CHICAGO (CBS) — The city’s police watchdog agency has released body camera video of an officer using a Taser on a man who ran away from a traffic stop in November in the Chatham neighborhood.
The 9 ½ minute video was posted on the Civilian Office of Police Accountability website on Thursday.
The confrontation happened on the afternoon of Nov. 28, 2017, when two officers pulled over 41-year-old Stephen Baldwin has he was driving near 79th and Champlain. In the video, you can hear Officer Marissa Garbacz telling Baldwin they had pulled him over for having expired license places.
“Aww f***. My damn girl up here with the damn plates in her damn trunk. She right up at the cleaners. I was just going to get her right now,” Baldwin told Garbacz, who laughed at his exasperated response.
After handing over a driver’s license and insurance card, Garbacz returned to her squad car, and asked her partner to go walk up to Baldwin’s car, because she couldn’t tell if it was his picture on the driver’s license.
A couple minutes later, the video shows Baldwin and Garbacz’s partner standing behind his car. When Garbacz’s partner tries to place Baldwin in handcuffs, he starts running away, and Garbacz gives chase.
After chasing the man around the corner and down an alley, Garbacz found Baldwin hiding under a stairwell in the back of a house.
Garbacz told Baldwin to put his hands in the air and come out of the stairwell. After repeatedly telling him to put his hands up, Baldwin jumped on top of a fence, and Garbacz fired her Taser, causing the man to fall onto the other side of the fence, landing on his head.
After a male officer arrived to help, and tried to force open the locked face, Baldwin could be seen rolling over and trying to crawl away.
“I’m going to tase you again, sir, stay down!” Garbacz said.
A few seconds later, the male officer forced his way through the chain link fence and pinned Baldwin on the ground.
Garbacz appeared to knock her body camera to the ground when she pushed her way through the broken chain link fence to help take Baldwin into custody, and her video feed went black for about 90 seconds until she put it back on.
Baldwin was charged with drug possession, resisting arrest, using a fraudulent driver’s license, and reckless conduct. According to the arrest report, he also was wanted on an out-of-state fugitive warrant He was being held without bond at Cook County Jail.
The incident involving Baldwin happened just weeks after the Chicago Police Department issued stricter guidelines for Tasers, discouraging officers from using the stun guns on people who are running away, are elevated above the ground, or could fall and suffer a head injury.
COPA is still investigating the incident.
COPA also released a 10-minute video from the body camera of Garbacz’s partner. That officer also chased Baldwin when he ran away from the traffic stop, but she did not find Baldwin and Garbacz until her partner already had used her Taser to shock him, and two other officers had arrived to assist Garbacz.