PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The family of a teenager with autism said he was wrongfully shot with a stun gun last August.
On Wednesday, the family’s attorney released never-before-seen body camera footage of the incident. We want to warn you, that some of the videos may be disturbing to watch.
It all began on August 30, 2021.
“There was no altercation. There are clearly several minutes where Aaron Vasquez is helplessly wanting the officer to stop abusing him,” said India Shaw with the Anastopoulo Law Firm.
In the newly-seen body cam footage released by the attorneys of 17-year-old Aaron Vasquez, the autistic teen can be seen shot with a stun gun multiple times by former Pickens County Deputy James Trotter.
“At one point the officer asks him to put his hands behind his back and he does so. For which he is rewarded with more tasing,” said Roy Willey, attorney.
On Wednesday, 7NEWS was given an edited version of the footage from the attorney’s office.
“Deputy Trotter then says is it Sanchez, is it Gomez? And when Aaron doesn’t respond, he tases him. Aaron was of no threat to Deputy Trotter. He did not run, he did not flee, he did not have a weapon,” said Willey.
According to the lawsuit, Vasquez was stunned a total of 17 times in a five-minute time span.
“He proceeds to tase him over and over and over for the course of five minutes until someone else arrives,” said Willey.
“He has so much anxiety now and it breaks my heart because they tased him 17 times. It’s not fair. I just want justice for him, that’s all I have to say,” said Daniella Vasquez, Aaron’s sister.
Former deputy James Trotter was arrested by a SLED agent back in January and charged with two counts of misconduct in office and second-degree assault and battery. He was granted a $30,000 bond.
Now, Vasquez’s attorney wants to make sure Trotter is held accountable.
“We will prosecute this case as long as it takes to make sure that at the end of the day there is justice for Aaron and hopefully it will never happens again,” said Willey.
Trotter has since been relieved of his duties at the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
7NEWS reached out to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday. Per protocol, they are unable to comment on any pending or ongoing civil litigation.