Recent arrest raises questions of police handling
SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. (WDEF) – Were police officers in South Pittsburg, Tennessee too rough on a local man….or just taking no chances with a man with a gun?
That’s the question Gary King’s family is asking as he’s released from the county jail.
Police officers are taught to take down anyone with a weapon who might present a threat, and that’s what they were doing last Saturday morning when they were called to an address on Old Jasper Road by a neighbor.
They were told someone was firing a weapon early in the morning. The incident was recorded on a security camera.
The man with the gun was 49 year old Gary Michael King, who says some one was flashing a lazer light into his bedroom.
Gary Michael King said, “so, I got up, heard the dogs barking, and heard somebody out in the back, so I went out ..took my gun and shot few times, off in the back yard, you know.”
King spent three days in the Marion County jail charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, and other charges. King says there was more to it than that.
King continued, “..a few minutes later, that’s when the cops showed up, and uh told me to lay my weapon down..so I laid my weapon down and I turned around and held my hands..held my hands up like that..and they attacked me…beat me…stomped me, tasered me.”
King was taken to the emergency took where he says they diagnosed three broken ribs. His daughter had seen the whole incident.
She says, “I was upset. I cried. I just don’t see how anybody could do another human that way.”
King is out of jail on a $2200 bond, and happy to be home. But he feels the arrest was not handled correctly. He wondered why.
“One cop told me they was all fired up, you know, they had that adrenaline going.”
South Pittsburg Police Chief Ryan Meeks agreed to speak with us, but was advised not to by city manager Gene Vess.
The investigation into the arrest continues.