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Woman sues city of McAlester, others after Taser incident

by Andrew Knittle Modified: November 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm •  Published: November 28, 2012

Jeremy Beaver, a local attorney representing Williams in her civil case, said the criminal charges filed against Taylor-Santino should bode well for his client's case in federal court.

“It just reaffirmed our position that she's a victim of a crime,” Beaver said. “We felt that from the beginning, so when they filed the charges, yes, that just confirmed what we've thought all along.”

Video of incident

The June 24 incident was captured on video and shows Taylor-Santino pressing a Taser against the woman's chest before discharging the weapon.

The video shows the officer stunning Williams at point-blank range, within 40 seconds of her entering the booking area.

Court records allege Williams, 27, 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 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.”

Taylor-Santino was 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, records show.

Taylor-Santino 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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