The Salina, New York sheriff’s deputy who tased a young mother last January for lack of cooperation during a traffic stop — which was caught on the well-viewed video above — defended his actions in an e-mail (pdf), written shortly after the story broke and recently obtained by the Syracuse Post-Standard. Deputy Sean Andrews suggests in the email that his 30-day suspension was a “completely political move on the sheriff’s part because he realizes that the video alone with no explanation does not look good and he feels his job will be in jeopardy.”
He says the mother, Audra Harmon, was “argumentative” and that he feared she might be going for a weapon in the car. “I was not going to let her get back inside,” writes Andrews, “because if she takes off then I will have a vehicle pursuit with two kids in the car.” He also says he didn’t tase her very hard, and that “in her interviews, [Harmon] stated how bad it hurt but it is an act to promote sympathy.”
Harmon disputes that she made any moves suggestive of retrieval of a weapon, and is suing the sheriff’s office over the incident.