A Zachary police officer is serving a 13-day suspension without pay this week after the chief ruled the officer violated multiple department policies when he used a stun gun on a handcuffed man in April, according to the discipline letter obtained by The Advocate.
Chief David McDavid determined that officer Daulton Rainwater violated policies on use of force, deployment of stun guns and command of temper, according to the letter dated Aug. 2. Rainwater started his suspension Aug. 3. He has until Aug. 17 to file an appeal with the Zachary Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board.
Rainwater responded to a call about a "suspicious incident" at the Best Western Hotel on La. 19 April 30, according to the letter. He located an allegedly drunken and uncooperative man, whom Rainwater then handcuffed and placed in the back of his police unit.
The man in handcuffs, whose name is redacted from the letter, then started to kick the glass window of the vehicle, and Rainwater fired his stun gun at the suspect and "guided him to the ground to calm him down," according to the discipline letter.
Phillip Lee Lilly is identified in the initial incident report as the man who is being arrested. Lilly, 36, was booked on resisting an officer and disturbing the peace.
On June 25, Zachary police officer Emily Nichols submitted a complaint about the incident, alleging that Rainwater had used excessive force. Nichols had assisted Rainwater on the call.
"I find it imperative that this incident be reviewed by an unbiased entity without delay," Nichols wrote in her complaint.
Rainwater, who has been with the department for two years, held a discipline hearing July 11 in response to the complaint.
McDavid quoted parts of the policies Rainwater is accused of violating in the discipline letter, including that "you may use only reasonable force to affect the arrest and detention" and "the TASER will never be used punitively or for the purposes of coercion."
"All members of the department must at all times be quiet, civil, and orderly, and in the performance of his/her duties must maintain decorum, command of temper, patience, and discretion," McDavid quoted from the command of temper expectations that he said were violated by Rainwater.
In addition to Rainwater's suspension, McDavid ordered that the officer complete training on verbal de-escalation and re-trainings on use of force and use of a stun gun, according to the discipline letter.