Possible Cover-Up in Alleged Teen Tasering: Mayor

The Colwyn Mayor says he's investigating a possible police cover-up in the alleged tasering of a 17-year-old boy. The Police chief and three other officers were suspended as the investigation continues.

By Karen Araiza and David Chang
|  Thursday, May 3, 2012  |  Updated 11:20 AM EDT
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The Colwyn Police Department is at the center of an investigation, after a teenager was allegedly tasered in his cell. In an emergency meeting Wednesday night, borough council voted to remove a fourth officer from the force. That officer was later reinstated after the Mayor declared a state of emergency in the town. Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday night. NBC10's Tim Furlong reports.

NBC10 Philadelphia - Tim Furlong

The Colwyn Police Department is at the center of an investigation, after a teenager was allegedly tasered in his cell. In an emergency meeting Wednesday night, borough council voted to remove a fourth officer from the force. That officer was later reinstated after the Mayor declared a state of emergency in the town. Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday night. NBC10's Tim Furlong reports.

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Police Suspended in Teen Taser Investigation

The Colwyn Police Department is at the center of an investigation, after a teenager was allegedly tasered in his cell. In an emergency meeting Wednesday night, borough council voted to remove a fourth officer from the force. That officer was later reinstated however after the Mayor declared a state of emergency in the town.
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The police officer accused of tasering a local teenager is off the job -- and so is his boss, the Colwyn police chief, as well as third officer -- as the alleged incident is investigated.

"The fact that he was tased, while in a cell, that was locked, the doors had to be opened to go in," said Mayor Daniel Rutland.

Rutland told NBC10 he suspended the accused officer and his local police chief. He said he's also upset that he wasn't told about the alleged incident until four days after it occurred.

"I was getting numerous, anonymous phone calls, 'Did you know that somebody was tased in your police department?'"

The officer is accused of tasering Da-Qwaun Jackson, 17, on April 24 while he was in custody. Jackson was arrested for fighting and charged with disorderly conduct. He was placed in a holding cell and that's when the officer allegedly tasered him.

"I started going back and forth with him," Jackson told NBC10. "I was being quiet and I kicked the cell twice. He came in with the taser and warned me once. I kept on talking and that's when he tasered me. 30 minutes later he let me out."

While Jackson admits he was being uncooperative with police the night of his arrest, he also says he didn't deserve to get tasered when he was already in custody or for police to humiliate him.

"He was teasing me about it," said Jackson. "He was sending people text messages about it, saying 'I tasered this boy, LOL.' He deserves to get fired. I don't wish upon anyone losing their career, but he deserves to get fired."

Computers were confiscated this afternoon from the Colwyn Police Department in Delaware County, Pa. The search warrant was executed by the Delaware County District Attorney's office. We asked them why and they did confirm that it's part of the stun gun investigation.

The Colwyn Borough Council held an emergency meeting earlier this evening at 6:30 p.m. in which a 4th officer was suspended. Sources close to the investigation tell NBC10 the 4th officer was the one who reported the incident to the Mayor. Shortly before 11 p.m., we learned the Mayor called a state of emergency in the town which allowed him to reinstate that officer.

Lt. Wesley Seitz will be running the Colwyn police department until further notice. Rutland says the borough council will decided if the officers will be suspended with or without pay. The Colwyn Police Department now has a total of 10 officers due to the four suspensions.

Mayor Rutland says he's also investigating a possible cover up in the police department. While the Deputy Police Chief told NBC10 on Tuesday he only found out about the tasering incident hours before the Mayor did, the Mayor tells NBC10 he doesn't believe that's true. Instead, Rutland believes the chief knew much sooner than that.

Another council meeting will take place at Colwyn city hall on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

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