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Ohio Police Use Taser On 82-Year-Old Man

From WBOY 12
June 23, 2005

Martins Ferry, Ohio: On Saturday morning 82-year old Alfred Jim Edwards reportedly urinated in Martins Ferry's City Park. Police say they questioned him about the urinating, and he started to walk away several times....and finally they say he resisted arrest. Police then used a taser on the man.

Edwards' family says he has dementia and he was frightened and confused, but never combative. Martins Ferry Police Chief Barry Carpenter called the FBI in to investigate, and they say if they find there was excessive force or civil rights violations, the officer will face discipline

FBI Investigates Alleged Police Brutality In Martins Ferry

POSTED: 6:30 p.m. EDT June 22, 2005

MARTINS FERRY, OH -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into accusations of police brutality in one local community.

The Martins Ferry Police Department requested the third party investigation after an officer used a stun gun on an 82-year-old man earlier this month.

According to Police Chief Barry Carpenter, officers received two complaint calls of an elderly man urinating at the city park in the eyesight of children on June 11. One officer searched the area and stopped James Edwards as he was walking on Zane Highway.

According to information from the officer's report, Carpenter says the officer asked for the man's identification, but Edwards walked away. Carpenter says the officer put his hand on the man's arm to stop him, and that's when the man allegedly got combative. Carpenter says Edwards put his hands in fists in a defensive motion and got in a scuffle with the officer, and that's when the officer put Edwards on the hood of the squad car and used a stun gun on his lower back.

However, a witness to the arrest says Edwards did not try to fight with the officer, and he says the officer was too rough with the elderly man.

Edwards' sons, James and Dave, both say the officer used excessive force on their elderly father. They say Edwards did not get into a scuffle with the officer, and they say he did not clench his hands into fists. They say their father has a mild case of dementia and did not know what was going on when he got stunned in his back.

His family says they are asking that the officer leave the Martins Ferry Police Department for the safety of other elderly residents. They say they don't want this to happen to anyone else.

Chief Carpenter says he has been advised by the city law director not to take any disciplinary action until the FBI finishes its investigation.

Jill Del Greco, NEWS9

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