MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – In the midst of a GBI’s investigation on the in custody death of Eurie Martin, video footage of Washington County deputies involved has now leaked. Bibb County Deputies say they have their own protocol for using deadly force and the goal is not to have to use a taser.
The sound of a taser alone is enough to scare most. “Almost all of the time if someone has been tasered, they’re very compliant at that point,” said Captain David Freeland of the Bibb County Sheriff Department’s Training Division.
Now, the use of 50,000 volts has Middle Georgia in shock after the accidental death of a man in Washington County.
“It’s made to actually incapacitate the person so, basically it locks up the muscles of the individual where they can’t move or anything like that,” he said.
But just how much is too much? Captain Freeland says it depends on the person you’re dealing with.
“A lot of times, we do not know the situation if somebody’s on drugs or what type of medical history that they have. We do train not to taser elderly people, children or pregnant people,” Freeland continued.
BCSO’s defensive training division takes its deputies through a six hour course on protocol when using a taser.
“They learn the in’s and out’s of each of the taser, the parts of it–the cartridges, the batteries, how it works, what its capabilities are,” he said.
So incidents like what happened in Washington County, don’t happen. Freeland says using it isn’t the first choice, using verbal commands is.
“This device came really came about to protect officers from getting hurt as well so, instead of them getting involved in a group of fights or something they now have the capability. ”
Officers have to use it on themselves before they can use it on anyone else. “Each deputy will get tasered and they’ll kind of feel what it’s about how it works and when they have to deploy it themselves.”
Captain Freeland says next month all BCSO deputies will attend their annual defense tactics work shop where they’ll review how and when to use a taser. 41NBC reached out to Washington County Sheriff Thomas Smith about their protocol for defensive tactics. He says he is unable to make a comment because the investigation is still on going.