February 8, 2011

Ohio Police Settle Lawsuit and Agree to Stop Using Tasers on Pregnant Women

Valreca Redden must be pleased. Villagers will recall that Valreca Redden was the young pregnant woman who went into an Ohio police station for help and ended up being tasered. Of course, police all over the nation have gone taser-happy in recent years. That trend may begin to turn around in Ohio where police agreed to curtail their wanton use of taser guns. [SOURCE]

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Ohio prisoners, however, its implications may impact the rest of the citizens as well. The settlement says that deputies will not use Tasers against anyone who is not "resisting by use of physical force" or is "displaying active aggression" against them, or is posing a threat to the deputy or others.

The settlement grew out of a federal class-action lawsuit filed by the Ohio Legal Rights Service, an independent state agency that supports the rights of people with disabilities.

The Justice Department asked to intervene to keep the sheriff's office from "engaging in a pattern and practice of gratuitous, excessive and unconstitutional use of Tasers against arrestees, pretrial detainees and other prisoners, including pregnant women, incapacitated individuals and those with mental illness."

Please read or download the complete settlement agreement so that you can see for yourself the results of the lawsuit

This blog is hopeful that police departments across the state of Ohio will see the handwriting on the wall ... it is time for much more reasoned and responsible use of tasers!

1 comment:

Karen Swim, Words For Hire said...

Thanks to your efforts I am much more aware of taser use and abuse by law enforcement. I agree with the provisions cited but question how officers will determine who meets these requirements? Pregnancy, disability and mental illness do not always carry visual clues. A women in her first trimester may not be showing, and every disability is not visible or can be mistaken for drug or alcohol use.