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Consultant says not all tases were effective on Bear Heels

A Police Practices Training Consultant said not all of the tases looked to be effective against Zachary Bear Heels.

Steven Ijames is tasked with helping train officers before they hit the streets.

Thursday in the Scotty Payne trial, Ijames said the maximum number is 3 pulses for a taser, but that number may not be realistic in high-stress situations, especially when OPD's training book said officers should use their judgement.

"He (Zachary Bear Heels) did exactly what officer Payne feared he would do, he fought," said Ijames. "Payne was trying to get him to comply and not fight.”

Ijames said Payne acted within reason, particularly because he was the only officer among the four with any taser training.

Video footage shows officers talking with Zachary Bear Heels for 8 minutes.

“8 minutes is a long time to wait and ask and ask and ask for a person to do something," explained Ijames. "Most officers don't wait that long, they just go right to control."

After reviewing the video, Ijames said he didn't think Bear Heels was getting energized in every taster pull.

"There was no indication, not in what he saw, not what the video reveals and not what the taser engineer found that he was getting effectively energized."

Another witness, Jamie Borden, who reviews critical incidents said officers are expected to make judgement calls based on each situation.

"That policy cannot be designed to cover every single incident," said Borden. "There's too many different combinations for everything that can happen in the field for any one policy regarding an officers actions to cover every incident. ”

Ijames stated all the questions over an officer’s actions can be boiled down to one: “Was the officer's actions reasonable?” If the answer is yes, Ijames said the officer was following their training.


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