To be honest…

To be honest with you I was shocked last week, when we broke Jerami Young’s story. Young was tasered several times in front of his home and in a jail cell, as the Clare County Sheriff’s Department with the backing of the Prosecutor arrested him on a trumped up charge that was later tossed out of Court.

We printed the story, but I didn’t know how much of what Young was saying was truth or fiction. I had a hard time believing our local law enforcement personnel would behave the way Young described. A hard time that is until I viewed the video of his arrest and subsequent jail cell tasering.

The video which can be seen on several Facebook sites, including my own, shows Young, the father of six children, in his Farwell home, being approached by Deputy Kahsin. Kahsin demands that Young come to the door and then out of his house- he did ask him several times. Young, who by no means was confrontational, kept questioning Kahsin as to why he was being asked to come out, and was he being charged with a crime. I guess you could say he was resisting because he didn’t immediately come out.

He eventually did walk outside. Meantime two other police officers arrived at the scene and they proceeded to question Young for 40 minutes. Eventually they decided to charge him with a bond violation, and tasered him several times because he was tensing up when they tried to put the handcuffs on him.

He was then escorted to the Clare County Jail, and tossed into a cell without other prisoners. He asked the corrections officers for food, and their response was none was available until the morning. Extremely hungry and disorientated from his ordeal, he kept asking and finally reached out of the cell to grab one of the officer’s hands.

The officer opened the cell door and demanded Young get on the floor. When he questioned why, the officer tasered Young. Then three other officers joined in and the four jumped Young and wrestled him to the ground. Eventually they put him into a chair with constraints.

This is all visible on the police video that was provided to Young and his lawyer, Todd Diederich. Quite frankly, it is extremely disturbing to me – particularly the jailhouse scene. It’s beyond my comprehension as to why it would be necessary to taser someone behind bars.

But here’s the real kicker. Come to find out, Young who was arrested for violating a Personal Protection Order, violating a bond condition (and subsequently Resist and Obstruct and Assault of a Prison Employee) was not subject to the PPO order. The PPO was issued in Colorado in 2010, and dismissed in February of 2011- 18 months ago.

Of course Judge Farrell did what appeared to be logical- he tossed the case out of court during Preliminary Examination.

Young has vowed he will sue the County over these incidents. He has created a Facebook page, and is seeking all the publicity he can get to show that he was wronged. Don’t get me wrong, Young is not totally innocent. He did exacerbate the situation, by refusing to follow commands. But c’mon, the excessive force that was exhibited in the video- particularly the jailhouse scene, and the Prosecutor’s refusal to back down, when they knew their evidence was flimsy at best, makes this a very embarrassing issue for the County.