Court to Cops: Stop Tasing People into Compliance

TaserDavid Hambling writes on WIRED’s Danger Room:

The use of Tasers has become increasingly controversial over the last year, following high-profile cases such as the Tasering of a 10-year-old girl who had refused to take a shower and video of a 72-year-old great-grandmother who was Tasered following a driving offense.

Now a federal appeals court in San Francisco has set down new rules for when police officers are allowed to use Tasers. In particular, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Tasers can’t be used simply to force a non-violent person to bend to an officer’s will. The court’s reason was that Taser’s X26 stun gun inflicts more pain than other “non-lethal” options:

The physiological effects, the high levels of pain, and foreseeable risk of physical injury lead us to conclude that the X26 and similar devices are a greater intrusion than other non-lethal methods of force we have confronted.

The ruling followed a case in which an officer Tasered a man named Carl Bryan after pulling him over for driving with an unbuckled seat belt. Bryan was verbally abusive, but obviously unarmed and non-violent.

Read More in WIRED’s Danger Room

6 Comments on "Court to Cops: Stop Tasing People into Compliance"

  1. tonyviner | Jan 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm |

    If a cop uses a taser on someone that is not a direct, physical threat, then they should have their badge taken away, maybe not forever but long enough to make them realize that they should not continue to abuse the authority that they have.

  2. Tasering could be seen as a type of torture.

  3. Heidi1535 | Dec 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm |

    Thank goodness the courts are FINALLY stepping in…cops have been abusing their power for far too long.

  4. Heidi1535 | Dec 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm |

    Thank goodness the courts are FINALLY stepping in…cops have been abusing their power for far too long.

  5. Rwestbrook | Aug 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm |

    Most cops are cops because they enjoy being bullies. They like sticking their nose in others peoples business and feeling really big about doing it. COWARDS!

  6. Rwestbrook | Aug 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

    Most cops are cops because they enjoy being bullies. They like sticking their nose in others peoples business and feeling really big about doing it. COWARDS!

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