Police Taser watch - police tasering in the news

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Police Taser watch - police tasering in the news

Having read recently of so many unjustified tasering of people I think a dedicated thread of police tasering is warranted.

To kick it off here is the first article, police tasering an 82 year old.

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago's Police Department is investigating an officer's use of a Taser last month on an 82-year-old woman who was swinging a hammer when police arrived.

Officials with the city's Department on Aging went to Lillian Fletcher's home Oct. 29 to make a welfare check, and called police when they saw Fletcher in a window swinging a hammer back and forth, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said Tuesday.

Officers arrived and in an attempt to subdue Fletcher one of them used their Taser, Bond said. The department is trying to determine if the officer violated department policy regarding the use of stun guns.

Fletcher's granddaughter, Traci Taylor, told the Chicago Sun-Times that her grandmother suffers from schizophrenia and dementia.
... Quote:
My grandmother is easily confused. I just don't think they should be Tasing 82-year-old women. That's ridiculous
Taylor told the newspaper, adding that the elderly woman can be belligerent but is about 5 feet 1 and no more than 160 pounds.

Police departments around the country have come under fire for the use of Tasers following several deaths.

The human rights group Amnesty International USA has voiced concerns that police departments are starting to use tasers more routinely rather than in cases of serious danger.

By netchicken: posted on 7-11-2007

FBI reviewing Tasering of sleeping man; no charges file

NORTH BRADDOCK, Pa. (AP) Two North Braddock police officers won't face criminal charges for Tasering a man who was asleep at home. But the FBI will review the incident for possible civil rights violations.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. says county police determined Officers Gerard Kraly and Lukas Laeuricia didn't commit a crime when they Tasered Shawn Hicks, who was sleeping on his couch.

Police came to Hicks home because they were alerted by a silent security alarm at his home about 2 a.m.

Hicks says the officers Tasered him again after he woke up and showed them ID to prove he lived at the home. Hicks' attorney says he will pursue civil action.

Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com
By netchicken: posted on 7-11-2007

Recently police at the Vancouver airport were attempting to question a recent immigrant that could not speak English.

They tasered him after 24 seconds of speaking with him. The man had spent 10 hours stuck in the airport with no-one helping him. Mr. Dziekanski died shortly after being tasered — only 10 hours after arriving in the country that was to be his new home.

The 40-year-old construction worker, who had never left Poland before, was immigrating to Canada to join his mother, 61, who lives in Kamloops, about a five-hour drive from Vancouver.

They had arranged to meet at the baggage carousel in the international terminal at YVR....

Mr. Dziekanski arrived at about 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14.

... Quote:
He made his way to primary customs in the ordinary fashion … he went through there in the normal time frame … he then proceeded through and was directed to secondary customs, which is normal for someone who doesn't speak English and is immigrating to the country,
Mr. Kosteckyj said. His papers were in order and he proceeded without difficulty.

But what happened after that was far from normal. For nearly 10 hours, Mr. Dziekanski stayed in the Arrivals Hall, growing increasingly frustrated and eventually becoming frantic.

Outside, in the public area, his mother spent nearly six hours pacing the corridors and, in broken English, asking airport officials for help in locating her son.

Mr. Kosteckyj said she visited one booth in international arrivals "at least three to four times and conveyed to them that she was concerned about her son being in the area and she wanted to get a message to him and how could she do that? They wrote her name down and said that they would make inquiries."

At about 10 p.m., she was told he wasn't there. She made the long drive home, only to find a phone message waiting, saying her son had been found.

... Quote:
She called back to immigration when she got in, which would have been around 2 a.m., and spoke to someone there and was advised that her son was somewhere in the area and was fine. And she advised, you know, 'Please take care of him because he can't speak English and I'll get there as soon as I can.' And of course he had died, been killed really, some time on or about 1 or 1:30
Mr. Kosteckyj said.

By netchicken: posted on 7-11-2007

Good Old right wing thinking. Physical Power over mental contemplation. TC is an expert in right wing thought. He shall tell you the police did the proper thing in the Tasering of an 82 year old woman.

By TUTUTKAMEN: posted on 7-11-2007

Climbed out of the bottle long enough to say something stupid, as usual, huh?

