McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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September 14, 2012

DA asks to be removed from police taser case

McALESTER — A district attorney’s office has asked to be removed from a case involving a McAlester police officer tasing a handcuffed woman.

District 18 Assistant District Attorney Richard Hull said he is faxing a letter to the Oklahoma Attorney’s General office today requesting that the District 18 District Attorney’s office for a recusal from a case involving MPD officer Sterling Taylor tasering at a handcuffed woman, at point blank range.
“We are asking for recusal because of the appearance of impropriety, “Hull said.
 “The DA’s office is currently handling a number of cases involving the McAlester Police Department and Sterling Taylor.”
On the video available at www.mcalesternews.com, the woman, Nakina Williams, 28, of Okmulgee,can been seen with her with her hands cuffed and lifted behind her on a counter. She appears to spit at Taylor who then fires the Taser striking Williams in her left breast at point blank range.
McAlester Police Chief Jim Lyles said Tuesday that the investigation by his department has been closed and handed over to the DA’s office. Taylor was put on two-weeks suspension because of his violation of the department’s policy on Taser use. But he said the suspension is now over.
“He’s already back to work,” Lyles said.  
“He won’t be allowed to use the Taser until he has more training.”  
Court records show that Taylor has been involved  has been the victim in 10 times more assault cases than his fellow officers and according to reports received from MPD, officer Taylor has deployed his Taser in several more times than his fellow officers.
 In fact, according to MPD reports Taylor fired his Taser in 10 of 16 “Use of Force” reports. The other six involved three different officers.
A Use of Force Report must be issued after each deployment of the Taser, according to MPD Taser Handling and Deployment Policy.
Meanwhile Hull said once the recusal is granted the case will be handled District 17 District Attorney Mark Matloff’s office.
Officer Taylor has declined to be interviewed.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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