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Documents: Police used Tasers at least four times on night of Kaafi arrest

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CORRECTION: The original version of this story listed the number of Taser deployments as "more than 10 times, once for 150 seconds." After further reviewing the documents in our possession, we have amended this story, which now lists the number of deployments of the Taser as "at least four times." The headline of this post has also been changed to reflect the new tally. Today ABC 7 has filed additional Freedom of Information Act requests for Taser reports for the other four officers who were at the scene, and we continue working to arrive at a full and accurate accounting of how many times the Taser was deployed on the night of Kaafi's arrest. We regret any errors made in stating the total number of Taser deployments. 

SARASOTA, Fla. -- More details are emerging about the night Sarasota police arrested John Kaafi, the man who later died after spending time in police custody. Today ABC 7 obtained another police report that seems to contradict previous reports released by the department.

Each new document highlights inconsistencies and raise serious questions about the initial police reports, but this latest account on the incident seems to support what eyewitnesses have been telling ABC 7 all along.

On Tuesday we talked to Timothy Bess, the driver of the car involved in the traffic stop the ended with Kaafi's arrest. Bess' account does not agree with the one included in the original Probable Cause Affidavit (PCA) written by the arresting officer.

According to that officer's account, he took Kaafi to the ground for repeatedly reaching into his waistband. There's no mention of Kaafi being struck.

Now ABC 7 has obtained the Use of Force Report, in which one of the officers on the scene that night admits to hitting Kaafi multiple times with the butt of a flashlight.

Also left out of the initial PCA were details about the officers’ use of the Taser, the readings from which are recorded by a chip in the device that can not be altered.

It shows officers Tased Kaafi three times during the initial traffic stop.

According to the Chronology of Events Report, an officer called for medical assistance just moments after Kaafi was being tased, saying: "Dispatch, start a rescue, he's complaining about an asthma attack."

Thirty seconds later that ambulance was cancelled, when the officer radioed in again saying, "6901, you can cancelled rescue. He's had a miraculous recovery."

There are other inconsistencies found in the multiple reports issued by the police. For a better understanding, ABC 7 turned to civil rights advocate Michael Barfield.

"We see a Taser discharge while the suspect was still in the vehicle in route to the jail, prior to him jumping out, which perhaps explains why he jumped out," Barfield says.

The Chronology of Events report is computer generated, and it automatically records when a patrol car is stopped or in motion. The report shows the car was moving when one of the officers deployed his Taser at Kaafi, who was at this point handcuffed in the back seat.

I asked Barfield if it was normal for an officer to use a Taser on a suspect while handcuffed in a car.

"It's not normal, It's criminal,” says Barfield. “It's aggravated assault "

The report also shows that about a minute after the Taser was deployed, the patrol car stopped. Two minutes after that, officers reported Kaafi had escaped though the back passenger window.

None of the Taser details were included in the original PCA. In fact, that document states Kaafi was only Tased after he escaped.

By Comparison, the Use of Force report shows the Taser was deployed at least four times.

"Multiple sources give us independently corroborating information about the time of what happened and when it happened that does not add up or match with what the officers claimed happened," Barfield says.

For its part, the Sarasota Police Department is declining to comment on this story due to the fact that there is an ongoing criminal investigation related to Kaafi's arrest.