Your pickled brain cell (one cell) actually thinks the Right patented the attacks on individual rights and physical abuse? Somehow you attach municipal stupidity to the Right?

Wow, not only are you way out of contact with reality than I thought, you also have no idea what I think, or, you are simply trying to piss me off. I think it's probably a little of all.

You seem to think you are an expert at not only right wing thought (I'm not stupid enough to even think that there is any real difference between the left and the rigght in regard to the handlers, controllers and owners, that is your game), so you tell us.

You play your stupid little ignorant political game like a good little zombie and leave me clean out of it. I know better.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 7-11-2007

Now that I am done responding to the really smart little person who forgets what Janet Reno's favorite Christmas carol was, I'll discuss the taser scene.

As we can see by the examples, the taser incidents are not limited to the U.S. or any political tilt. We see them being used on little old ladies, idiot college students, home owners asleep on their own couches and 100 pound women at traffic stops. What is it that is making these little things to be the first response to an incident with a human by the knuckle-dragging donut eaters? Simple; they are touted as being non-lethal, the donut-eaters watch tv and see other donut-eaters using them, and, as Mr. "It's All Bush's Fault" accidentally stated correctly, it takes less brain power to point and tase than it does to stop, think and assess. Couple that with a lack of decent departmental guidelines and you have a recipe for electro-shock therapy for old Joe 6-Pack.

Why do I call them Knuckle-dragging Donut-Eaters? Because this is a family-oriented board and I won't use more descriptive language in public where children and ladies will see it.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 7-11-2007

Man having a diabetic attack tasered by police

Police in Ozark, Alabama on Tuesday used a taser on a sober man who was having a diabetic seizure.

A trio of police cruisers were called to the scene of a black Nissan truck and trailer pulled over on the side of the road near the intersection of Highway 231 and Marley Mill Road at around 4pm.

James Bludsworth, 54, a man with no criminal record, was was slumped over behind the wheel. Because of his condition he was not responsive to police commands.

Police then fired tasers at the sick man three times.

A police officer now says that he smelled alcohol on Bludsworth, even though later testing showed no trace of alcohol in his system. Ozark Police Chief Myron Williams also claims the sick man was "combative."

Instead of taking Bludsworth to medical care he was booked at Dale County Jail and charged with resisting arrest and driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Bludsworth has no recollection of the incident and is free on $1000 bond.

Police later dropped a charge against Bludsworth relating to an alleged towing infraction.

By netchicken: posted on 10-11-2007

The taser is becoming more and more a tool of abuse than what it was intended for. Police think it is okay to taser people because you are not doing any lasting damage to a person. But the level of pain inflicted on a person does not justify their mere unwillingness to comply with a command.

I can only imagine what the Gestapo would have done with a tool like the taser. The only thing is does is give police less work and make them fatter. In the old days police actually had to be ready to tackle miscreants, today they just taser them into submission.

Perfect tool for a police state.
By IAF: posted on 10-11-2007

Ok, see, this article about Ozark is one I can definitely spout off about. I live in Ozark. These guys would feel much more at home without the silly little idea of the Bill of Rights and the notion of citizens having any liberties whatsoever.
These guys haven't much of a clue about real police work. A woman from the town north of us came up missing in our town. The last time she was seen alive was when she exited the van that was being driven by her husband. Three weeks or so later, she was found by a citizen, only mere yards from where she "exited" the moving vehicle. The cops had no clue. The only way they would have found her is if a donut shop had been erected over her dead body.

Anything having to do with fines stemming from violating a motor vehicle statute, on the other hand, they are on top of it! They are very good little revenue collectors for the king's coffers.

Other than that, I have no opinion.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 10-11-2007

Here is a site from Wired.com, this time looking at Taser fatalities.

Seems that others are starting to draw similar conclusions to our own.
However I believe its not the weapon thats the problem its the casual use of it by the police.

The argument seems to run that Tasering is safer as the police would have to shoot people instead.

However in many cases it seems shooting would not be an option either. Is it just a 21st century version of the truncheon?

By netchicken: posted on 18-11-2007

Whoops there goes another one ....

A 20-year-old man died this morning after a sheriff's deputy used a taser on him to break up a fight, the Frederick County Sheriff's Office reports.

