Janice Wells called police after hearing what she thought was a prowler outside her rural Georgia home.
The third-grade teacher ended up getting tortured by two officers who tasered and peppered-sprayed her continuously.
All because she refused to provide officers with the name of her friend who had just left her home.
The horrifying incident, which can be seen in the above video, was caught on one of the officer’s dash cams.
Although both officers lost their jobs over the incident, one of the officers is already working as a deputy in a neighboring county.
Ryan Smith, the 22-year-old Lumpkin police officer who pulled up to the scene and immediately began tasing Wells in a sadistic manner, is now gainfully employed at the Chattahoochee County Sheriff’s Office.
I called the Chattahoochee Sheriff’s Office at (706) 989-3644 to ask Sheriff Glynn Cooper if he thought that hiring Smith could possibly be a liability.
He has yet to return my call.
Tim Murphy, the 52-year-old Richland police officer who first responded to the scene and then pepper-sprayed Wells after she refused to identify her friend – a man whom he actually interviewed before sending him on his way – is apparently taking it easy before he accepts any job offers.
Lumpkin Police Chief Steven Ogle, who was going to fire Smith before he resigned, said he was shocked when he viewed the video, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Ogle said. “You don’t use it [a Taser] for punitive reasons, to prod someone. It was evident it was an improper use of force. He was an excellent officer other than that incident.”
Stewart County Sheriff Larry Jones, who also responded to the scene, was also shocked.
“It was worse than what I thought it was. I was shocked,” the sheriff told the AJC.
“The public needs to know.”
Jones, who is black, believes the incident was racially motivated because the two officers were white and Wells is black.
Meanwhile, Wells, 57, is looking to file a lawsuit. This is how she described the incident to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“All of it’s just unreal to me. I was scared to death,” Wells said in an interview with the AJC. “He kept tasing me and tasing me. My fingernails are still burned. My leg, back and my butt had a long scar on it for days.”
It all started on April 26 when Wells called police to report what she thought was a prowler. Her husband was out of town, so she called her friend of 26 years, John Robinson, to wait with her.
When Officer Murphy arrived, he asked Robinson a few questions, but did not think to ask him his name, not that it would have mattered because there was no indication that he was the reason Wells had called police.
When he asked Wells for her friend’s name, she refused to provide it.
“’You don’t need to know that,’” Murphy wrote in his report was Wells’ response. “I told her that she would need to give me the information that I needed or she would be arrested for obstruction. I explained that state law mandates that we investigate to determine if there has been any family violence.”
This is how Murphy described the incident in his report:
“Janice then backed up from me in a fight or flight stance and I grabbed her arm and placed a handcuff on it,” Murphy wrote. “She pulled away and she took off. I sprayed her with pepper spray. I chased her around the house and tripped and fell, injuring my knee just as I caught up with her. As I was once again walking her to the car, she broke loose again and ran. She tripped and fell and I grabbed her again. As we got to the car, I attempted to get the other handcuff on her and get her in the car.”
So Murphy called for back-up but because there was no officer from his own department available, Smith from a neighboring department responded.
It is from his dash cam that we get to see what happened after he pulled up to the scene and begins tasering her.
“Don’t do that! Don’t do that!” Wells pleads.
“Get in the car. Get in the car. You’re going to get it again,” Smith responded.
“Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” Wells pleads again.
When reached by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Smith said he would likely do it again.
“I did what I had to do to take control of the situation,” Smith told the AJC about his decision to repeatedly discharge his Taser.