PITTSBURGH — Jury selection was scheduled to begin for a western Pennsylvania police officer charged with violating a suspect's rights during an arrest caught on cellphone video that showed her repeatedly zapping him with a stun gun, even after he was handcuffed.
The attorney for Millvale Officer Nicole Murphy doesn't dispute that she used a stun gun on Thomas Jason James Smith after his arrest for public drunkenness in September 2012. Rather, he contends the 30-year-old officer was justified in using it because she was trying to stop Smith from banging his head.
Defense attorney Robert Stewart says Murphy "had a choice of Tasering him to subdue him or letting him split his head open."
The criminal investigation and charges came after someone leaked a 52-second cellphone video of the incident to some Pittsburgh-area media outlets in early 2013.