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Springfield Leaders React to Police Tasing Arrests
Video of a pregnant woman being tased and arrested has been viewed more than 10,000 times on YouTube. It was captured and posted by a witness. It shows the arrest of Lucinda White and Frederic Thomas, not what led up to it.
That information is detailed in the police report. According to the report, officers told Frederic Thomas multiple times to stop yelling and cursing, then to stop resisting when the officer tried to arrest him.
Thomas and the cop wrestled for several minutes while the woman with Thomas, Lucinda White, pulled on the officer.
Eventually, a second officer showed up after a call for help. Both officers told White, who is eight months pregnant, and Thomas to stop resisting or they would be tased.
"He forced me to the ground, made me lay on my stomach," White told ABC NewsChannel 20. "Are you serious? I'm pregnant. Next thing I see is this yellow gun."
Both White and Thomas were tased, wrestled to the ground and arrested.
"The video actually mirrors the reports they turned in before we knew about the video," Springfield Police Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher said. "Everything I've seen and read so far, they followed policy, they haven't been outside of our policies at all. We're still doing an internal review on it, but at this point, it looks like they did everything they should have."
Buscher added all reports involving use of force by an officer go through a process for review.
"We keep track, make sure there are no patterns, everybody's following policy," he said. "This one's getting a little more scrutiny."
Springfield Mayor Mike Houston admitted there's always the possibility of a lawsuit against the city, but echoed the idea officers did nothing wrong.
"It does not appear to be a violation of department policy," Houston said after Tuesday's city council meeting. "The problem was caused by the fact that a police officer was attacked."
According to the police report, two officers were hurt while struggling with White and Thomas. They received mostly minor cuts and scrapes.
Preliminary charges, according to the police report, are aggravated battery to a police officer and resisting arrest for both White and Thomas.
White refused EMS treatment at the scene Saturday. She and Thomas will be in court May 1.
ABC NewsChannel 20 spoke with the Taser company by phone. Springfield police did use the weapon properly, according to their standards. However, they warn about secondary injuries like falling, because it could impact pregnancy.
To see the entire seven-minute YouTube clip of the arrest, click here. (WARNING: This video contains obscene language.)
To see a copy of the police report, click here. (WARNING: Police report contains obscene language.)