A New York sheriff's deputy has defended his actions in tasering
a woman in front of her two young children, and says that the
decision to suspend him for thirty days came only after the
story made national headlines earlier this month.
Sean Andrews, a deputy in Onondaga County, tased
Audra Harmon twice after pulling her over for driving 50 mph
in a 45 mph zone last January. Her two young children were strapped
in the back seat of the vehicle.
Harmon was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly
conduct and speeding, however, all charges against her were
subsequently dismissed and she announced she would sue the sheriff's
department in early August.
Now, in an email, reportedly intended for friends and family only,
leaked to and published by the Syracuse
Post-Standard, Andrews says was right to stun Harmon
because she refused to follow his orders, claiming he could
not see her hands at all times.
"I drew my Taser on her because we are trained in the police
academy and throughout our careers that all people are considered
a threat on a traffic stop... Anyone with hands can kill a cop,
it doesn't matter how old they are." he writes.
Andrews also states that his sheriff is pandering to public pressure
by suspending him without pay for one month and asking him to
resign, following an administrative hearing last week.
"It is no mystery that this was a completely political move
on the sheriff's part because he realizes that the video alone
with no explanation does not look good and he feels his job
will be in jeopardy," Andrews wrote.
Harmon and her legal representatives have stated that Andrews'
justification of the incident is incorrect owing to the fact
that she posed no physical threat to the sheriff's deputy and
her hands are clearly showing at all times in the video.
Andrews could face further disciplinary actions over the Jan.
His email can be read in full at the following link.
(Article continues below)
The following is dashboard video of the incident,
accompanied by a reading of Andrews' email:
Here is the video again with Audra Harmon's description
of the incident:
According to a report in the Associated
Press, neither the sheriff's department, nor Sean
Andrews himself have responded to requests for comment.