DA gives Lancaster use of force policy recommendations after taser incident review

Local

The Lancaster County District Attorney says the officer who tased an unarmed man sitting on the sidewalk did not commit a crime. The DA’s Office released its review of the incident that sparked outrage when it went viral on social media in June.

No charges are being filed. 

The DA says the officer was following the Lancaster Police Department’s current use of force policies when he tased Sean Williams.

We reached out to the Lancaster Police Department for an interview Wednesday after the review was released, but were told to call back Thursday since supervisors had left.

Williams’ attorney released a statement, saying in part, “We hope this case brings reform and halts the use of excessive force in Lancaster, and that a terrible incident of this nature never happens again.”

While the DA does not have authority over a city’s use of force procedures, it still gave recommendations, which the office says it won’t release publicly.

abc27 News requested that memorandum and is waiting to hear back.

The Lancaster Mayor’s Chief of Staff Matt Johnson says the city is looking forward to getting those suggestions.

“We were already well-aware that we were going to need to change the use of force policy,” said Johnson. “We were actually going to do that even before the June 28th incident, so it was not a surprise to us, and we’ve already been doing the work to change it.”

Johnson says the Mayor’s Office is accepting feedback on its revised use of force policy that’s currently being developed. 

“The old policy included the taser use at the level of pepper spray, and we felt that that was one thing that really wasn’t thought about very hard at the time,” said Johnson. “The new use of force policy has a specific taser policy that explains exactly when it can be used at when it can’t be used.”

The city will look for suggestions at a meeting Thursday night, where community members will talk about their relationships with police officers. That discussion is at 6:30 p..m. at the Bright Side Baptist Church.

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