The above footage was captured on May 30, 2011, by a camera in the Taser unit deployed by Metro Nashville Police Officer Neil P. Wolfe on Micheal Minick. Minick's family alleges that the now-deceased Gallatin man, who was originally wanted on a traffic violation, was beaten to death while in the custody of the Davidson County Sheriff's Office at Metro Nashville General Hospital in the weeks following this arrest.
In the grainy black-and-white video, Minick is shown standing in waist-high foliage in an area somewhere near Happy Valley Road in Goodlettsville, Tenn., according to Wolfe's June 6, 2011, affidavit. Officer Wolfe can be heard saying "I'm going to tase you! I am going to tase you right now!" as a laser aiming dot appears on Minick's body. Minick can be heard saying "I want water," although the quality of the audio and the cross-chatter of their voices makes it hard to understand what, exactly, Minick was saying to Wolfe.
Moments later, Wolfe deploys the Taser and Minick falls to the ground. Wolfe approaches Minick from above and behind, keeping the taser sight trained on Minick's back.
Minick was then taken to Nashville Metro General Hospital where, according to his affidavit, Wolfe learned that Minick was admitted "for dehydration and that he had ingested 500 mg of 'Loco Motion Bath Salts.' " Bath salts are a legally obtainable drug with powerful effects, inducing hallucinations and other reportedly psychotic behavior in users.
The footage was part of an open records request produced by MNPD, and included various supplementary materials, including the following quote from Wolfe's affidavit:
I pulled out my taser [sic], turned it on, and placed the laser [sight] on the subject's chest. I told him again that I would tase [sic] him. The subject looked at me, paused briefly and said "fuck you, I'm not going back to prison." The subject then attempted to take off an run again. At that point I yelled "Taser" and deployed the device. Both probes made contact with the subject. The subject fell onto his back into the weeds.
In the video, Minick says "I ain't doin' nothin'," and turns to walk away, prompting Wolfe to deploy the Taser. It doesn't show Minick using any obscenities — but then again, the video is only 17 seconds long, so we don't know what was said before. According to MNPD spokesman Don Aaron, who spoke with Pith, the encounter lasted significantly longer than 17 seconds. The camera on the Taser only begins filming once the Taser has been activated.
Minick was arrested without further incident and transported via ambulance to Nashville General Hospital's emergency room, where he was allegedly beaten to death with batons while handcuffed and restrained in iron leg shackles by employees of the Davidson County Sheriff's Office, who had been assigned to guard him.
At 7 p.m. May 31, this post was updated to clarify some of the details.
Update, 11:35 a.m. June 1: The block-quoted description above was from an affidavit Wolfe gave on June 4, 2011. In an affidavit dated May 30, 2011, taken in the immediate aftermath of the incident, Wolfe described events as follows:
Subject ran to an area where there was nothing between him and officers on the scene. Subject was again told to stop running and to let us help him. Subject stated "fuck you, I'm not going back to prison." Subject was told to stop again or he would be tased. Subject refused to comply with commands and was tased and then taken into custody.