BRADENTON — Regardless of whether an autopsy shows a Taser shot killed Derrick Humbert, the head of the local chapter of a national civil rights group contends Bradenton police firing on Humbert with a stun gun was excessive force.
The police officer who shot Humbert with a Taser overreacted, said Charles Smith, president of the Manatee branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said today. The SCLC will be closely monitoring the investigation of the incident, he said.
Bradenton Police Officer Del Shiflett said he shot Humbert with a Taser at 12:19 a.m. Monday, after he fled on a bicycle from a traffic stop. Officers had tried to pull him over for not having a light on the front of his bike. “We feel the enforcement that took place was not necessary,” Smith said.
Police Chief Michael Radzilowski said he is “disgusted” that Smith is “playing the race card,” and doubts whether other members of the Manatee SCLC back his claims.
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Humbert was black.
“I know several people on the board and I seriously doubt they would share his opinion,” Radzilowski said. “The fact of the matter is we would have handled this the same way if the person was black, white or pink. ... Shame on him for playing the race card in this.”
For more on the SCLC's reaction to the death of Derrick Humbert, check back overnight on Bradenton.com or pick up a copy of Thursday's Bradenton Herald.