Police dash cam video has surfaced of an Orange County Dheriff’s deputy shooting a fallen suspect multiple times and then stomping on his head in Laguna Niguel, California, in 2013.
According to court papers, Connor Zion, who suffered seizures, bit his mom, Kimberly Zion, and cut her and his roommate with a knife, notes the Los Angeles Times.
When Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Juan Lopez arrived at scene, Connor reportedly stabbed Lopez in the arms.
Deputy Michael Higgins, who witnessed the alleged attack on Lopez, fired nine shots at Connor (off-screen in the video).
After Connor fell to the ground, Higgins fired nine more shots (on-screen in the video).
Court papers say Higgins walked in a circle, took a “running start” and stomped on Connor’s head three times in the video.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 1 that Higgins can be sued by Kimberly for using excessive deadly force on Connor:
When police confront a suspect who poses an immediate threat, they may use deadly force against him. But they must stop using deadly force when the suspect no longer poses a threat…
While Higgins couldn’t be sure that Zion wasn’t bluffing or only temporarily subdued, Zion was lying on the ground and so was not in a position where he could easily harm anyone or flee
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department reportedly awarded Higgins a medal of valor for saving Lopez’s life.
(Source: Los Angeles Times)