Taser cops

Here's to you, Granny!

No indictment for cop who tasered 4-foot eleven, 72-year old lady during traffic stop. Tasers don’t give cops an alternative to lethal force; rather, they allow these thugs and bullies a new avenue in which to exercise their sadism. Keep brutal toys away from brutal people, is my rule.

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8 responses to “Taser cops

  1. Anonymous

    Of course cops love these new toys. Basically these guys are no different from teenage boys who covet the latest zap-the-bad-guy video game.

    But cops affect real people’s lives, not just video villains. These little-boys-at-heart need to have their harmful toys and delusions of rolling thunder taken away from them. They’ve already supplied more than ample evidence that they can’t be trusted with these things.

    Somehow cops got along without tasers in the past. They learned psychological tricks to talk down nut cases like this poor old woman instead of just shooting them with an electric gun. What has our society come to if this is what our police are trained is the right thing to do, that this taser is the only thing in their arsenal that they have to subdue an unstable but probably harmless citizen? Giving them this “harmless” gun is encouraging them to be trigger-happy instead of smart.

    Policemen on patrol should not be allowed to use taser guns. Period!

  2. pulled up in OG

    Last updated March 26, 2010 3:14 p.m. PT

    Court: Seattle police OK to stun pregnant woman
    By GENE JOHNSON
    ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

    SEATTLE — Three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in a case that prompted an incredulous dissent.

    Malaika Brooks was driving her son to Seattle’s African American Academy in 2004 when she was stopped for doing 32 mph in a school zone. She insisted it was the car in front of her that was speeding, and refused to sign the ticket because she thought she’d be admitting guilt.

    Rather than give her the ticket and let her go on her way, the officers decided to arrest her. One reached in, turned off her car and dropped the keys on the floor. Brooks stiffened her arms against the steering wheel and told the officers she was pregnant, but refused to get out, even after they threatened to stun her.

    The officers – Sgt. Steven Daman, Officer Juan Ornelas and Officer Donald Jones – then stunned her three times, in the thigh, shoulder and neck, and hauled her out of the car, laying her face-down in the street.

    Brooks gave birth to a healthy baby two months later, but has permanent scars from the Taser. She sued the officers for violating her constitutional rights, and U.S. District Judge Richard Jones allowed the case to continue. He declined to grant the officers immunity for performing their official duties and said Brooks’ rights were clearly violated.

    But in a 2-1 ruling Friday, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. Judges Cynthia Holcomb Hall and Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain held that the officers were justified in making an arrest because Brooks was obstructing them and resisting arrest.

    The use of force was also justified because of the threat Brooks posed, Hall wrote: “It seems clear that Brooks was not going to be able to harm anyone with her car at a moment’s notice. Nonetheless, some threat she might retrieve the keys and drive off erratically remained, particularly given her refusal to leave the car and her state of agitation.”

    They also noted that the force used wasn’t that serious because the Taser was in “touch” mode rather than “dart” mode, which hurts more. They reversed the lower court’s opinion and held that the officers were entitled to immunity from the lawsuit.

    The officers’ lawyers, Ted Buck and Karen Cobb, said the officers made the right decision under the circumstances they faced.

    “Police officers have to have the ability to compel people to obey their lawful orders,” Buck said. That’s all the court recognized today. The 9th Circuit just applied the law instead of getting caught up in the otherwise unfortunate factual circumstances.”

    The majority’s opinion outraged Judge Marsha Berzon, who called it “off the wall.”

    “I fail utterly to comprehend how my colleagues are able to conclude that it was objectively reasonable to use any force against Brooks, let alone three activations of a Taser, in response to such a trivial offense,” she wrote.

    She argued that under Washington law, the officers had no authority to take Brooks into custody: Failure to sign a traffic infraction is not an arrestable offense, and it’s not illegal to resist an unlawful arrest.

    Berzon said the majority’s notion that Brooks obstructed officers was so far-fetched that even the officers themselves didn’t make that legal argument. To obstruct an officer, one must obstruct the officer’s official duties, and the officers’ only duties in this case were to detain Brooks long enough to identify her, check for warrants, write up the citation and give it to her. Brooks’ failure to sign did not interfere with those duties, she said.

    Furthermore, Brooks posed no apparent threat, and the officers could not have known how stunning her would affect the fetus, or whether it might prompt premature labor – another reason their actions were inexcusable, Berzon said.

    Brooks’ lawyer, Eric Zubel, said he would ask the 9th Circuit to rehear the case.

    “This is outrageous – that something like this could happen to a pregnant woman, in front of an elementary school, at 8:30 in the morning, to someone who posed no threat whatsoever,” he said.

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/6420ap_us_pregnant_woman_tasered.html

  3. Greenwich Gal

    CF – Most cops are good guys and I am SHOCKED that you would be so judgmental as to lump the whole lot of them as overzealous power freaks just because there are a few bad ones out there!

  4. Inagua

    Here is the video of incident that the grand jury saw. The woman refused to sign the speeding ticket; the cop ordered her out of the car; she complied, but positioned herself very close to the oncoming traffic; the cop ordered her to “step back”; she repeatedly refused; the cop ordered he to put her hands behind her back; she refused repeatedly; the cop threatened to tase her; she stood her ground; the cop tased her. You decide.

  5. Anon E. Moose

    GG,

    Perhaps, but if you’re right its still the case that the good ones without fail close ranks to protect the ‘bad ones’ no matter how aggregious the ‘bad ones’ behavior. The Blue Wall of Silence still prevails. That in itself is not forgiveable. Part of being a ‘good one’ is self-policing.

  6. Andrew

    Bullies are no different than evildoers. If it is really true that “most cops are good guys” then they should be brave enough to control the evildoers. I thought that is what they are paid to do.

  7. boredatwork

    http://www.theindychannel.com/news/23017669/detail.html#

    I have a 10 year old and I can’t imagine using that level of force on a child of that age, no matter how disruptive they were being. I just can’t imagine how anyone would think it was appropriate unless they had a gun or knife in their hand and were endangering someone. The cops would not have shot this kid, so why use the taser? Yes, most cops are good guys (I have more than one in my family), but there are too many taser-related stories and it seems that some cops don’t see any negative consequences to using the taser whereas if they shot the pregnant woman there would most certainly have ben negative consequences.