A video of police using a Taser stun gun against an Occupy protester at Washington DC’s McPherson Square has garnered widespread attention as the movement fights to maintain its 24-hour presence at the site despite a ban on overnight camping.
Police announced on Friday, January 27, that they would begin to enforce an existing regulation prohibiting overnight camping
on federal land by noon the following Monday after concerns over health and safety were raised.
While blanketing the campsite with warnings of the approaching deadline on Sunday, the police were confronted by a protester identified as Ryan Lash. In the video below, Lash is seen shouting an insult at the officers, who proceed to follow him as he walks away. Just before he is tased, Lash tries to pull away from the police as they attempt to detain him, shouting “I have done nothing wrong”.
Police tase protester at 1’41. Video posted on YouTube by MrFr0zak.
According to a May 2011 report published by the National Institute of Justice
, more than half of a sample group of 500 law enforcement agencies allow for the use of Conducted Energy Devices (CED), such as a Taser, in the event a subject “tensed and pulled when an officer tried to handcuff him or her”.
Police have reportedly confirmed that Lash was stunned by a Taser and arrested
, saying that a routine inquiry into the use of force has been launched.