A Colorado police officer has been charged after he used a Taser on a seventy-five-year-old man without warning.
As per the Independent, a court document released Tuesday states the officer fired the weapon less than a minute after the man answered the door holding what has been described as a sword-like weapon, which he immediately dropped after being fired at.
According to an arrest affidavit, Michael Clark's neighbor called police on May 30th to report that he had punched his female roommate in the face. It has come to light that this report was false.
Idaho Springs Officer Nicholas Hanning has since been charged with third-degree assault.
According to an affidavit, Idaho Springs police did not announce themselves when they knocked on an elderly man's door, did not warn him before using a Taser, and when they accused him of punching a woman, he claimed it was false and he had been asleep. https://t.co/ENbFUkKed2 pic.twitter.com/rXwZ4ffc14
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) July 13, 2021
At 11 pm, Hanning turned up with another officer and knocked loudly on Clark's door twice without announcing he was a police officer. Clark eventually opened the door, yelling: "What do you want?" Without answering, Hanning forced him into a wall. Body camera footage showed Clark had what has been described as a "Hawaiian sword."
Clark put the weapon on top of a shelf but refused to comply with Hanning's commands to "get down" and "get out here." Clark said "No," and tried to tell him about his neighbors when Hanning used his Taser, causing Clark to fall and hit a chair.
The document said Hanning told a paramedic that arrived on the scene that he also kicked Clark in the knee and punched him in the back of the head.
Almost 6 weeks after the taser shock, Clark is still in the hospital after the attack caused him a whole host of health problems, including a stroke, a burst appendix, and hearing complications, said Clark's lawyer, Sarah Schielke.
"He is hanging on but not out of the woods," she said.
Schielke said Clark did not assault his neighbor and that if police picked up on the "multiple red flags" they would have realized this before things escalated the way they did.
Police and prosecutors said that Hanning and Clark got into a "physical altercation" and that the officer used his Taser after repeatedly asking him to put down his weapon and get down.
District Attorney Heidi McCollum's office reiterated this but also noted that Clark complied with the command to drop his weapon and that the orders given to him by the officers after that were "contradictory."
The arrest affidavit had not been made public at the request of Hanning's lawyer, but a judge ordered that it be released Tuesday following Clark's lawyer's request. The judge also ordered body camera video be made public by July 29th.
The new state law, which took effect when Jared Polis signed it on July 6th, requires unedited bodycam footage to be released within twenty-one days once a request is made.