Police in Georgia repeatedly tased the wrong man after mistaking him for someone with a warrant, despite reportedly not even asking for the victim's ID, according to reports. Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department officers approached 24-year-old Patrick Mumford in February, with body cam footage of the disturbing incident showing that responding officers even argued with witnesses after realizing their error.
Mumford's attorney, Will Claiborne, spoke with the Daily Beast Thursday after sharing footage of the encounter on YouTube. "If they had had adequate training, they would have known not all black men look the same," Claiborne said. The officers were attempting to serve a warrant on Michael Clay, who had an active Cobb County warrant related to simple assault. Clay had also recently "turned in a phone that was involved in a robbery," a police report obtained by the Daily Beast shows.
"The problem is Patrick Mumford doesn't look like Michael Clay, he ain't Michael Clay, and they roll up on him like he is," Claiborne added. "When he says his name is Patrick, they don't believe him." Mumford, who works as a certified collision specialist, is now at risk of losing his job after the incident. Though his misdemeanor obstruction charge was dismissed, Mumford is still faced with a probation revocation hearing stemming from his 2014 guilty plea of misdemeanor weed possession and felony possession of a controlled substance.
According to the Daily Beast, police argue that Mumford received "numerous reasonable attempts" at compliance but "physically [and] actively resisted." Furthermore, other officers claim that the mother of Michael Clay, the person who actually had an active warrant, "stated that [Clay and Mumford] looked alike."
The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.
The use of Tasers has long been a source of controversy among law enforcement agencies across the country, with recent incidents showing just how dangerous their misuse can be. For example, a burglary suspect in Alabama died Tuesday after officers used a Taser to subdue him. According to CBS News, Birmingham police were called to a reported "burglary in progress" Tuesday afternoon, at which point they encountered a white male near the back of the residence. The suspect was cuffed and transported to a hospital after being struck with a Taser "several times," where he was eventually pronounced dead.