October 20, 2011

Federal Court Rules Against Taser-Killing Cops

This blog has been sharing the story of taser-related deaths in America. We think that one way to slow down the weekly taser-related deaths is to charge more of the taser-happy police officers with manslaughter or homicide. The 9th Circuity Court of Appeals may have moved things in that direction with their recent rulings. [SOURCE]

The court ruled that police used excessive force when they fired Tasers at a pregnant woman in Seattle and a victim of domestic abuse in Maui.

In the Seattle case, a seven-months pregnant Malaika Brooks was driving her son to school when she was stopped by police, ticketed for driving 12 miles over the 20-mph speed limit and blasted with a taser gun three times after refusing to sign the citation.

Two years later and thousands of miles away in Maui, Jayzel Mattos was trying to defuse a brewing clash between her drunk husband and four police officers called to a domestic disturbance when one of the officers suddenly dropped her to the floor with two jolts from his Taser, which was set in dart mode. 

The federal appeals court ruled that in both instances, police used excessive force and that their actions violated the Constitution's protection from unreasonable force. The court's ruling may now serve to establish that using taser guns without an imminent threat of harm is unreasonable, at least in some cases, exposing police officers to liability in future lawsuits.

Time will tell if the rate of taser-related deaths begins to slow down as a result of this federal court ruling.

No comments: