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March 27, 2013

Investigation in tasing incident shows no improper action took place

CHICKASHA — Chickasha Police Officer David Harper-Head has returned to work after an internal investigation by CPD showed no improper use of force in a weekend incident that left a man in critical condition after being tased by CPD officers.

“What we have is a case of a person who failed to stop for an officer, fled on foot, refused to comply with the orders of the officer, and a Taser was used, he then still refused to comply and struggled with officers until he was finally handcuffed,” said Chickasha Police Chief Eddie Adamson. “Although it is unfortunate that he had a medical episode after this incident, the actions of the suspect are what should be focused upon in this matter.”

Officer Harper-Head initiated the traffic stop that lead to tasing, after observing the suspect, Kevin Branom. Harper-Head made the initial Taser deployment and was placed on routine administrative leave while the use of force was reviewed.

“After the suspect failed to stop the vehicle he was driving after an officer tried to stop him for running up on the curb, he jumped out of the car and ran until ultimately he stopped running and was confronted by officers,” said Adamson. “He then refused to follow the orders of the officers to get on the ground and ultimately a Taser was used which took him to the ground as intended. As he fell he broke one of the leads from the deployed Taser cartridge and then started getting back up in spite of being given commands to stay on the ground. Another Taser was deployed but at the conclusion of the five second cycle from the Taser he refused the orders to stay on the ground. By that time another officer had arrived and they decided to use hands on techniques to subdue the suspect. After a brief struggle with officers he was eventually handcuffed.”

The suspect has a lengthy history of drug abuse and arrests according to Adamson

He said he believed Branom's use of amphetamines prior to and during this incident played a role in his health issues.

The District Attorney’s office has been contacted and the case file is being submitted for criminal charges on the suspect, according to the release.

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