Lancaster officer will not face disciplinary action following tasing incident

On Friday, Mayor Danene Sorace addressed a spotlight hanging above the city,A viral video last Thursday shows ...

Posted: Jul 9, 2018 1:41 PM
Updated: Jul 9, 2018 1:41 PM

On Friday, Mayor Danene Sorace addressed a spotlight hanging above the city,

A viral video last Thursday shows an incident involving a Lancaster police officer using a taser to subdue 27-year old Sean Williams.

Authorities say Williams wasn't complying with their orders while advocates say conflicting orders led to an unnecessary use of force.

Mayor Sorace says the officer involved will not be fired or suspended for the incident.

"The preliminary findings of the investigation are that his actions complied with the city's current use of force and taser policies, which authorizes use in various situations including a failure to respond to multiple verbal commands," said Sorace.

Following the incident, Sorace says changes are coming.

A revision of the use of force and taser policy will allow officers to only tase a suspect if faced with direct physical confrontation.

Also next year, every sworn officer will be equipped with a body camera.

The city is currently pursing grant money through the Department of Justice to pay for $500,000 in body cameras.

Sorace said a pilot program of the body cameras will start by the end of this year, with or without the grant money.

"In isolation, we know body cameras cannot address all concerns. But they can provide a measure of hope and transparency for our community and for the police, as well," said Sorace

Further steps Sorace says they plan to take will include a push to recruit a more diverse group of officers.

They will also look to appoint a panel made of community leaders to be a part of the development, review, and revision of the new policies.

Sorace asks anyone who may be interested in being considered for the panel to contact the city.

Lancaster NAACP leaders and activists with Lancaster Stands Up say they are disappointed the officer will not receive disciplinary action.

But Eliza Booth with Lancaster Stands Up is optimistic about the city's plan, saying she believes the steps are needed to hold people accountable.

"Not just your superior, the people that you work for here in the city...It is the citizens that you are here to protect and serve and that we are able to hold people accountable when there are cases of injustice," said Booth.

Sorace said the changes won't be a quick fix but can put Lancaster at the forefront of police-community relations reform.

"I feel such a deep and profound responsibility to this community to binding up the hurt, addressing the concerns, and implementing the changes I have outlined," said Sorace.

The Lancaster County District Attorney's Office is still conducting it's own independent review of the incident to determine if there was any criminal conduct.

Williams is also seeking $75,000 in personal damages through a federal excessive force lawsuit.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 779491

Reported Deaths: 14893
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2585166330
Riverside566811153
San Bernardino51750858
Orange516461123
San Diego44007757
Kern31148340
Fresno27487355
Sacramento21171375
Alameda20364370
Santa Clara20129295
San Joaquin19793414
Stanislaus16229329
Contra Costa15640198
Tulare15517256
Ventura12167142
Imperial11534312
San Francisco1064096
Monterey933765
San Mateo9332142
Santa Barbara8803109
Merced8719133
Kings715877
Sonoma6987114
Marin6522112
Solano608555
Madera429658
Placer340741
San Luis Obispo333227
Yolo273253
Butte272033
Santa Cruz21758
Sutter163110
Napa159213
San Benito127211
Yuba11127
El Dorado10584
Mendocino82218
Lassen7310
Shasta66814
Glenn5483
Nevada5035
Colusa5026
Tehama4874
Humboldt4826
Lake43310
Calaveras30513
Amador28616
Tuolumne2204
Inyo18714
Mono1632
Siskiyou1600
Del Norte1351
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc230
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Oroville
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 65°
Paradise
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 66°
Chester
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 44°
Red Bluff
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 74°
Willows
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Most of the forecast will remain pleasant and seasonable with big changes possible by next weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events