North Jersey towns consider carrying tasers

Posted on December 31st, 2009 by bile
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

http://www.northjersey.com/news/80395987.html

New Jersey law enforcement officials now have the authority to use electronic stun guns, also called tasers, in limited circumstances involving emotionally disturbed individuals.

State Attorney General Anne Miligram approved the state’s primary attempt with tasers in late November.

“This is the first time in this state that officers are going to be authorized to carry and use stun guns in any capacity,” said Milgram.

The policy states that stun guns can only be used by officers authorized by each department’s chief executive.

The number of officers authorized to carry or use the weapons depends on the size of the department. In a municipality with 25,000 or fewer residents, one officer can carry the stun gun. Two stun guns are permitted in a town with 25,000 to 50,000 residents. If a municipality houses 75,000 residents or more, four officers can be authorized to carry the weapon.

Attorney General Milgram said that such an important shift in policy means limited deployment and adequate controls are necessary for accountability measures and evaluating the use of tasers. Only officers of supervisory rank can be authorized to use the tasers. The exceptions are for certified officers of a regional S.W.A.T. team.

As I live in North New Jersey and am a resident of one of the towns mentioned I urge these police departments *NOT* start carrying or using tasers in any capacity. I think its been well demonstrated in recent years that the claim of non-lethal for these devices incentivies officers to use the weapon when it’s not really necessary. Often for general pain compliance. Tasers certainly are potentially deadly weapons and too often used as cruel punishment for a baligerant or uncooperative individual.

The incentives too perverse and the outcome is too random to justify utilizing such a weapon.

Ruling allows individual to be tasered in order to obtain a DNA sample

Posted on June 4th, 2009 by bile
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments »

http://www.buffalonews.com/…

It is legally permissible for police to zap a suspect with a Taser to obtain a DNA sample, as long as it’s not done “maliciously, or to an excessive extent, or with resulting injury,” a county judge has ruled in the first case of its kind in New York State, and possibly the nation.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza decided that the DNA sample obtained Sept. 29 from Ryan S. Smith of Niagara Falls — which ties him to a shooting and a gas station robbery— is legally valid and can be used at his trial.

Smith was handcuffed and sitting on the floor of Niagara Falls Police Headquarters when he was zapped with the 50,000- volt electronic stun gun after he insisted he would not give a DNA sample.

He already had given a sample, a swab of the inside of his cheek, without protest the previous month. But police sent it to the wrong lab, where it was opened and spoiled. Prosecutors who had obtained a court order for the first sample went back to Sperrazza, who signed another order without consulting the defense.

Defense lawyer Patrick M. Balkin denounced the ruling in an interview with The Buffalo News.

“They have now given the Niagara Falls police discretion to Taser anybody anytime they think it’s reasonable,” he asserted. “Her decision says you can enforce a court order by force. If you extrapolate that, we no longer have to have child support hearings; you can just Taser the parent.”

A police officer said that when Smith was ordered by officers to give his DNA, he adamantly refused.

“I ain’t giving up my DNA again. I already gave it up once. I’ll sit in jail. I ain’t giving it up. You’re going to have to Tase me,” the officer’s report stated.

The officer wrote that he then applied the stun gun to Smith’s left shoulder, a “drive stun” that is regarded as less painful than shooting electric prongs into a person, which is the usual Taser approach. Smith then consented to the sample, and he was arrested on a contempt of court charge.

In her ruling, Sperrazza cited numerous legal precedents and the state’s Criminal Procedure Law, allowing the use of reasonable force to carry out a court order.

Although there are no New York cases specifically dealing with using a Taser to accomplish that, the judge did find a Wyoming case where a court ruled it was legal to use a Taser to force a suspect to open his hand for a search.

Smith is charged with shooting a man in the groin July 27, 2006, after allegedly invading his ex-girlfriend’s home, tying up her two children and forcing the woman to take him to the shooting victim’s home.

He is also accused of taking part in the Dec. 24, 2006, armed robbery of a Sunoco station in Niagara Falls. A codefendant in the robbery, Christopher T. Walker Jr., now 21, pleaded guilty and is serving a 10-year state prison sentence.

Sounds like the guy committed the crimes charged against him. In a free market justice system I suspect that this would be perfectly acceptable and expected. HOWEVER, there would be much more weight placed on such an action because the individuals and businesses performing this tase and swipe are going to be held responsible for any harm done to the individual. Especially should he be found innocent. Today the individual could bring a civil suit against the officers or department but those rarely work out in their favor. And even when they do it’s the taxpayer often stuck with paying the settlement rather then the aggressors.

This however is still troubling as it sets a president that will most definately be abused.

Norfolk, Virginia police officer tases brain-damaged woman: claims he had no choice

Posted on January 8th, 2009 by bile
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

http://www.marketwatch.com/…

A Norfolk, Va., police officer had no choice but to use a stun gun on a brain-injured woman twirling a Hula Hoop in a street median, a city official said.

Norfolk City Attorney Bernard Pishko said Officer Nicholas Parks did not use excessive force when he stunned the woman while responding to an excessive noise complaint as she claims in a lawsuit, the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday.

“We’re not defending it as best practice,” Pishko said. “Officer Parks didn’t know he was dealing with a citizen who was brain-injured … . All he knew was she was non-compliant and agitated.”
The woman, 49-year-old Pamela Brown, is suing in Norfolk Circuit Court, seeking $5 million in damages.

The newspaper said Brown suffered a brain injury in 1977 when she was hit by a truck, and she has seizures and short-term memory loss.

Her lawsuit claims Parks disregarded Brown’s repeated statements that her injuries prevented her from putting her arm behind her back, as the officer had ordered. The lawsuit says Parks also ignored Brown’s efforts to tell him about the documents she had with her that described her medical condition.

“The officer misjudged,” Pishko said. “He didn’t realize she was brain-damaged and overreacted.”

He had no choice. Really. You see he has this disease which makes it impossible to hear when non-officers speak and want to harm them. To make matters worse there was a man holding a gun to his back who told him if he didn’t taze the otherwise harmless woman he’d be shot. Honest.

Sad thing is she’s not suing him in civil court. If he’s found guilty of whatever it is she’s claiming the money comes out of the taxpayers pockets directly. The municipality man reduce the local departments money for a year to help account for the costs but it’s unlikely he personally will feel the pain.

Want some torture with your peanuts?

Posted on July 8th, 2008 by beetlbumjl
Tags: , , , , , , , , 3 Comments »

Scary news from the Washington Times:

Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…

A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.

This bracelet would:

• take the place of an airline boarding pass

• contain personal information about the traveler

• be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage

• shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes

The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to as, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.”  Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and that it would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if he/she got out of line?

What a wonderful idea.  Why not just implant us all with lo-jack chips and be done with it?