Finally, A Federal Court Gets It Right

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, no less!

Tazer to the body or .38 slug to the head - I know which one I’d rather have.

Rightfully so…

I’m hoping this doesn’t limit the use of Tazers when they are needed for the defense of a police officer. I could just see someone who was dangerous suing a cop for using one when the cop felt he needed to use it for his own safety to subdue the person. Good cops seem to be always on the guilty until proven innocent side. It’s a shame bad cops have to ruin it for them.

I wonder what the people who have been killed by tazers would have chosen? Oh, that’s right, it doesn’t matter because they’re dead.

Exactly. There have been more and more instances when the police tazer someone who is not being dangerous, is not threatening the officer not trying to flee for the simple reason that it makes it that much easier to subdue them. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure…how can anyone say that tazering someone who is not being a threat is reasonable? I’ve always felt that if police officers are that afraid then they should find another job.

Good. I’m looking forward to more judgements penalising unnecessary measures, not just the weapons.

They already made one poor choice, why not ask those that got tazed instead of shot?

Define threat.

When a suspect refuses to comply and forces a physical confrontation how much force do you decide is necessary? What method makes it easier to subdue a person, black jack to the head? Choking? Twisting and dislocating their arms and elbows?

Ever try to handcuff a person that doesn’t want to be handcuffed - its usually takes at least two men against any subject.

I think, before tasers, the police officer could shot you instead. Maybe tasers are better than that or rubber bullets. If the police officer wants you to put on handcuffs and you resist, some force is sometimes necessary, some times a taser helps to change the mind of the person being restrained, handcuffed and placed into the back seat of the police car.
Tasers are dangerous, and can be misused, if a person is in poor health, a taser could be fatal;););););):wink:

I have taught my children that the police are our friends and for them to coorperate with them at all times. If they don’t follow their instructions, they could get in trouble or tazed.

I am all for the criminal behavior of cops being persecuted to the full extent of the law.
Tasers, as an instrument of control, are a humane and an intelligent limit on the use of force. When they are being used as instruments of abuse and torture, police are engaging in criminal behavior.

Yes, and sometimes people with access to special means of controlling the situation may develop a habit of using them as precautionary means instead. People who work in the police shouldn’t have to worry about using force when necessary, but they should be sober and rational enough to know the difference. In this situation, the idea that the use of a taser would supposedly be harmless in the long run may have affected the policeman’s decision–I don’t think he would’ve done the same if he had thought about the man losing four of the front teeth. I generally have more beef with the police abusing the search powers or downright beating people, the latter case being different from merely using excessive force. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people in the responsible professions (not just the police: teachers, lawyers, doctors, others) who shouldn’t be there because they aren’t stable and/or reasonable enough for the job or don’t get some of the basic concepts of the job.

Does this sound like a threat to you?

"In a case out of San Diego County, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals criticized an officer who, without warning, shot an emotionally troubled man with a Taser when he was unarmed, yards away, and neither fleeing nor advancing on the officer."

Let’s see…unarmed, yards away and neither fleeing nor advancing…yeah, that sounds like a threat. :rolleyes:

Also, “*Temporarily paralyzed and in intense pain, Bryan fell face-first on the pavement. The fall shattered four of his front teeth and left him with facial abrasions and swelling. Later, a doctor had to use a scalpel to remove one of the darts.”

But thank God the cop wasn’t injured.

The subject at hand is about police officers indiscriminately tazing people who are NOT offering resistance to the officer. If you believe that it is ok to taze someone who is yards away, not armed nor approaching or fleeing then you have a warped sense of what Justice entails.

Apparently, the issue that the court decided on is tazing those WHO ARE NOT OFFERING RESISTANCE. For all of those who have died as a result, how many are you willing to write off because of refusing to comply? In the future, why not just shoot suspects, guilty or not, in the back of the head?

From the case:

In the summer of 2005, Carl Bryan, 21, was pulled over for a seat-belt violation and did not follow an officer’s order to stay in the car.

He was “agitated … yelling gibberish and hitting his thighs, clad only in his boxer shorts and tennis shoes” but did not threaten the officer verbally or physically, the judges wrote.

So what should the officer have done to control the subject that had already refused to follow directions?

If visibly unstable or otherwise not in a mentally healthy state: get proper help, use taser only in defence of self or others.

If not visibly in a mentally unhealthy state and *actively *refusing to follow orders: go through with the formal course until arrest and resisting arrest and then taser in defence while being at least waved hands at. Warn before tasing.

This isn’t about being a big guy or about putting oneself in a 0 risk situation.

As I have not reviewed all the court transcripts, I can’t legitimately speak to the mindset or perceived threat of the officer.

What I can say, with all due respect, and without reservation, is that is one of the silliest and most naive things I’ve ever read. Any officer who does not have the good sense to be afraid during situations he perceives to be dangerous should have never passed a psych. Those “never afraid” folks are the Rambo’s and rogues. They are impervious to the danger in which they place themselves, citizens, suspects and fellow officers.

In my career, I’ve dealt with officers of many agencies. Give me the human, “I was so scared I nearly wet my pants”, cop any day. Perhaps you should try a ride along, or better, a walk along with an officer serving the homeless-crazy-degenerate area of a large city…

My friend, being a police officer does not even fall into the top ten most dangerous jobs in the country. Some speak with an attitude that there is open warfare on the streets and that the police are daily engaging in gunfire with criminals. If a suspect, who appears to be unstable, is not acting in a dangerous or threatening manner toward a police man, then the police should be cool enough to handle the situation accordingly and receive the type of assistance that is needed in the situation. If he is so afraid of the situation that the only thing that can come to mind is to “bag and tag,” then perhaps he should seek a job that is less strenuous to him.

Better said than I ever could.

So how do you “get help” on a road side where the obviously deranged person is standing? Ask him to hold still for 10 minutes while your call is answered?

Two steps and he’s in the street causing a wreck that could kill him and you. He already disregarded your verbal commands and has legally resisted arrest.

Essentially you want the officer to risk lives and then will blame him for that too.

You can keep coming up with scenarios until the answer is to just shoot every suspect on first sight. The point of the court decision is that police are overstepping their bounds by tazing people who are not threatening, fleeing or provocative. One call on the radio can have backup within a minute or two.

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