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Charges dismissed against man tasered by Durham police at Harris Teeter

Criminal charges were dropped today against Deonte Harris, who was tasered by Durham Police last September at the Harris Teeter on Ninth Street, because witnesses from the store did not show up to testify in court.

Harris, 24, had been arrested and charged with second-degree trespassing and resisting an officer after he allegedly did not leave the store when asked to by store personnel. Harris was already being restrained by two Durham police officers when he was tasered.

However, Harris' attorney, Scott Holmes, said that "no one had the authority to order him to leave the public premises because he had done nothing to justify his removal."

Social justice advocates and other concerned citizens viewed the incident as another example of questionable and disproportionate use of force by Durham police.

"The case highlights the willingness of the Durham police to use potentially deadly force in situations that do not justify it," Holmes said.

Holmes said there could be a civil suit filed against DPD.

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