A new video has been released by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s department after a deputy slammed a man’s head against his car and another deputy tased him, which led to the man’s death.
The primary deputy involved in the altercation, Deputy Charlie Blount, will be fired from his position based on the footage from a body cam worn by another deputy.
According to Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick:
“The way Deputy Blount handles the entire situation is extremely troubling. As a result, I have served Deputy Blount a notice of termination.”
You can watch the video here, though viewer discretion is advised:
The civilian involved, David Glen Ward, reported his car as stolen three days prior to the altercation. He ended up finding his car and taking it back on his own, but did not share this update with the law enforcement.
When the deputies saw the car on the road, they didn’t realize that Ward was driving his own car, and assumed they had discovered the car thief.
It’s unclear why, but when they attempted arrest, Ward fled the scene in his car, which led to a pursuit and arrest.
Deputy Jason Little was wearing a body cam, which showed the car chase, as well as his attempt to pull Ward over during the chase. He also witnessed the altercation between Ward and Blount, which was included in the resulting video.
After a five-mile chase, the deputies were able to pull Ward over.
⚠️Extremely graphic police Violence(BodyCam)
Victim of Police Brutality has died.
There is no Justice,The Is Just Us.
Deputy Blount slammed David Ward’s head into a car,It was his car. He broke no laws
— Terrence Daniels (Captain Planet) (@Terrence_STR) December 22, 2019
There were repeated demands for Ward to keep his hands visible, as well as to unlock the driver’s side door and get out of the car.
Ward resisted, claiming he had done nothing wrong.
“I can’t believe this. I’m the injured party in this. Why are you f***ing harassing me all the time?”
In response, he was removed from the car. Blount also slammed Ward’s head against the door frame of his car and held him in a sleeper hold. Another deputy tased Ward.
As the arrest continued, another deputy, Deputy Nick Jax, appeared and stated that this was not the car-jacker, but actually the car owner, David Ward.
Unconscious and not breathing, the deputies gave Ward CPR and then delivered him to the hospital. He was declared dead at the hospital.
New video shows police slamming a man’s head into his own car after he was mistaken for stealing it. He later died. https://t.co/2GhBlEQZop
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) December 21, 2019
The Marin County Coroner’s Office continues to investigate.
Ward had pre-existing health conditions, according to his family, including a heart condition, weakness and trouble walking. They found it difficult to believe he could be aggressive enough to partake in a car chase as intense as this one.
However Blount’s attorney, Harry Stern, claimed his client was not responsible for Ward’s death:
“Frankly, Mr. Ward caused his own death by inexplicably taking a number of bizarre actions that confirmed in the deputies’ minds that he was an armed car-jacker, rather than the victim of that crime.”
“It is my understanding that the medical evidence will show that Mr. Ward had a serious pre-existing condition and had methamphetamine in his system – most significantly, there were no indications of trauma to his neck.”
But Twitter had a very different opinion regarding Blount’s role.
Put the police man into prison please
— Ci Ci (@7spadesofsins) December 21, 2019
— △⃒⃘☪ (@___witchbitch) December 21, 2019
it says hell be fired…. but when will he be arrested?
— iLLiAM (@iLLWiLLTHEMiCK) December 21, 2019
As the Marin County Coroner’s Office continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding Ward’s death. Any future action against Blount will depend on the coroner’s findings.