Police Officer Found Not Guilty After Tasing Unresponsive Native American Man 28 TimesBy Zak Cheney-Rice
Dec. 17, 2015
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Former Oglala Sioux Tribe police officer Rebecca Sotherland was found not guilty of using unreasonable force by a federal jury last week. The indictment against her stemmed from an August 2014 incident where she used a Taser an estimated 28 times on an unresponsive man in Manderson, South Dakota.
The ex-officer faced three criminal charges, including "deprivation of constitutional rights, assault with a dangerous weapon and obstruction of a federal investigation by filing a false report," according to Indian Country Today Media Network. The Rapid City jury acquitted her of all three counts on Dec. 8, after a weeklong trial.
On Aug. 15, 2014, Sotherland, 33, was caught on video repeatedly tasing an intoxicated man named Jeffrey Eagle Bull. The Associated Press reported Bull, then 32, had drank a gallon of vodka. He had a blood alcohol content level of 0.319 four hours after consuming his last drink and was lying on the ground apparently too drunk to stand as Sotherland tried moving him into her patrol vehicle. Bull was not seriously injured in the August 2014 incident.
Below is cellphone video of the incident, recorded by a passerby. A 26-minute recording was also captured on the former officer's body camera and shown during Sotherland's trial.