Michigan police said they will open an internal investigation after a man was Tasered while holding his 2-month-old baby, WWJ reported.
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A video that went viral on Facebook appears to show a Westland police officer using a stun gun on the man Friday night at a home where people were having a barbecue, WXYZ reported.
Police are disputing the claim by Nicole Skidmore, the mother of the infant, who said she had to catch the baby boy after his father was shocked with a Taser, WWJ reported. The video, which police said was shot by a neighbor, shows the infant was being held by both parents when the incident occurred, the radio station reported.
According to police, the man, identified as Ray Brown, was wanted on a number of outstanding warrants. When he saw the officers, Brown grabbed the baby and refused to let go, police alleged.
"The man refused to release the child back to the mother who was also asking for the child back," the Westland Police Department said in a statement. "At that time the police officers on scene felt that a close quarters direct Taser deployment directly to the subject’s back was the safest option. The video shows that during the deployment the child was also in the hands of the mother."
"We were just barbecuing, and we saw the cops come up," neighbor Kelvin Williams told WXYZ. "They came up and asked us who was fighting. We were like, 'You got the wrong house.'
“At that point, my friend Ray got a little agitated like ‘You’re coming over to my house, my property and you're asking me about something I don’t know about.’”
Williams told WXYZ he decided to record video on his cellphone.
In the video, officers told Brown he was going to be arrested.
“Get the baby out of here. Get the baby out of here,” a Westland officer is heard saying.
In the video, Skidmore attempted to take the child when Brown was tased, WXYZ reported.
“I had to catch the baby," Skidmore told the television station. "I was in the street talking with the cops. I had to come over. The Taser is on this side of him, and the baby is over here. As soon as they start Tasing him the baby flew out of his hands and I had to grab him, or he would have fell.”
Brown was arrested, WWJ reported. The baby was not injured, the radio station reported.