by Rodney Wardle, News Channel 3 Reporter
The video, now made famous by youtube and other sites, shows San Louis Obisbo man Christopher Felch tasered by police at the Coachella Music Festival. Police asked the man to put his close on. He refused and resisted when officers tried dressing him. They eventually used their taser to subdue the man. Law enforcement’s use of tasers varies which each department.
“Some departments are going to the taser prior to going to the baton or if theres an incident with a lot of people or a closed indoor area you may not want to use the pepper spray and therefore go directly to the taser so each department has there own policy and procedure that they follow,” says David Chandler, President of the Coachella Valley Security Academy.
Three officers made the arrest, two from Indio P.D.and one Banning, he’s the one who tasered the man police say was drunk in public. We couldn’t reach the Banning Police Department for comment. Video shows the officers tasing the man several times after the first tase. Dozen sat and watched the incident unfold, making it hard for officers to use other non-lethal weapons.
“From somebody looking on from a distance it may look like it’s excessive force but it’s a lot less lethal then using a baton on someone or pepper spray on entire crowd,” says Chandler.
There’s a difference between a consumer taser and a law enforcement taser. The consumer taser’s last 30 seconds so the victim can taser the suspect can drop the taser and run away. Law Enforcement taser’s last 5 seconds just enough time for the officer to gain control of the suspect.
Some festival-goers supported Felch, some even going up and shaking the man’s hand. They voiced their anger after police tasered the man. The incident has the internet community talking. Indio Police are confident they did what’s right.
“Everybody’s entitled to give there opinions and what not. All our purpose is that people are safe and enjoy themselves and be able to leave on there own terms and not break the law,” says Indio Police Department’s Ben Guitron.