CBPO Officer Wins Civil Service Appeal


CBPO Officer Wins Civil Service Appeal.
Suspension Lifted; Back Pay Restored.


A civil service review board ruled a police officer wasn’t too violent when he used a Taser on a woman three times.
The incident happened in July. Police say two women had
an ongoing battle over a boyfriend and that one of the women — Tesha
Cotton — used a brick to scratch the other woman’s car.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer J.W. Mullis and his
partner responded to the call. Mullis confronted Cotton and says one
thing led to another.

Mullis told the board, "Immediately, there was this
escalation in her level of excitement. On a 10 scale, she went from
about a 2 or 3 up to about a 9 or 10."

Mullis says Cotton was screaming and threw a punch.
Mullis said he didn’t want to tackle her to the ground because he was
afraid he’d hurt her badly because he’s so much bigger. He remembers a
case where an officer put a suspect in an arm-lock and broke the
suspect’s arm.

Instead, Mullis used his Taser on Cotton. But one of the
two electric prongs missed Cotton, so the tactic didn’t work. So,
Mullis resorted to his next technique. He "drive-stunned" her. In other
words, he pressed the Taser against Cotton. She fell to the ground,
but, Mullis says, she kept resisting. So he drive-stunned her again. He
says she still resisted his commands. So he drive-stunned her a third

Mullis told the board, "You know, if I’m in a gunfight,
I don’t have to stop shooting while the suspect reloads. I mean, that’s
the same principle. We were at the level of force and . . . she made it
clear that she wasn’t going to de-escalate. She was going to actually
resist and so we stayed at that level of force until we got control."

The department thought Mullis used too much force and
suspended him for two days without pay. Mullis asked for this hearing
to appeal the suspension and get paid.

The ruling should lead to Mullis being paid for the two days.

Copyright 2006 by WSOCTV.com