The video released Tuesday of a man getting tased by a park ranger now has context, because authorities have just released the full body cam video, and it’s clear … the park ranger was trying to deescalate the situation but the male hiker was uncooperative and defiant.
The video begins when the park ranger approaches the man and woman on a trail that they shouldn’t have been on. The ranger asks for ID and the man refuses.
They go back and forth … the man, who goes by Chief House on social media, said they were on the trail because the main trail had too many people and they didn’t feel COVID-safe.
The ranger repeatedly tells the man all he’s going to do is issue him and the woman a warning … that’s it, but he needs their ID so it can go in the system in case they try to hike on the same trail again at New Mexico’s Petroglyph National Monument.
The man refuses, and says Native Americans and the government don’t mesh well, adding, “You’re on our land.”
This goes on for nearly 8 minutes. The ranger calls for backup as Chief House walks away, despite the ranger’s order to stay. The ranger then warns Chief House he will tase him if he doesn’t cooperate, but he’s having none of it.
After almost 8 minutes, the ranger fires his taser.
So, the question … should the ranger have used his taser? True, it’s just a hiking violation, but Chief House was extremely uncooperative. Does that justify being tased? You decide.
Chief House was cited for interfering with agency functions, concealing his identity and hiking off the trail.