KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Knoxville man filed an excessive force lawsuit against Knox County and members of the Knox County Sheriff's Office after officers fired their Tasers at him.
Paul Branch alleges two officers with the Knox County Sheriff's Office identified as Paul Saah and Christian Gomez used excessive force by repeatedly firing their Tasers at him while he was "completely incapacitated."
Branch claims in a federal lawsuit he was not resisting and posed no threat to anyone when he was shot with the Taser weapons. Branch goes onto say in the lawsuit that he was shocked by the Taser barbs for 51 seconds at times.
The legal action stems from an incident on January 16; when authorities with the Knox County Sheriff's Office and the Knox County Fire Department responded to reports of a fire at Branch's home.
The officers reportedly found Branch seated in the front of a Rural Metro vehicle, where he had been directed to sit by a firefighter on the scene. Branch claims he was then arrested and shocked with a Taser after Officer Saah had difficulty cuffing his right wrist, according to the lawsuit.
Officer Saah's statement says Branch resisted officers by not giving them his other hand while his left hand was already cuffed. Ofc.Saah said Branch told him he had taken a bunch of vitamins and Mucinex. The officer described Branch as "not coherent."
Knox County Sheriff's Office body cam footage released by the plaintiff's attorney shows Branch writhing in pain as one officer yelled "shoot him."
The lawsuit says Branch was shocked five times for five seconds each and once for 11 seconds by Officer Saah and four times for five seconds each by Officer Gomez.
In an affidavit, Officer Saah said Officer Gomez deployed his Taser after his was not "effective." They described Branch as a "danger to himself."
A court date is scheduled to be discussed October 24, 2017.