SPRINFIELD (CBS) – A Springfield police officer faces several charges after body camera footage showed him tasing a woman even after she said she was pregnant.
Leon Davis, 35, of Springfield, has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon against a pregnant victim.
Police responded to the Tower Square Hotel in September for calls about a man and a woman who refused to vacate their hotel room. The woman allegedly made threats to hotel staff through the hotel room’s door and made offensive comments to the police officers.
According to body camera footage, Davis was unable to open the hotel room door, and a hand can be seen wrapped around the door. It appears that Davis applies the taser to the hand and then the officers enter the room.
When Davis entered the room, the body camera shows a woman crouched on the floor. She raises her hands and begins to apologize. The footage shows Davis respond, “You wanna play those games, huh?” and tases her shoulder. The woman says several times that she is pregnant, and Davis appears to tase her a third time and, as he is trying to put handcuffs on her, a fourth time.
“The evidence shows that this officer’s actions are clearly outside of his training, as they were punitive and grossly excessive, and therefore criminal. This type of conduct has no place in policing and police officers who engage in abusive and excessive uses of force must be identified and immediately re-trained or fired. As we have seen here and across the country, this kind of misconduct undermines the trust that the community must have in its police departments and serves to sully and frustrate the work and reputation of the many good police officers who make up the vast majority of those departments,” Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni said.
Davis will be arraigned in Springfield District Court in April.