GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Glendale Police Department said the officer who tased a woman accused of shoplifting multiple times in a local Walmart did not violate policy.
Witnesses recorded video of the chaotic incident which happened Tuesday afternoon at the Walmart near 56th and Northern avenues.
“He was a big man, a grown man. She’s a tiny little 120-pound girl. Why could he not detain her without tasing her?” said Trisha Curby, a witness.
Glendale police said the woman in the video, Khadrah Wazwaz, was accused of shoplifting clothes and jewelry. An off-duty officer in uniform was notified about the alleged shoplifting and stopped Wazwaz as she was leaving the store.
Police released body-camera footage of the interaction.
The officer is seen grabbing the woman's arm and she quickly ends up on the floor near the exit of the store.
Police said she was on the phone and refused to comply.
The officer asked the woman, "Do you want to get tased?"
He then tased her. She tells him she is prone to seizures.
Over the course of the next four minutes, she was tased multiple times.
“Our use of force is not in reference to misdemeanor or felony cases. It’s in reference to an individual’s resistance," said Gina Winn, a public information officer with Glendale PD.
Police said the prongs on the taser were not deployed. Instead, the officer used the stun feature and officials say it was used fourteen times.
The repeated usage concerned Curby and other witnesses.
“A lot of people out there might say well she was committing a crime or she was shoplifting or whatever," Curby said. "Okay, maybe she was maybe she wasn’t we don’t know that. But does that still give somebody the right for a nonviolent crime to attack them like that?”
Videos show the officer putting Wazwaz in handcuffs as she appears to convulse. She was taken to the hospital and after she was treated, she was booked into jail and ultimately released.
“This was reviewed by a supervisor who determined there was no policy violation. His response to resistance was found to be completely within policy and, in fact, in cases like this this is exactly what we would expect our officers to do," Winn said.
Curby believes the officer's actions were excessive.
“I really hope this officer is held accountable for his actions," Curby said.
Police say Wazwaz will face shoplifting charges along with possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest.