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Former California Deputy May Face Criminal Charges for Excessive Force

Friday, October 21, 2016 11:08
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A Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy has been fired after brutalizing a man in response to a domestic dispute, and he may face criminal charges for excessive use of force.

According to Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas, Scott Thorne used excessive force in a situation in which there was absolutely no need for force to be used, and that is why he is no longer employed by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

“In this situation, the force was not reasonable because he was not authorized to use force. There was no crime; there was no threat. And so, no force should have been used at all,” said Sheriff Freitas.

A domestic violence call from a neighbor brought deputies to the doorstep of a couple’s house. Neighbors reported hearing loud yelling, but the woman answering the door said there was no problem. The man had locked himself in a bedroom, and the officers forced their way into the room, where the Thorne decided to use a taser on the man and beat him with his baton.

“They forced their way into this gentleman’s room. While they were in there, they talked to this gentleman. They could see that he was not injured,” said Freitas. “They could see he didn’t have a weapon. And so that’s when things should have slowed down tremendously. And that’s when it should have been pretty clear that there was no crime.”

The case has been sent to the District Attorney, where criminal charges may be brought against the officer.

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