Police Questioned Over Taser Use on Driver, Passenger (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Police officers, who stopped a car in Meriden, Conn. on May 9, are now being accused of possibly misusing their tasers on the driver and passenger.

According to, Police Officer Raynick Vasquez was looking for a car driven by someone involved in a domestic abuse when he saw a Ford Explorer driving slowly through a hospital parking lot.

After the car was pulled over, the driver, Jamie Hess, began recording the incident on his cell phone (video below).

Hess repeatedly asks why he is being stopped, to which the officers respond, "We're trying to identify you."

One of the officers accuses Hess and his passenger Jevon Parrish of "interfering in our investigation."

When Hess reaches for his car's paperwork, Officer Witkin yells, "What are you reaching for! Take your hand out slowly! I don't kow what you're reaching for! You understand me? Now, you're getting out of the car when I tell you to do so and you're getting on the ground. Any violation of what I tell you to do, and you're getting tased!"

Parrish is told to step out of the car, but appears to passively refuse. Officer Witkin eventually opens the passenger side door and tases Parrish.

However, Meriden police are not to use tasers on someone who is passively resisting.

Meriden Police Department spokesman Lt. Salvatore Nesci claimed that when Parrish leaned away from Officer Witkin that was actively resisting and the taser use was justified.

After the video ends, Hess reportedly resisted arrest and was tased in the back.

“For his size and build, Jamie possessed great strength and stamina which prevented officers from securing him quickly,” Officer Witkin wrote in his police report.

Another incident not recorded on video is when Police Officer Erik Simonson told Hess to stop resisting and hit Hess’ face and back. According to his police report, Officer Simonson also used two knee blows to Hess’ left shoulder and head.

The Meriden Police Department recently issued this statement:

If Mr. Hess or Mr. Parrish feel that they have been treated unfairly they have the option of filing a citizens complaint. It is the policy of the Meriden Police Department to accept and investigate any such complaints.

Hess’s wife Nadine Hess said her husband wants to wait until his criminal charges from the incident are cleared before pursuing a lawsuit or complaint.

WTNH reports that Parrish plead guilty to a misdemeanor, while Hess was charged with interfering with an officer, possession of narcotics and improper use of traffic signals. Hess has pleaded not guilty.

Sources: WTNH and