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2 Desert Hot Springs officers charged with excessive force for allegedly Tasering unarmed suspects

A Desert Hot Springs police officer and a former officer have been charged with using excessive force when they stunned three unarmed suspects, two of whom were handcuffed, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Officer Anthony Sclafani, 40, and former officer David Raymond Henderson, 51, surrendered voluntarily and were booked Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles before an afternoon court appearance.

A federal grand jury indicted the men last year on civil rights charges for three incidents in 2004 and 2005.

Sclafani allegedly used an X26 Taser gun in February 2005 to stun a man who was handcuffed and in police custody in the Desert Hot Springs jail, according to the indictment and an interview with Asst. U.S. Attorney Steven Arkow.

In a separate incident the next day, Sclafani allegedly used a Taser to stun a woman detained in the jail and pepper sprayed her face and eyes.

Henderson is charged with stunning a handcuffed man during an arrest in August 2004 when he worked for the department.

Calls to the Desert Hot Springs Police Department were not immediately returned.

Henderson’s attorney, Vicki Podberesky, said she could not comment because she had not seen the charges. An attorney for Sclafani did not immediately return phone calls or an e-mail message.

-- Tony Barboza

Comments () | Archives (2)

I hope these officers were fired and that the suspects have filed a civil rights lawsuit. I am a big supporter of the cops, but only the good, honest ones.

Unfortunaley one was placed on administration leave. But if you get into their backgrounds you will see a history of excessive force and unethical behavior. One was fired for covering up a shooting and the other was being investigation of theft of department property when he resigned in lieu of termination. Both never should have been hired in DHS. I hope these victims of abuse get their day in court.


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