Police Tased Carlos Sanders Over a Traffic Warrant, but They Had the Wrong Carlos Sanders

Taser and police tape.jpg
Carlos Sanders was at home in Burleson with his young son on January 31 when there was a knock on the door. He opened it to find two cops standing there, holding a warrant.

Exactly what happened next depends on whom you ask. Sanders says in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that the two officers burst into his home, "electrocuted Sanders multiple times with a taser, threw him to the floor, and arrested him over the terrified screams of his young son who was begging the Officers not to hurt his daddy."

Godley Police Chief James Healy begs to differ. "No one burst into his house," he tells Unfair Park. His officers, identified in the lawsuit as Greg Sharp and Joseph Owens, were in Burleson to help with a Johnson County-wide warrant roundup. When they told Sanders he was under arrest for unresolved traffic violations out of Mansfield, he resisted.

Healy acknowledges that the officers used their Tasers, and he agrees with Sanders on another key point: The cops had the wrong Carlos Sanders.

"Afterwards it was determined that although we had the right name and address as they were listed on the warrant, the date of birth was wrong," Healy says. The Carlos Sanders who was arrested was innocent.

They sorted this out while Sanders sat handcuffed in the back of a squad car outside his home. They ultimately let him go, but not before he experienced "shame, embarrassment, humiliation, mental anguish, pain and suffering," and an injured shoulder, all of which he would like Owens, Sharp, the city of Godley and the city of Mansfield to compensate him for.

Healy isn't very sympathetic to his cause.

"Had he given the officers probably five seconds of their time, he could have avoided this," he says. "So as far as I'm concerned the ball was in his court, not ours."

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50 comments
MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

Why do these people mouth off or resist?  The police are there to arrest you.  They are leaving with your dumb behind, conscious or unconscious.  No other option exists.  You will not convince them otherwise.  Talking trash or physically resisting will not help one whit and only exposes to charges that may be more punishing than original ones.  You need to move the situation from one where you have no power to one closely monitored by the courts.  You don't see white collar perps on Law & Order resist? Why?  Do drug king pins resist?  Of course not and they are guilty.  They are smart.  You call your lawyer, the lawyer discusses situation, shows the mistake and you leave. 

parmstronyahoo.com
parmstronyahoo.com

pray your not next folks, this is how the citizens of Hamburg felt in 1938.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

This is how they will accidentally Seize your fire arms . 

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

Not listed in this post was that the correct Carlos Sanders was arrested 2 days prior to this incident

So for unpaid trafic violations (a non violent crime) the officers justify tasering an innocent citizen.

No shit he resisted, they had the wrong person, anyone's normal reaction would be to resist.

And for the police chief to condone his officers actions, should be grounds for dismissal for incompetence.

WatchingSouthDetroit
WatchingSouthDetroit

Hey Healy - the ball was in your court.  If your gestapo agents had spent 5 seconds of their time to find the right person, this wouldn't have happened.  Talk about blaming the victim.  This police chief needs his butt kicked out of office.

Cowtown
Cowtown

Johnson County jack-booted thugs.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Interested in a follow-up article to get the verified details of what happened.

FEDUP
FEDUP

STUPID FUCKING COPS USELESS AS TITS ON A NUN!


holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

you can only be electrocuted once.

Daniel
Daniel

Why the hell would anybody believe a cop -- especially in a redneck Texas suburb? Maybe over the word of somebody with a shady rap sheet, but not over an ordinary citizen. Cops have no credibility. 

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

WTF is UNgodley doing sending 2 of their 3 total officers to help Burleson? Not surprised. Most small towns under 1000 lack police and fire training.

TexMarine
TexMarine

"Had he given the officers probably five seconds of their time, he could have avoided this," he says. "So as far as I'm concerned the ball was in his court, not ours."

How is this not a true statement? Why would you not chose wisely when your child is in view? Come on.

alteredjustice
alteredjustice

"electrocuted Sanders multiple times with a taser"

Wow, is he a zombie/vampire?

rogernorthup1
rogernorthup1

"Until we sort out OUR obvious mistake, we won't shove you against the wall and painfully handcuff you, or shoot your dog, or electrocute you, or otherwise physically and emotionally assert our authority over you," said no cop ever.

wilson.ethan
wilson.ethan

We eletrocuted you, it's all your fault. ARE YOU SORRY??

IknowYouLie
IknowYouLie

@ghmovinup If you actually saw what happened then you should be called as a witness in the case.  

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@ebailey75057 In all fairness, "Carlos" is a brownish sounding name.  I'm sure they were following unofficial DPD policy.

oilman
oilman

jjohns769; ...regarding your statement -"You cannot resist even if the search or arrest is illegal'...this would be so true in a world where the citizen has no rights and the police are the judge and jury in addition to peace officer...or maybe under martial law...but in our nation of laws, the law applies equally to all citizens - whether they are peace officers, unemployed, or etc. and there is nothing that says a citizen cannot resist unjust and illegal activity on the part of the police...true enough, resisting may provoke a crooked cop into killing or shocking the resister, but some things are worth the repercussions...

bifftannen
bifftannen

@jjohns769 Its "police work", not "suspect work". If you accuse somebody of crime, it is your responsibility to back up your accusation. That includes absolutely basic police work as identifying the correct person. If you can't, then perhaps you should be working at a McDonald's or something along those lines.

