A mentally ill woman in Arizona has filed charges on Thursday, Sept. 23, against three police officers who reportedly entered her home, pointed guns at her, and tased her while she stood in her room unarmed, calling the actions unlawful and excessive.

Memory Burns, a 35-year-old woman with schizophrenia, and her father and caretaker Lewis Williams, filed the suit regarding the Sept. 25, 2020 case when the law enforcement allegedly broke into her house and tased her without due cause or reason, according to Law&Order.

The situation was believed to be a domestic abuse situation as “loud noises, banging sounds, and the possibility of a male and female arguing” were reported by a neighbor.

When they got to the home, a uniformed trooper from the Arizona Department of Public Safety told two of the officers that it was a mental health case and that Burns was known to have “arguments with herself in which she used a voice that sounded like a male voice.”

But the sergeant with them, Jeffrey Overton, was not informed of the situation and told the officers to force their way into the apartment, where they found Melody in a corner, unresponsive to officer orders, according to Phoenix New Times.

Overton ordered one of the officers, Matthew Ortiz, to “drop her,” which Williams and Burns’ attorney has interpreted as an order to shoot Burns. Ortiz did not comply. Overton then tased her and arrested her for obstructing, which is not a crime under the criminal code.

“For reasons that make no sense, Sergeant Overton tases her,” Jesse Showalter, who is representing Williams and Burns, said. “She poses no threat to him or anybody else and it was clearly a use of unlawful force against a woman that the two officers standing next to Overton knew was mentally ill.”

Overton has a lengthy reputation of misconduct, including sexual harassment, six police car crashes, refusing to respond to calls from a mental health facility, and not following the procedure in a domestic violence case. He has been suspended by the police pending an investigation.

Police officers Jeffrey Overton, Matthew Ortiz, and Natalia Lomahoema have been sued by Memory Burns for unlawful use of force after they broke into her apartment and tased her. This is a representational image. Erik Mclean/Unsplash.

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