Video Shows Police Officer Firing Stun Gun at Unarmed Man Sitting on Curb

“Legs straight out or you’re getting tased,” the police officer can be heard saying on video, talking to an unarmed black man sitting on a curb.

The man appears to begin following the officer’s directions, then folds his legs up again. The officer fires his stun gun. The man writhes in pain, then is handcuffed by officers while lying on his stomach.

That encounter, captured by a bystander on a cellphone video Thursday morning in Lancaster, Pa., and then widely shared after being posted to Facebook, quickly led to a public outcry, including from the town’s mayor, who said an investigation would be conducted.

.. Nationwide, African-American people are far more likely than white people and other groups to be subjected to use of force by the police

.. Tasers, said Mr. Alpert, the criminologist, are often used by the police more freely than firearms when officers are seeking to get someone to comply with orders. But, Mr. Alpert said, Tasers themselves can be deadly.

.. when officers responded to reports that a man was attacking a group of people, they found Mr. Williams demanding his Social Security card from a woman.

.. The Police Bureau said in its report that directing suspects to straighten their legs helps prevent them from running away or fighting with police. “Noncompliance is often a precursor to someone that is preparing to flee or fight,” the report states.