Police in Kansas are under fire for allegedly using a stun gun on a 91-year-old Alzheimer's patient in an effort to subdue the man at a nursing home.
The Daily Mail reports that Ottaway County Undersheriff Russ Thornton was filmed discharging his stun gun at the elderly Alzheimer’s sufferer and then handcuffing him on the ground as the man writhed in pain.
Thornton and a fellow officer had been called to the Good Samaritan Nursing Center in Minneapolis, where the 91-year-old, known only as Lee, had reportedly assaulted another resident.
The officers were trying to convince Lee to come with them to his doctor’s appointment when the incident allegedly occurred.
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The department claims the officers used force in response to Lee becoming violent. Footage shows Lee slapping the officer’s hand away as they tried to escort him out of the retirement home.
“All you’ve got to do is stand up and walk,” one officer says.
“I want to eat,” Lee responds.
Lee then rises to his feet and lunges at the officer in front of him. That is what prompted Thornton to fire his stun gun at Lee's back.
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Lee then fell to the ground and screamed in pain, where he was handcuffed in front of a shocked nursing home community.
According to personal protection expert Joe Schillaci, more damage could have been done to Lee if the officers had tried to physically restrain him. "It's easy for us as citizens to sit back and watch that and be taken aback by that. It's difficult to watch.”
Schillaci says that using the weapon on Lee actually could have prevented further injury. “[A physical confrontation with officers] most definitely with his age, would have caused some pretty good injury," Schillaci said. "They deploy a taser and incapacitate him immediately."
The sheriff’s office claims that the officers acted appropriately, and no charges have been filed against them.