After police broke down a man’s door and shot him and his wife with a taser gun over a noise complaint from a neighbor, the tasered man wound up being the one to land in court.
In May 2013, James Wood, 34, was arguing with his wife Jennifer when a neighbor called police to complain about the noise. Soon after, police busted down the door of the Woods’ home with guns drawn. The officers didn’t have a warrant to enter the home, but they did it anyway. A family friend that was visiting at the time was able to capture the incident on camera.
“I asked several times, ‘What am I being accused of?’” said Wood to KPIX 5. “And when they didn’t answer, I asked, ‘do you have a search warrant?’ And they said, ‘No, we don’t need one.’ And I was like, ‘you’re not getting in here. I am not opening that door.’”
When an officer outside the door asked why Wood was not coming out, the family friend responded, “Because we don’t live in a police state sir. Martial law has not been established in this country.”
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Police didn’t like this answer, so they proceeded to kick in the door with guns drawn. One officer grabbed Jennifer’s arm, and when James Wood yelled, “You are assaulting her,” he was shot with a stun gun by one of the officers.
Despite what many say is a clear violation of power by the officers, the city of Cotati, California still defended the actions.
“Due to the exigent circumstances, the officers were forced to kick the door open in order to enter the apartment,” said Cotati police in a statement. “Constitutional law allows for officers to make entries under these types of circumstances without a warrant.”
Wood wound up being charged with obstructing an officer, and just this week, the trial was deemed a mistrial after a hung jury could not come to a decision.
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“The fact that a jury of American citizens could not agree that such a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment meant the entry into my clients’ home was unlawful, shows how far this country has disintegrated,” said Wood’s defense attorney Benjamin Adams. “There is little hope for salvage.”