Testifying at an assault trial on Wednesday, a Cortez Police Department officer admitted under oath that he violated the city’s stun gun policy in the Valentine’s Day confrontation.
On the witness stand for about 2½ hours, patrol officer Boyd Neagle said under cross-examination that he defied the department’s stun gun policy in three ways. Shane French, 38, of Cortez is charged with multiple counts of assaulting peace officers and resisting arrest.
The stun gun policy, in part, requires officers to announce the use of the gun before it’s deployed, document if it was used without a required warning and include a separate two-page stun gun form with any arrest or crime report. Neagle said he violated all three.
“I’ve never seen that form,” Neagle testified.
Stunning French seven times, Neagle said he gave a verbal warning only once. Records show French was stunned twice in 11 seconds as officers attempted to handcuff him.
“He was not complying,” said Neagle.
After French was in custody, Neagle stunned him five times in 2½ minutes as officers patted him down for weapons and contraband. At least four officers were involved in the search.
“There was a continuous, ongoing fight,” said Neagle.
According to department guidelines, officers are trained to use stun guns for compliance only, Neagle testified that one shouldn’t be used as punishment.
A 10-minute police video shown to jurors revealed that French repeatedly asked officers why he was being apprehended and stunned.
“I’m so sorry,” French moaned.
Officers responded by telling French to “shut up.” In the video, officers also used profanity, calling French a “stupid (expletive deleted).”