A defense witness says former Omaha Police Officer Scotty Payne did exactly what he was trained to do in a clash that ended with the death of Zachary Bear Heels. Payne is on trial, charged with felony assault, for stunning Bear Heels with a Taser 12 times in June of 2017.
The defense called John Peters to the stand Wednesday. Peters is considered to be an expert on the use of Tasers by law enforcement and has testified in cases across the country. A Taser was used to subdue Bear Heels at a metro convenience store and he died shortly after the incident.
Payne was eventually fired by Omaha Police.
Peters told the jury that Payne was following what he was taught do when he pulled the Taser on Bear Heels. An Omaha Police officer, who is a Taser specialist, took the stand earlier this week and agreed that Payne's twelve taser deployments were not excessive.
On cross examination the prosecution pointed out that the Taser company specifically cautions about using a Taser on people with mental illness. Bear Heels struggled with mental illness.