• 57°

MHP officials dispute man’s taser account

Mississippi Highway Patrol authorities are disputing a BogueChitto man’s televised account of a March 10 incident in which hewas allegedly kicked, tasered and called racial slurs by troopersafter he left a Highway 51 roadblock.

C.L. Sanders, 39, of 1855 Highway 51 in Bogue Chitto, toldJackson television station WLBT that he stopped at a roadblock notfar from his house on March 10 and that he was brutalized afterleaving the scene to drive to his house just yards away.

When contacted by The DAILY LEADER, Sanders said his attorneyhad advised him not to say anything else.

Sanders told WLBT that he had drunk one beer before he pulled upto the roadblock, and that he’d assured the troopers there that hewould be able to pass a breathalyzer test. Then he told them he wasgoing to just pull up to his house and check on his children.

“I pulled on up to my door, and said ‘I’ve got to check on mykids, y’all got my license, I’ll be right back,'” said Sanders, whoclaimed he was tased seven times during the incident.

However, Highway Patrol Troop M Public Affairs Officer Sgt.Rusty Boyd said that was a little different than what officers sayhappened. Sanders allegedly pulled up to the roadblock with thesmell of an intoxicating beverage coming from his car and offeredan expired license.

“He was asked to pull up to the side so they could check thestatus,” Boyd said. “He said his vehicle was running badly and thathe needed to go up to his house, which was right there. He actedlike he was pulling over, but then he accelerated and pulled intohis driveway.”

Boyd said troopers saw the man escaping and two of them chasedhim into his yard on foot. Sanders left his car and ran to his doorof his home. When he wouldn’t stop and show troopers his hands,they deployed their tasers.

After the first tasing, Boyd said, one of the troopers put histaser down and went to handcuff Sanders, who began to resist again.The other officer activated his taser again, but Boyd said Sanderswould have received only a small shock from that as one of theprongs was lodged in his belt.

A third trooper got to the scene and they were all trying tosubdue him, and Sanders continued to resist, Boyd said, leading toa third tasing.

“When he kept fighting and they tased him a fourth time, he toldthem in so many words, ‘I’ve had enough,’ and they were finallyable to get him handcuffed,” Boyd said.

Boyd said whenever a subject fails to comply with directionsfrom law enforcement, it indicates a threat. That is why non-lethalforce is necessary.

“When anybody moves like that, whether it be in a vehicle or onfoot, we don’t know what they’re going after or why they acted inthat manner at that time,” he said. “We have to take precautions toprotect us and the others around us, obviously.”

Boyd pointed out that not only did the tasing keep trooperssafe, but also kept Sanders from serious injury.

“The courts have said that at the first sign that someone is notgoing to comply that we can use the taser, it’s non-lethal, andwithin seconds you’re back to normal – it’s a good way ofshortening a situation that would have gone on,” he said. “Yearsago all you could do is fight it out. This kept him from beinginjured and the troopers from being injured.”

According to jail records, Sanders has multiple arrests ondrinking and disorderly charges dating back as far as 1989.

In the latest incident, he was charged in this incident withresisting arrest, no proof of insurance, careless driving, drivingwith a suspended license, disorderly conduct, failure to comply andDUI. This is Sanders’ fourth arrest on DUI charges.