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Report: LA officer used Taser on handcuffed woman as others laugh

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POSTED November 18, 2012 5:52 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles police officer shocked a handcuffed woman with a stun gun while joking with fellow officers, in an incident caught on video.

Officer Jorge Santander then appeared to lie about the December 2010 encounter repeatedly in written reports, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times.

Three other officers who witnessed the incident all corroborated Santander's version of events when first questioned, the newspaper found. They also failed to tell supervisors that one officer had recorded it on video.

An officer used a personal video camera to record the incident. The video showed Santander firing the stun gun without warning and later displaying a Superman logo he wore on his chest beneath his uniform, the Times reported. Off camera, another officer is heard laughing and singing.

The details of the case were outlined in a memo written by a prosecutor in the Los Angeles County district attorney's office that was obtained by the Times. According to the memo, the video and other evidence were not conclusive enough to prove that Santander had committed any crimes. The woman was not charged.

Department officials said Chief Charlie Beck is seeking to have Santander and the three others fired. All four have been suspended since shortly after the incident.

This is the fourth case made public in the past few months in which LAPD officers are accused of using force on suspects who were restrained, the Times reported.

Department officials said the cases are not indicative of a wider behavioral pattern. Cmdr. Andrew Smith called them "isolated, unrelated cases in which officers got out of line." The cases, he said, represent a small fraction of the total number of those involving force.

The civilian Police Commission, which oversees the LAPD, has launched an independent probe into the use of stun guns and other types of nonlethal force by officers, according to the newspaper.

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