The man was identified as Jarrel Gray of Ladd Circle by his mother, Tanya Thomas, who spoke to a News-Post reporter.

A fight was reported in the 7000 block of Gresham Court East, near Crestwood Boulevard in Frederick, about 4:54 a.m., according to Cpl. Jennifer Bailey of the sheriff's office.

The first deputy on the scene found four people fighting outside and deployed a taser, striking Gray, Bailey said. He fell on the ground unconscious and was given first aid on the scene, then taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The Frederick Police Department is assisting the Sheriff's Office with the investigation, Bailey said.

The deputy, whose name was not released, has been placed on administrative leave with pay.

By netchicken: posted on 19-11-2007

Here is one from last year, boy the police must have had fun doing this!!

Tasering a wheelchair bound woman 10 times until she died. Just how violent can an elderly overweight woman be in a wheelchair even with a knife and hammer?

In April 2006, officers with the police department said they were called to a disturbance at a home in the 400 block of Harrison Street just before 5 p.m.

In a 911 call made to the Green Cove Springs, Delafield can be heard telling a dispatcher that she believed she was in danger:

Dispatcher: And what's the problem?

Delafield: My sister is waiting on my property.

Dispatcher: Your what?

Delafield: My sister (inaudible) is on my property trying to harm me.

Officers said they arrived to find Delafield in a wheelchair, armed with two knives and a hammer. Police said the woman was swinging the weapons at family members and police.

Within an hour of her call to 911, Delafield, a wheelchair-bound woman documented to have mental illness, was dead.

Family attorney Rick Alexander said Delafield's death could have been prevented and that there are four things that jump out at him about the case.
... Quote:
One, she's in a wheelchair. Two, she's schizophrenic. Three, they're using a Taser on a person that's in a wheelchair, and then four is that they tasered her 10 times for a period of like two minutes
Alexander said.

According to a police report, one of the officers used her Taser gun nine times for a total of 160 seconds and the other officer discharged his Taser gun once for a total of no more than five seconds.

A medical examiner found Delafield died from hypertensive heart disease and cited the Taser gun shock as a contributing factor, the report said. On her death certificate, the medical examiner ruled Delafield's death a homicide.

The family said it plans to sue the Green Coves Springs Police Department now that it has all the reports regarding their loved one's death.

"We're going to try to compensate the estate and the family and try to get justice," Alexander said.

He said he believes the evidence weighs heavily in favor of Delafield's family and that justice will be served.

"I think that this evidence is going to show, along with some of the evidence we've collected outside of here, that there is no reason Emily Delafield should have died that day," Alexander said.

He said he plans to file a notice to sue sometime before the end of the year.


Picture of wheelchair bound 56-year-old Emily Delafield

tasered-in-wheelchair.jpg - 5.94kb
By netchicken: posted on 19-11-2007

And another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust ...

A 20-year-old man died Sunday after being shot with a Taser device during a scuffle with a sheriff's deputy in Maryland, a spokeswoman for the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said.

Amnesty International blames dozens of deaths on police use of stun guns.

Cpl. Jennifer Bailey said deputies responding to a report of a fight in progress arrived at the location in Frederick, Maryland, just before 5 a.m. ET and found four people fighting.

A deputy used a Taser device on one of the men, who fell unconscious, Bailey said.

The man was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His identity was not immediately released, pending the notification of his family.

The deputy, who has not been identified publicly, has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the completion of an investigation, Bailey said.

Amnesty International has reported that, since June 2001, more than 150 people have died in the United States after being subdued with a stun gun. The organization has called for police departments to suspend use of the devices pending study of their possible risks.

By netchicken: posted on 20-11-2007

UHP (Utah Highway Patrol) tasers man in front of pregnant wife and baby over an alleged speeding ticket.

My goodness watch this. The driver is certianly not guilty of anything, that is insane.
By netchicken: posted on 22-11-2007

Another pregnant woman tasered, this time with a child as well.

The FBI is investigating after a Trotwood police officer used a Taser on a pregnant woman.

Trotwood Public Safety Director Michael Etter said the incident happened on Nov. 18. He said the woman arrived at the police department asking to give up custody of her 1-year-old son.

Etter said an officer spoke with the woman as she held onto the child outside the police department.

