COTATI, CA — A couple and their roommate were violently tased and arrested when police officers broke down their front door in response to a noise complaint. Despite the shocking video that captured the incident, the police were cleared for breaking into the home and assaulting the 3 occupants, and instead one of the victims was put on trial.
The incident took place on May 10th, 2013, when a neighbor called the police because of allegedly hearing “yelling and sobbing” coming from the residence next-door. Police were sent to investigate at 3:48 p.m.
Officer Andrew Lyssand glares through the window. (Source: YouTube)
The residents, James Wood, 33, and his wife Jennifer, 29, admittedly had a loud argument in the backyard, but did not become violent and did not know that a nosy neighbor had phoned the police. They reportedly argued about whether to spend their tax refund money on fixing their car or buying a new one.
The couple’s roommate, James Helton, 32, was inside putting the Woods’ 2-year-old daughter down for a nap when the Cotati Police arrived, with guns already drawn. Helton summoned his roommates and the three began talking to the police through a window.
“We had our hands up against the glass. We were more than happy to talk through the glass, or he can have dispatch call our cellphones,” Helton later explained. “(An officer) became agitated and said, ‘No you’re going to do what I tell you to do.’
““We don’t live in a police state, sir.”
“I asked several times, ‘What am I being accused of?’” Wood told KPIX 5. “And when they didn’t answer, I asked, ‘do you have a search warrant?’ And they said, ‘No, we don’t need one.’ And I was like, ‘you’re not getting in here. I am not opening that door.’”
Attempts to cite the 4th Amendment and peacefully exercise their rights were met with threats. Fearing for their safety, a cell-phone camera was produced to document the situation. The police quickly re-holstered their weapons.
“There’s no domestic violence,” the three residents echoed in unison, explaining they would not open the door without a warrant.
“Why are you guys not coming out?” demanded Officer Andrew Lyssand, eying the family through the glass.
“Because we don’t live in a police state, sir,” Helton responded.
Intent on proving him wrong, the officers prepared to breach the door. The negotiation had ended as quickly as it began.
As the video still recording, the door was kicked in and officers immediately entered with weapons drawn on the family.
“You have no right to be in here!” Woods reacted.
Jennifer could be seen on video with her hands already in the air. “Do not touch her! You are assaulting her!” said her husband.
It took only moments for all three of them to be shot with the probes of the officers’ electric shock weapons, the favorite pain & compliance tool of the police.
“Aaaahhhh! Help!! Help!!” cried Jennifer Wood, seconds before the camera shorted out from the electric current traveling through the cameraman. The video abruptly ends.
A total of 96 seconds elapsed from the time the camera turned on until it cut out due to the attacks by police.