Kaiyan Radell Dixon, a freshman business administration major from Troy and non-fraternity affiliate, was tased by campus police after not showing proper identification when requested.
Dixon was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing government operations at Alpha Tau Omega’s OcTauberfest last Thursday. He was suspected of smoking marijuana at the fraternity’s annual Halloween party, according to John McCall, chief of university police.
“We had a subject who was suspected of smoking marijuana at the ΑΤΩ party this past weekend,” McCall said.
McCall said some of the brothers smelled marijuana being burned inside of the ΑΤΩ house and went outside to notify the officer who was covering the party.
The officer then walked through the house, and Dixon was identified by one of the brothers as the one smoking marijuana. The tasing incident started when Dixon refused to comply, according to McCall.
The officer asked for Dixon’s identification, but he refused to render his identification according to McCall and Dixon.
“The party was ending, and I was walking out,” Dixon said. “The officer put his hands on me before even asking to see my identification.”
Dixon said he asked the officer why he had to show his ID, and he said the officer replied by saying that Dixon was on private property and that he must present his license when it is requested.
Dixon said he did not see what that had to do with showing his ID, so he continued to refuse, which is when the officer called for backup.
According to the police report, the officer took out a Taser (stun gun) becauseDixon had taken a combative stance. He continued to ask Dixon for his ID.
When other units did arrive, the first officer told Dixon he was under arrest.
“As soon as the backup arrived, they automatically grabbed me and forced me to the ground,” Dixon said. “I was tased, even after I was already on the ground.”
The university’s police report stated that Dixon was tased twice, with one Taser.
Dixon’s account differed.
“When I was being tased, I felt three shocks: two on my side and one in my back,” Dixon said. “I felt like I was about to blackout.”
McCall said there is a policy as to when an officer can use a Taser or equal force.
“It has to be a situation where the officer is trying to keep anyone from getting injured,” McCall said.
McCall also said that any type of force could be used when a subject is being unruly and could pose danger to the officer or observing subjects.
“We use an X26 Taser that has a voltage of 50,000 volts,” McCall said. “It locks up the muscles, and you go into a complete shock.”
McCall said that when the voltage is taken away, you are back to normal after four to five seconds, but the experience is still painful.
Because of the circumstances of the situation, McCall said the officer with the Taser removed the cartridge of the Taser, preparing to apply a ‘dry stun.’ The cartridge is the piece of the weapon that holds probes, which are electrified and actually stick to the subject being tased.
“It’s a safety issue,” McCall said.
Whichever force the officer decides to use is completely up to the officer, and McCall said the courts back the decision.
Le’Metrius Rowe, a senior biomedical sciences major from Alexander City said, “When anyone is seen as being harmful to others in a situation like this, including themselves, I think it is important that the police use some type of force.”
“You never know how far the situation may climax if something isn’t done, especially when something unpredictable, like this, is happening. Yes, the Taser hurts, but isn’t that the point of any type of defensive force?”
Dixon said after he was tased, he was arrested and was not read his rights.
Whether this was done or not is not apparent. The written police report did not mention it.
Dixon said he did not know about the marijuana claims.
On Wednesday, Dixon said he still has marks on his body from the Taser. “I felt like I was being racially-profiled. All I did was ask a question.”
Dixon, a 22-year old black male, was released from jail the morning of Oct. 25 with a bond of $250. He faces possible fines up to $1500.