Billy Walters III had a run in with two Rome, Georgia police officers on June 29 for allegedly being publicly intoxicated. The conclusion of the incident would be devastating.
According to reports, the 20 year old Walters resisted arrest and fled from the scene of the confrontation with cops. Moments later, however, Walters found himself hanging off the edge of a ledge, with Officer Lt. Louis Johnson discharging his Taser on the man.
Video of Walters being tased has surfaced and in it Johnson is shown deploying his weapon, which in turn Walters screams in pain and yells “I give up, I give up.” Seconds after his plea, Officer Marcus McReynolds also fires his taser, causing Walters to tip over and fall ten feet head first off the edge.
Walters was rushed to Floyd Medical Center, where doctors say the fall caused Walters to break his neck. The officers, on the other hand, were placed on administrative duty pending an investigation.
Walters, however, wasn’t as lucky. Now he suffers from paralysis from the neck down.
Three months and $800,000 in medical bills later, the two police officers involved in the contentious taser incident were acquitted of criminal charges.
The two officers claimed that Walters was trying to climb through the railing in an attempt to try to escape, but the video shows the young man had given up after the effects of the first taser blast were felt.
The Rome Police department taser policy has come into question and many are wondering if the two officers violated that policy. The policy states that this subdual tactic should only be used on a fleeing suspect if “the person is a known felon or exigent circumstances are present.”
According to police officials, Marcus McReynolds has been terminated for an unrelated incident while Officer Louis Johnson is appealing the unknown discipline measures given to him by the department for the stun-gun incident.
Although Walters was caught drinking underage, his blood-alcohol level was 0.06% which is below the legal limit in Georgia.
Wade Hoyt, the family’s lawyer, is fighting with the city of Rome to pay for the nearly $1 million in medical bills for Walters’ injuries. The 20 year old’s family is uninsured and has no way of taking care of their son’s needs.
“I don’t understand how something as routine as what happened, ended up with him being paralyzed,” Billy Walters Jr. told the media.