Michael Martinez is seen backing away from Idaho Falls Police officer Sage Albright during a Sept. 25, 2021, incident at Martinez’s home. Martinez, who was shocked by a Taser during his arrest, is suing the department for using excessive force.
The Idaho Falls Police Department has released footage from a body camera that’s the subject of a recent lawsuit against the city.
The footage depicts the Sept. 25, 2021, arrest of Michael Martinez after police responded to a report of a domestic dispute between Martinez and his wife. The police department released the video after the Post Register filed a public records request.
During the incident Martinez argued loudly with with police, using profanity, while standing at the door of his home before returning inside, letting the storm door begin to swing closed as he walked away. One of the officers, Sage Albright, stopped the storm door from closing and followed him inside despite Martinez repeatedly telling him “do not step in this house.” Officer Brandon Anderson followed them shortly after and drew his Taser.
Martinez is seen putting his hands up and backing away from Albright as the officer continues to approach him. Albright puts a hand on Martinez that Martinez swats away, and Anderson immediately fired his Taser at Martinez.
An excerpt of the video can be seen online with this article. It contains explicit language.
Martinez and his wife were both charged with resisting arrest, though the charges were later dropped. The wife is seen later in the video repeatedly denying that Martinez was violent with her. In a 911 call, a recording of which was also provided to the Post Register, she says Martinez threatened her and that he had about seven guns in the house, though she said she did not see them.
The lawsuit argues police acted inappropriately when they entered Martinez’s residence and used a Taser on him, citing the fact that Martinez backed away from police with his hands up, in contrast to Albright’s report which states Martinez took up a bladed fighting stance.
A bladed fighting stance involves putting one foot in front of the other and turning one’s body at an angle. Throughout the bodycam footage, however, Martinez faces the officers directly except for moments when he’s moving, once to put down his phone and again when backing away from the officers.
“The police reports do not match the video,” the lawsuit states. “The officers turned off their recordings when deciding what to do. There is no such thing as ‘disturbing the peace’ on a police officer. There were no charges of domestic abuse.”
Albright’s body camera turns off just after the Taser is deployed, and he later indicates to Anderson that it fell off.
Martinez is accusing the department of battery, saying they assaulted him without cause. He was originally represented by Robin Dunn, who has since been arrested by Idaho Falls Police after he was caught with 60 fentanyl pills. Martinez has said he is looking to hire another attorney.
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