Authorities said a Glendale police officer who struck a suspect in the back of the head with a Taser this summer resigned before he could be terminated. The officer resigned after an internal investigation determined he violated department policy.
The former officer, who was identified as Joshua Carroll, captured body camera footage of the incident, which took place on June 13, when he responded to a call for service regarding a man sleeping in a car at an apartment complex near Peoria and 43rd avenues.
On September 4, the Glendale Police Department released that footage and related reports, including one from the Use of Force Board. In the footage, Carroll is seen striking the suspect, identified as David Dulaney, after he refused to comply with Carroll’s commands.
Officials said Dulaney was transported to a local hospital, where he received staples to a laceration in his head. Carroll did not suffer significant injuries.
In an interview carried out by Sgt. Brian Johnson, Carroll claimed he felt threatened when he saw Dulaney reach for keys to start the vehicle. Carroll said he deployed his Taser from two feet away, and when he didn’t get a good probe spread he went in to drive stun Dulaney. Carroll said he then felt Dulaney pull him toward the inside of the car.
Dulaney eventually fell out of the car and Carroll said in the interview that “he was the most terrified he’d ever been at that moment.” He was convinced Dulaney was wanted and armed, according to the report.
When Johnson asked Carroll why he used the Taser to strike Dulaney in the head, he said, “it was what was in my hand.”
When Johnson visited Dulaney at the hospital on June 14, he wrote in the Department Internal Investigation report, “Within a minute of beginning my conversation with David I recognized that he had a mental impairment.”
Dulaney told Johnson he didn’t think Carroll was a police officer and thought he was being robbed.
“I didn’t want to get robbed, he was trying to pull me out of my car and I didn’t want him to because I didn’t believe him,” Dulaney told Johnson.
According to the Use of Force Board report, the board voted Carroll’s response to resistance when he struck Dulaney’s head with a Taser was out of policy.
But the use of force incident in June was not Carroll’s first violation.
In a discipline recommendation memo, Commander R. Bradshaw described five other times between June 2016 and January 2019 when Carroll’s decisions “put our department, other officers and our community at risk,” including being at fault in a traffic collision, having inaccuracies/misrepresentations on his resume during a promotional process, violating city and department social media policy with a Facebook post, and violating department policy during a pursuit.
Because of the latter, according to the memo, Carroll was removed from the field training program. Bradshaw said Carroll advised an officer trainee to ignore red lights and speed to more than 100 mph during the pursuit, and he also fired a rifle round at a suspect. When being disciplined Carroll refused to accept responsibility, instead providing excuses such as that “this investigation would have never happened if it was (10) years earlier and no cameras were in our vehicles,” Bradshaw wrote.
“I no longer have confidence in his ability during routine contacts and stressful situations. He has demonstrated an inability to maintain composure and appropriate officer presence, and to respond appropriately to the situations with which he is faced,” Bradshaw continued.
Glendale Interim Chief of Police Chris Briggs said in a statement, “I am extremely disappointed in the actions of this former employee.
“However, it is important to remember that this type of behavior is not reflective of the excellent work that the more than 400 women and men of our organization do on a daily basis. We hold our officers to the highest of standards and, as was the case in this incident, we will take swift and decisive action when conduct is not in line with the expectations of our community.”