A black man in Georgia was tased after police officers mistook him for a different black man who had a warrant out for his arrest. The 24-year-old Georgia man Patrick Mumford was pulling into the driveway at his home when police approached him and asked him to get out of the car. Mumford asked numerous times, “what did I do?”, before police demanded that he get out or be tased. The man then asked to see the warrant but police began counting down, which led to the tasing of Mumford by the police officers. After the man was tased, police obtained his wallet and discovered they had the wrong man.
The Daily Mail reports that Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department officers were searching for a man, Michael Clay, who had a warrant out for his arrest. On February 1, officers saw a man matching the description of Clay and approached him as he exited his car. The man in the car refused to exit his vehicle to be handcuffed, and police say that a taser was eventually needed to ensure compliance. However, after tasing and handcuffing the man, the officers realized they had the wrong guy.
Patrick Mumford was driving home from a meeting with his probation officer when he was surrounded by police officers. Mumford was on probation for a non-violent first-time drug offense for having marijuana on his person and says he had no idea why the police were at his home. As the police approached, body cam footage taken from the incident showed Mumford asking the officers numerous times “what did I do?”. The police responded that they have a warrant out for his arrest and are taking him into custody. However, Mumford went on to question the warrant, noting that he was just with his probation officer and the officer said nothing about a warrant.
— Chelli Wolford (@IlluminatedMoxy) July 16, 2016
Mumford pressed further, asking to see the warrant as he has done nothing wrong. The police officers did not provide the warrant and instead told him to exit the vehicle. After a long exchange and Mumford requesting again and again to know what he had done, the police finally gave him an ultimatum: the man can get out of the car and be handcuffed or be tased. The man then asked again, “show me the warrant,” but police began counting down from three and ended up tasing the man after he began trying to shut the car door and demanding his friends call “his people.”
After tasing Mumford, the police removed him from the vehicle and got out his identification. The officers all seemed baffled when they pulled out the ID and quickly learned that Mumford was not the man they were looking for and began asking Mumford why he never provided his ID when asked. The officer told Mumford that he “doesn’t know” if Mumford has a warrant because he is “not the person we are looking for.” He then chastised the young man for not giving him his ID when requested.
— Brian (@Lafond66) July 15, 2016
However, as Mumford’s lawyer denoted in the video, Mumford was never asked for his ID but rather just told to get out of the car to be handcuffed. The police officers then tried to get neighbors nearby to confirm that Patrick looks like Michael but they are no help. Instead, a neighbor said “he is not Michael.” Patrick then told the police that “I said my name is Patrick,” which he did at the beginning of the conversation when he was confused about the encounter.
The police then told everyone outside who witnessed the account that Patrick looked “a lot” like Michael, but no one in the area agreed, saying the pair looked nothing alike. The police responded by saying it is “not that far off.” The police officer then said as he pointed to his body cam that he asked Patrick for his ID three times. A neighbor nearby said “that’s not right” and the officer again said “it is all on video.”
Mumford’s lawyers say the video proves the police never asked for his ID but rather just asked for his name which he gave. Now Patrick’s lawyer wants answers as his client has been charged with “Obstruction” despite giving the officers what they asked for, which they claim was only his name. He also points out that Patrick had to be taken to the hospital for removal of the taser prong from his back.
Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin, Sr. says that Mumford’s law firm cut the footage to make it look more damning and that it is “misleading and intended to be inflammatory.” In response, the Claiborne Law Firm released a second video that is uncut.
What do you think after watching the body cam footage?
[Image via Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department mugshot]