Endicott Police Mistakenly Tase Disabled Bystander, Causing Heart Attack
A good Samaritan nearly dies when police mistake him for suspect
Update 9/20/18 @ 4:30pm: Endicott Police have released a statement saying an “uninvolved subject” (Davon Johnson, the resident who was tased) immediately “became irate and began approaching officers while yelling profanities” without provocation. In response, community members plan to converge at Endicott Village Court, September 26th—the date Johnson’s partner is set to appear for her alleged role in the incident. Both victims were charged with disorderly conduct; Johnson was also charged with resisting arrest. You can RSVP to that event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/259191151402245/
ENDICOTT (NY) — It started with a car accident late Sunday night in the Village of Endicott that left one vehicle overturned with a passenger trapped inside. Fortunately, 38 year old Endicott resident, Davon Johnson, rushed to the scene from his nearby apartment to help.
After safely removing the victim from the wreckage, Johnson sat nearby and waited for first responders. That’s when things took a turn for the worse.
When police arrived on the scene, they learned that the driver of the vehicle, a Black man, had apparently fled on foot. They then turned their attention to Johnson, who is also Black, mistaking him for the fugitive driver. All of the officers involved were white.
During the incident, Police reportedly threatened to have Griffin’s children removed from their home.
According to witnesses, as Mr. Johnson stood up to explain he was a bystander who had assisted victims, police grabbed him and began yelling “Stop resisting.” Johnson’s long-time partner, Star Griffin, who was also at the scene, frantically informed officers that Johnson had a pacemaker, but that didn’t stop Endicott police from tasing him several times—inducing a heart attack.
The officers then forcefully restrained Mrs. Griffin, causing several injuries and exposing her body to neighbors and concerned onlookers. During the incident, Police reportedly threatened to have Griffin’s children removed from their home.
“I feel scared, unsafe, and confused,” Mrs. Griffin stated. “I saw one of the officers yesterday and I got so scared and I couldn’t figure out why I was fearful when I did nothing wrong?”
We reached out to Endicott Police for comment, but they have not responded at this time.
Mr. Johnson was taken to nearby Wilson Hospital where he underwent emergency treatment and is expected to recover.
The incident is reminiscent of the 2015 tasing of Donald “Dontay” Ivy in Albany, who died from his injuries.
This is at least the third incident of apparent racialized police violence occurring in Broome County in recent weeks.
We will update this story if police respond to our inquiry.
Note: This article previously stated that Johnson was taken to UHS Hospital immediately after the incident. The night of the incident Johnson was rushed to Wilson Hospital. He was taken to UHS Hospital the following day for additional treatment.