EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. Please see the video below.
CARLSBAD — A cellphone video has surfaced on social media earlier today depicting two Carlsbad police officers tase an unarmed black male multiple times before detaining him on Thursday evening in Carlsbad.
The video was taken by Joseph Cox, a local man who noticed the events unfolding at approximately 8:48 pm on a sidewalk near the intersection of Ponto Road and Carlsbad Boulevard.
In the video, two police officers are seen physically restraining a man on the ground as he repeatedly says, “This is what you stand for… you want equality… this is what you stand for.”
The man, later identified as Marcel Cox-Harshaw, 27, of San Diego, was cited for resisting arrest and released to Scripps Encinitas where he received medical attention.
Carlsbad Police’s report indicated that drugs and or alcohol played a role in the incident, describing Harshaw’s mental state as one of “extreme agitation and excited delirium.”
The City of Carlsbad published a timeline of the incident on its webpage and will be releasing body camera footage on June 12, in addition to more details about the incident.
Lt. Greg White of the Carlsbad Police spoke to the Coast News, reviewing the timeline of events.
At 8:48 p.m., a caller reported a man face down on Ponto Road and Carlsbad Boulevard resulting in the Carlsbad Fire Department personnel to arrive within 7 minutes. Fire Department EMTs evaluated the man as two Carlsbad Police officers arrived on the situation.
According to White, while paramedics continued to evaluate the man, he became “visually and verbally agitated and aggressive towards the Fire Department.”
At 8:59 p.m., police officers stepped in, fearing for the safety of the paramedics.
“Officers reached out to the man and told him to stop,” the City of Carlsbad website states. “The man yelled, struggled, turned and pulled from the officers and would not comply with their instructions.”
At 9:02 the officers tasered Harshaw multiple times in an attempt to subdue him.
At 9:03 the officers restrained Harshaw by holding his body and head to the ground while placing him in handcuffs.
At 9:07 paramedics transported Harshaw to Scripps Encinitas where according to Lt. White he was “heavily sedated.”
Joseph Cox exited his vehicle when he saw two police officers had pinned and tased Harshaw while he was on the ground.
“I heard screaming through my window and I stopped my truck and jumped out… turned on my video camera and ran to the scene. It was very upsetting… it really struck a deep chord,” Cox told Coast News. “[When] I turned off the video, I said [to him] ‘Good luck. Good luck, my friend. We’ve got your back.”
According to Lt. White, Carlsbad Police supervisors began reviewing footage immediately after the incident stating, “in an effort for full transparency, we are going to release the body camera footage from the officers’ points of view from start to finish and it will show that the force used was the least they could’ve used to facilitate the arrest.”
The Carlsbad Police Department adopted all eight policies recommended by Campaign Zero’s “Eight Can’t Wait” initiative on June 4, which is part of a national movement to prevent excessive use of force by police.
The eight policies include requiring de-escalation tactics, issuing a warning before shooting, exhausting all alternatives before shooting, banning shooting at moving vehicles, restricting severe types of force to extreme situations, comprehensive reporting and requiring officers to intervene and stop excessive force.
DEVELOPING: A video has been released on social media depicting Carlsbad police officers tasing and physically restraining a black male before arresting him last night on a sidewalk near Ponto Rd and Carlsbad Blvd. CPD issued a statement on the arrest: https://t.co/fu2ZubPAd2 pic.twitter.com/rCYm9i2dN7
— The Coast News Group (@coastnewsgroup) June 13, 2020