NEWTON, Mass. —
A local family says a language barrier may have resulted in police using a Taser on a woman after she tried to buy too many iPhones at a local mall. Police, however, say the incident isn't that clear cut.
Xiaojie Li, of Newton, said she is embarrassed by Monday's Pheasant Lane Mall in New Hampshire incident.
"So my mom says she don't know why they called the police, because she doesn't understand what they are talking about," her 12-year-old daughter Jiao Jay said.
Jay said her mother bought two iPhones last Friday, and was told that was the limit. When she took video of others she claimed were buying more, the store manager asked her to leave.
The confrontation involving the Taser happened when Li went to the store on Monday to pick up two iPhones she ordered online.
"The management of the store asked us to have her removed. The officer approached her, told her she wasn't welcome in the store, and she refused to leave," Nashua Police Capt. Bruce Hansen said.
Police say the store had issued a stay-away order against Li.
"Two days prior to that, she had been asked to leave the store by store personnel for doing something that they didn't want," Hansen said, referring to Li's photographing other customers in the store.
A video posted on YouTube shows Li and police officers on the floor outside the Apple store at the Nashua mall. The crackle of the Taser and Li's screams can be heard on the video.
"She was scared, she didn't understand," said John Hugo, who said he was Li's fiance'. "I was outraged. You go into a store, and you end up getting brutalized by the police."
Hansen said the woman had been resisting arrest for about 15 minutes before a second officer arrived at the scene.
"So then the police took my mom's phone and tried to take my mom's bag. And my mom tried to ask them why, and they just threw her to the ground," Jay said.
The 44-year-old mother of two was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.
"My mom feel really upset with what they did," Jay said.
Nashua police see the situation differently.
"She wasn't mistreated in any way. If she left the store when she was told to leave the store, it would've been done at that. She was told she was under arrest after repeatedly being told to leave the store. She didn't submit to the arrest. The officer used the Taser on her to get her to submit to the arrest," Hansen said.
According to Nashua police policy, Tasers may be used "when the subject has signaled his/her intention to actively resist arrest in an aggressive, hostile manner or when a need arises to incapacitate a dangerous, combative, or high risk subject where other use of force techniques exposes the officer, the subject or the public to unnecessary danger, or when other force techniques have been or may be ineffective."
The policy continues, "The weapon is a level of force normally required to overcome passive, defensive, or offensive resistance that is intended as an act of overt aggression toward the officer where an individual refuses to comply with verbal instructions."
Li will be in court in January. http://www.wcvb.com/news/local/boston-north/Cops-use-Taser-on-woman-buying-too-many-iPhones/-/11984708/17744626/-/item/0/-/10w8m4c/-/index.html