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McAlester police officer charged with assault frequently used his Taser, police say

A McAlester police officer charged with assault with a dangerous weapon for using his Taser on a handcuffed woman in June has a history of deploying the nonlethal device in the course of his duty. McAlester is in southeastern Oklahoma.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: October 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm •  Published: October 24, 2012

Court records allege Williams was arrested after being drunk in public the night before and that she was being combative with officers before arriving at the Pittsburg County jail.

Williams has a lengthy history of trouble with the law in Pittsburg and Okmulgee counties, including arrests on possession of controlled substances, failure to provide adequate care for her children and public intoxication complaints.

After a brief argument — during which time Williams allegedly spit on the officer — the footage shows Taylor-Santino walking up to the woman and pressing the Taser against her left breast, nearly causing her to fall over.

A bolt of bluish-white light glows for an instant when the officer fires the Taser.

And while Williams never falls to the ground, her lawyer claims the more serious injuries occurred after the Taser was used. He said McAlester police officers violated the department's policy when they removed the Taser's barbs right there in the jail.

“They sat her down on a bench and yanked them out ... they were embedded in her upper-left breast, if you can imagine,” Beaver said. “They were supposed to take her to the hospital to remove those.”

Beaver said he soon will file a civil lawsuit against the officer and possibly others for their roles in the incident.

Taylor-Santino, who was arrested last week and released on his own recognizance, remains on restricted duty pending the resolution of the case. He was previously suspended two weeks without pay for using his Taser on Williams, police said.

Williams recently received a three-year suspended sentence for her actions in June, Beaver said. The officer is due back in court Dec. 14 for a preliminary hearing conference.

by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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