"(He) attempted to obtain information on both the mother and the child, at which time the mother refused to give any information and became very agitated," Etter said.

Surveillance video from the police department shows the woman trying to leave with the child. The officer then grabs her coat in an effort to get her to stop.

Etter said the officer was doing what he thought was in the best interest of the boy.

The video shows the woman struggling with the officer, who then takes the child from her and gives the boy to another officer. The first officer then forces the woman down on her stomach, and he then uses a Taser on her neck.

Etter said the officer did not know the woman was pregnant.

"She did not disclose, even after she was arrested, that she was pregnant," Etter said. He said the woman was wearing a large winter coat and had her child on her lap when she was talking to the officer.
By netchicken: posted on 1-12-2007

Tasers are tools made for enforcing a police state while appearing that everything is "civil". The company that makes them TASER international has made a killing internationally as governments the world over are getting this fancy little toy for their minions.

In the west the average police officer is way too equiped already without the need for another contraption. A cop has a radio, pepper spray, baton, taser, 9mm pistol, extra ammo on his person! Not to mention wearing a vest and having extra firearms in his cruiser. I doubt the US army hands out that many tools to their infantrymen on the field.
By IAF: posted on 1-12-2007

Yeah, the problem is that the idea of the Taser is great. Its meant to replace "lethal force". So you don't have to kill your subject.

However as all these articles show its been subverted to become just another truncheon in the hands of police to impose their will on the subject.

Without the Taser being used would the police have pulled out their pistols and shot the people? I very much doubt it. Then it shouldn't have been used.
By netchicken: posted on 1-12-2007

If they want to replace lethal force, why dont they just leave their guns behind and carry only tasers ???
By IAF: posted on 1-12-2007

Heres another one. Guy is too slow to get his car insurance out, so officer orders him out of the car and tasers him.

Mind you there are some unusual factors here, the guy doesn't have a rear plate, but the officer did seem to be in a bad mood when he started talking.

What surprises me is how ordinary the victims look, just the sort of people who go through life like normal. Not hardened crims or nut jobs.

By netchicken: posted on 2-12-2007

The nutjobs and criminals are the rogues and malcontents wearing the badges.

They make me sick. I'm glad the videos are getting out so that people can see what is happening.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 2-12-2007

Here is an explanation on why the video was released to the public
gee the officer got a 3 day suspension, talk about a slap on the hand.

The willingness of various officers of the Austin Police Department, including several members of the Austin Police Union, to offer a personal apology to a driver who was attacked during a traffic stop by an officer with a Taser is heartening. It’s an indication that the department’s rank-and-file will not turn a blind eye to unprofessional conduct by one of its own, and that, in turn, will inspire greater public trust in Austin officers and the department.

Greer represents the detective rank on the police union board. By now, the facts are fairly well-known: Eugene Snelling, 32, was driving on MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) last Thanksgiving when Cpl. Thomas O’Connor stopped him for going 5 mph over the speed limit.

The video camera on O’Connor’s cruiser recorded what happened next: O’Connor walks up to Snelling’s car window and demands a driver’s license and registration. Snelling’s voice rises, saying, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” O’Connor shouts back, “No, not ‘whoa, whoa, whoa.’ ” He orders Snelling out of the car. Snelling complies, but O’Connor shocks him anyway with the Taser — all within 45 seconds of being stopped.

After an investigation, the department’s Internal Affairs office saw no need for disciplinary action. But then-Acting Chief Cathy Ellison reviewed it and ordered a three-day suspension for O’Connor, who served it and then returned to duty.

When Art Acevedo, the new chief from California, saw the video, he strongly disapproved of O’Connor’s action but saw in the footage what some would call “a teaching moment.” He released the video, told officers to watch it, and made it clear that any officer who did the same as O’Connor would be in serious trouble. The chief’s warning was appropriate and welcome.

But what’s genuinely encouraging is the reaction of officers who watched the video and not only disapproved — we think most officers would — but spoke up about the need for an apology, a personal apology. As professional law enforcement officers, they don’t want to be associated with the kind of behavior on display in the video.

The public wants to believe in and trust its police officers. Even law-abiding citizens, like Snelling, might get pulled over occasionally for minor traffic offenses.

