Their wording and Williams’ sudden moves made headlines because by about 10:30 Thursday morning, their commands became threats. “Legs straight out, or you’re getting tased,” Bernot warned.
Moments later, Williams, whose legs were not fully extended, shifted his legs. Bernot then squeezed the trigger, sending taser prongs and a current of electricity through Williams’s body — and sparking virulent protests about what many claim is an abuse of power against a person who never posed a threat to officers.
He was arrested on drug possession and public drunkenness charges, both from a warrant unrelated to Thursday’s call.