The ruling sets police standards for use of the Taser, saying stun guns must be used only when "substantial force" is needed."It's a significant use of force, not like cuffing someone or using pain compliance or pepper spray," said Eugene Iredale, a lawyer for a San Diego-area man who was Tasered by a police officer who had stopped him for not wearing a seat belt. "It's not to be used promiscuously or lightly."
Though stun guns may offer a valuable, nonlethal alternative to deadly force in defusing dangerous situations, Judge Kim Wardlaw (one of the 3 judges in this unanimous decision) said, they inflict a "painful and frightening blow" and must be used only when substantial force is necessary and other options are unavailable.
Officers are now prohibited from using a Taser on a person simply for acting erratically or disobeying orders, according to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
This is great news for those of us that have been beating the drums against taser-torture in America! Most of the 58 taser-related deaths in 2009 could have been avoided if this court ruling had been in effect at the beginnng of the year. I suspect that the number of taser-related deaths should slow down considerably if police abide by this court ruling.
What say u?