But what to an officer is a fairly routine, even if irritating, traffic stop can be a nerve-wracking experience for a driver, particularly for one who is Hispanic or African American and stopped by a white officer. People may drive away from such encounters unhappy about getting a ticket, but they should not — literally — be shocked by it or have cause to complain about an officer’s bullying behavior.

Acevedo said his standard for officer behavior is high. We think most officers already meet that standard. But we applaud the willingness to publicly acknowledge and apologize for failures to live up to that standard.

Such candor can only bolster police credibility.
By netchicken: posted on 3-12-2007

... Quote:
After an investigation, the department’s Internal Affairs office saw no need for disciplinary action. But then-Acting Chief Cathy Ellison reviewed it and ordered a three-day suspension for O’Connor, who served it and then returned to duty.

That says it all.
A three day suspension for something that would have gotten a civilian tossed in the can for aggravated assualt?

He makes contact with another human being and then attacks him with a weapon.

What would have happened to the citizen had he simply got out of the vehicle and punched the cop in the mouth right off the bat? Would he have been penalized the same? No.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 3-12-2007

This is starting to happen on a daily basis, is it an unofficial sport now?

How long till Tasering will be in the Olympics?

What did the police do before Tasers were invented? Hit them with truncheons?

Sad video of an hysterical handcuffed woman being tasered while in custody, for no reason other than to make her compliant.

For instance, a woman was tased in a Sheffield Lake, Ohio, police station not because she threatened officers — in fact, she was restrained in handcuffs — but rather because she refused to “cooperate,” as the video at the left demonstrates.

“Last November, [Kristina Fretter] was stunned with a Taser while in handcuffs in the Sheffield Police Department booking room after being picked up for drunken driving. The officer who fired the Taser, Edward Long, resigned, and charges were dropped against Fretter in exchange for her promise not to sue the village,” the Chronicle-Telegram reports.

By netchicken: posted on 4-12-2007

Police taser guy in bathroom

Gosh I never realized that a deaf naked guy with only a bath towel around him posed such a threat to fully armed and wired officers.

Donnell Williams had just gotten out of the bath tub, wearing only a towel around his waist, when he turned the corner to see guns pointing right at him.

"I ain't never been so scared," says Williams.

Police forced entry into Williams home while responding to a shooting, but it turned out to be a false call. They had no idea at the time the call wasn't real and that Williams is hearing impaired. Without his hearing aid he is basically deaf.

"I kept going to my ear yelling that I was scared. I can't hear! I can't hear!"

Officers were worried about their own safety because at the time it appeared Williams was refusing to obey their commands to show his hands. That's when they shot him with a Taser.

Deputy Chief Robert Lee of the Wichita Police Department says, "This one occurred on the worst of calls, that being a shooting. The first few minutes getting control of the scene are very, very important."

Once the facts were all sorted out, officers repeatedly apologized to Williams. Police wish it never happened, but with the information they had at the time, their choices were limited.

"Do I wish there would have been some way they were notified in advance this gentleman was hearing impaired? I certainly do. No one is happy with the way it worked out," says Lee.

Williams was not hurt in the incident. Police say the shooting call came from a cell phone but they still don't know who made it or why.

The case is being reviewed by the department.

By netchicken: posted on 5-12-2007

I visited Taser International online and had a look around. I found some interesting docs. One stat I found a little disturbing, almost shocking - not to be funny, this is a serious issue. It would seem that in some short term study in a major city Taser was deployed fully 33% of the time to subjects with the description of "mental disorder."

A link to the Taser Field Use and Statistics Webpage,


Here is the document I found the statistic in, the pie chart on page 11 says a bunch. There are other stats of interest too. It will be interesting to archive these docs and see how the situation develops over time. A PDF from taser Intl.


By AccessGranted: posted on 8-1-2008

I have said it once and I will say it again; I have no idea how I ever made it without a taser! I had guns, sticks and wits, and wits was the main tool used.
The problem is the total lack of the individual and the rights held by the individual. Police forces actually believe that they are the law and that we have to obey whatever they say. Sorry, that isn't the case in my country. As a matter of fact, when the cop is to come in contact with the citizen is very limited - not that silly little things such as the consitutional restrictions on the government is going to hinder the tyrants or their little armed servants.

Ok. I'll get off my soap box. For the moment.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 8-1-2008

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