"I firmly believe that if a person has been victimized by the police in an egregious way that he should be represented," Burris said. "Dave and I are going to investigate the case, see what witnesses (are) available and go from there."
The city is being represented by Dale Allen, police Lt. Andre Matthews said.
Based in San Francisco, Allen has worked for the police department before, including on cases involving Tasers. The city hired him earlier this year to defend against a wrongful death lawsuit filed by relatives of a man who died on Highway 99 after officers used Tasers to subdue him.
Burris said the law allows his client six months to file a claim with the city of Merced. If the claim is rejected, Williams will have six months to file a lawsuit in Superior Court, or two years to file a lawsuit in federal court.
"Once I've completed the investigation, I will then go from there," Burris said. "I'm not really in a position to say what I am going to do and when I am going to do it."
Burris is no stranger to cases of alleged police abuse. He's representing the family of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old man shot to death in Oakland on New Year's Day by 27-year-old Johannes Mehserle, a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer.
According to Burris' Web site, his client list also has included Rodney King, Barry Bonds, late rapper Tupac Shakur, actor Delroy Lindo and former NFL football player Keyshawn Johnson.
The day of his arrest, Williams said he and his wife, 28-year-old Demetrice Shaunte Phifer, were involved in a verbal argument when a marked Merced Police Department patrol car arrived at the couple's apartment at 2355 K St.
He claims Pinnegar unholstered his Taser and jammed it into his rib cage on the left side of his body, shocking him twice. Williams said he fell from his chair on his stomach, onto the ground outside of the doorway in front of his apartment.
A short video clip, shot by a neighbor and obtained by the Sun-Star, clearly shows Williams sitting on the pavement with his pants down, his hands cuffed behind his back.
A police report written by the arresting officers states that Williams was shocked in the shoulder. It says the officers tried to reason with Williams before the arrest, to no avail. The officers wrote that Williams was uncooperative and refused to turn over his daughter to a Child Protective Services worker.
Police received reports of drug use at Williams' apartment, and his wife claimed he'd hit her three times in the stomach, according to the report. Williams denies those accusations.
He said Thursday that he hasn't seen his daughter since the day of his arrest, and that getting her back is his main concern. The girl is now with other family members.