It is especially necessary to resist now, because the deck is stacked against you once you are booked. The arrest record hits the newspapers, your mugshot hits the mugshot sites. People (including the police and judges) think if you get arrested, you're automatically guilty. Police don't issue retractions, and they sure as hell don't apologize. Thin blue line, indeed.

Daniel
Daniel

@Daniel Officer Johns, your superiors have warned you numerous times about jumping in the comments fray on blog items concerning law enforcement activities in Burleson ("Come for the Golden Corral. Stay for the research scientists!"). Now do as your told and promptly delete it. 

observist
observist topcommenter

@TexMarine   That sounds to me the cops tased him within 5 seconds of his "resistance", which was probably something to the effect of "Hey, no, I don't have any traffic tickets you've got the wro....ZZZZZZAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tasers are a great non-lethal alternative to a gun, but a shitty alternative to a couple minutes of patient persuasion, which is how we hear about them being used more and more often.

john.mcachran
john.mcachran

@TexMarine Unless he was a threat they had no right to tase him. It is not to be used simply because someone is not being friendly. They also had no right to be at the door, meaning he had no obligation to comply. A warrant for the wrong person does not give you the right to enter the house.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

"This aggression will not stand"

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@bifftannen Bif -- It sounds noble and freedom-loving as all get-out, but the cold reality is that your argument is an exercise in infantile futility. There's just no way that anyone, guilty or innocent, is going to win by resisting the cops. Go quietly, then let your lawyer sort it out. What sort of trauma did his kid suffer because of daddy's proud, but rash resistance?  

Daniel
Daniel

*you're*

Jesus, I deserve whatever scorn comes my way for that one.


CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@observist @TexMarine If that is the truth -- which of course we don't know -- that sort of behavior should be punished as excessive force.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@john.mcachran @TexMarine Sounds as if mistakes were made on both sides. The cops had the wrong guy and possibly used excessive force. Sanders showed a lack of common sense by resisting and should have calmly submitted while explaining in measured tones that they had the wrong guy. Who, in their right mind, thinks it's ever OK to be aggressive with a police officer?

IKnowYouLie
IKnowYouLie

@ghmovinup @IknowYouLie I didn't think my comment was being idiotic.  If you have different information than what's being told all I was saying is that you should be a witness against it.  I personally wouldn't call my neighbor out on a public site that they could potently read if I had at any time been in fear of that person.  

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@bhendon64 Perhaps. My comment stands. Don't resist. You can't win that way. If the cops want to take you in, they'll take you in on your own feet, on a gurney, or in a body bag. Go along peacefully and turn it over to your lawyer. Anything else is willful self-destruction.

bhendon64
bhendon64

@bmarvel @bifftannen you make the assumption they didn't rush in and take him down like he said. He probably told them they had the wrong guy that is resisting to them, tackle and taser.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@mjo0 @CogitoErgoSum Oh, I've had my run-ins -- been forcibly subdued -- and I've learned the hard way that they are the boss, whether you or I like it or not.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@oilman @CogitoErgoSum To a police officer, non-compliance (resisting their demands) certainly would constitute being aggressive. Sure, they have to obey the law, but if they suspect you of wrongdoing -- whether they are mistaken or not -- you best do as told, lest you end up getting tazed as this hot-headed dummy did.

oilman
oilman

@CogitoErgoSum ; Not complying with a police officer does not necessarily mean being "aggressive".  And (just for your information) there have been cases where being "aggressive" with crooked police might have saved some lives.  The police are not God.  They are people who have been trusted to do the job of law enforcement.  They have to obey laws just like every other person.  Of course, we all know about how prosecutors, police, judges, and citizens who don't know better always give the breaks to police.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@juanmayeaux @CogitoErgoSum Thanks, Captain Obvious. However, they'll be much more likely to listen to a calm person who is not resisting than someone who is. Apparently, all they needed was a few minutes to check his ID to verify they had the wrong guy. Had he calmly submitted to getting in the cruiser, it would have amounted to a simple mistake and an apology from the cops.

Also, the antonym of "aggressive" is "passive." Would "resisting" in any substantial manner be considered passive? No, passive would have been remaining calm and not sassing dudes who are trained to respond effectively to idiots who talk back. I'm no lover of cops, but I know better than to give them one iota of attitude.

observist
observist topcommenter

@CogitoErgoSum There's nothing in the article that says he was aggressive - just the cops' claim that he "resisted", which could amount to him not immediately following 100% of their orders, in his own home on the basis of an incorrect warrant.  I think a lot of otherwise completely law-abiding people might "resist" in such a way. 

juanmayeaux
juanmayeaux

@CogitoErgoSum How many times do the COPS hear they have the wrong guy and believe the suspect? I will answer for you, NEVER.

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