a handcuffed man at close range.

According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Mayor Johnny Hammock wrote to Hal Taylor, the secretary of law enforcement for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, expressing his concern about Tallassee Police and Cpl. David Justin Salum.

Johnny Hammock (above), the mayor of Tallassee, Alabama, is asking for help from the state after video emerged of a Tallassee police officer using a Taser on a handcuffed man at close range. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube.com)
Johnny Hammock (above), the mayor of Tallassee, Alabama, is asking for help from the state after video emerged of a Tallassee police officer using a Taser on a handcuffed man at close range. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube.com)

“Secretary Taylor, I am requesting an investigation of the Tallassee Police Department for use of excessive force on two different occasions,” Hammock wrote. “I am resigning from my position as Mayor of Tallassee at 4 p.m. on June 30th. I would appreciate some help from an outside agency to make sure things are investigated thoroughly and in a timely manner.”

He explained two instances that involved Salum, including one last weekend in which the officer fired his Taser at Perry Jackson after responding to a call about a gunshot. Prior to Tallassee officers’ arrival, a woman had fired a shot in the air during an altercation Jackson was reportedly attempting to break up.

As the authorities ran Jackson’s name through the system, they discovered he had an outstanding warrant and attempted to take him into custody. He allegedly tried to flee but eventually “acquiesced and was taken into custody.” After being patted down, Jackson reportedly attempted to toss his cell phone to someone nearby, and the phone hit an officer in the face, which Jackson said was an accident. That officer, Salum, then grabbed a Taser from another officer, pointed it at Jackson’s chest, which was only 18 inches away, and discharged it.

Jackson, who fell to the ground, was placed in a police cruiser and transported to a hospital. The barbs from the device had to be removed from his chest.

“My heart’s right here,” Jackson said, showing his wounds at a Tuesday news conference. “Could have killed me, man.” He is planning a lawsuit against the Tallassee Police Department.

In a second incident Hammock cited to state authorities, a man named Toney Brown says Salum and other officers beat him over the head with their batons in late May after a brief foot chase. He was hospitalized and required staples in five places on his head.

The mayor wrote that the images of Brown’s injuries were “very disturbing.” He is calling for Salum’s immediate termination.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has promised a prompt probe.

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