The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has launched an internal investigation after a woman in a wheelchair, 36 year-old Sheketha Holman, was shocked with a Taser.
It was all recorded by surveillance cameras at the Valero gas station on Northborough Drive in northwest Houston on Nov. 16. Investigators will look into whether or not any policies were violated by sheriff’s deputies when they used force.
Holman said she has used a wheelchair for many years because of severe back injuries, which included a back surgery and a hit-and-run accident. She told KHOU she had received a phone call from her pregnant daughter’s boyfriend about a situation at the Valero gas station and drove over with 911 on the phone.
When she arrived at the gas station, her daughter was being arrested.
“They were grabbing her handcuffs and ramming her into the back of the car. I was like, ‘Hey! Hey! Don’t do that! She’s pregnant!," Holman said.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Deputy Thomas Gilliland confirmed that Holman’s daughter was arrested and charged in connection with possession of marijuana and criminal mischief after she allegedly broke out patrol unit window.
“I was taking pictures of them, and he was like, 'Just leave the property, you’re trespassing.They don’t want you here,'” Holman said.
She said that was the first time anyone advised her to leave, and then things quickly escalated. Holman admitted she was arguing and cursing at deputies but believed they took it too far.
She said the charges against her, trespassing and resisting arrest, are all wrong.
“I was like, 'I'm trying to leave. I can’t take off running, but I’m trying to leave,'” Holman said. “'Oh, you’re resisting?' I was like, 'I’m not resisting.' That’s when I had my hands up like this.”
She said she could not put her hands behind her back. In the surveillance video, officers clearly struggle to keep her arms pinned, before one deputy shocks her with a Taser.
“When I came to, I was like face down or whatever, and my leg was underneath me," Holamn said. "They still was Tasing me, man. That’s wrong."
Tuesday, she was in court with a message: She wants the officers involved disciplined.
“You feel like you can wear your badge and do whatever you want to to people? No. We have a voice,” Holman said.
Gilliland sent KHOU the following statement:
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has an open Internal Affairs incident report . it is currently being investigated by IAD personnel.
When the investigation is complete , if any policies and procedure were violated, then disciplinary actions will be implemented.These actions may be suspension and or termination.
KHOU has requested the agency’s taser protocol and is awaiting a response.
Holman is due back in court in December.