Arkansas Officer Who Tasered 10-Year-Old Girl Fired

Amazingly (or not, if you’re a cynic like me) he wasn’t fired for tasing a 10 year old, but for not following proper procedure while doing it.

From CNSNews (via AP)

 

Police Officer Uses Taser On 10-Year-Old Girl

From 4029tv.com:

Ozark police said they were called to a home where a mother asked for help with her unruly child, but the 10-year-old’s father said he’s outraged at the force police used against his daughter.

“I would like to say Ozark police Tased this little girl right here. Ten years old and [they] shot electricity through her body, and I want to know how the heck in God’s green earth can they get away with this,” said the girl’s father, Anthony Medlock.

Medlock said his daughter was at her mother’s house when Ozark police Officer Dustin Bradshaw shocked her in the back with a Taser and arrested her.

“If you can’t pick the kid up and take her to your car, handcuff her, then I don’t think you need to be an officer,” Medlock said.

Continue reading

Don’t fire Tasers at the chest, manufacturer warns

From Raw Story:

WASHINGTON — The US manufacturer of the Taser stun gun has advised police not to aim the weapons at the chests of suspects after admitting heart risk concerns for the first time.

Taser International stressed that suffering an “adverse cardiac event” after being zapped was “extremely unlikely,” but human rights groups say hundreds of people have been killed by the electroshock weapons.

In a bulletin dated October 12, the Arizona-based company issued new guidelines saying it had “lowered the recommended point of aim from center of mass to lower-center of mass for front shots.”

“When possible, avoiding chest shots with ECDs (Electronic Control Devices) avoids the controversy about whether ECDs do or do not affect the human heart,” it explained.

“Researchers have concluded that a close distance between the ECD dart and the heart is the primary factor in determining whether an ECD will affect the heart. The risk is judged to be extremely low in field use,” it said.

Tasers, which pack a 50,000-volt punch that can paralyze targets from up to 10 meters (30 feet) away, are used by several police forces around the world, including in Britain, Canada, France, Greece, Israel, and the United States.

Human rights activists have long criticized the stun guns, challenging previous claims from the manufacturer that they are a safe, non-lethal alternative to handguns.

More than 350 people died between 2001 and December last year after being stunned by the weapons, according to Amnesty International, which has been monitoring Taser-related deaths.

Pensacola cop ran over, killed man during chase, witnesses say

From PNJ.com:

A Pensacola police officer was placed on administrative leave Saturday after his cruiser ran over and killed a young male in Brownsville.

Pensacola Police Department Chief John W. Mathis said Officer Jerald Ard, 35, had been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“It’s obviously a very tragic and unfortunate incident,” Mathis said. “My heart goes out to the subject in this case and his family. We’ll just have to see how this plays out.”

According to a Saturday afternoon news release, Ard saw a suspicious man in a construction site about 1:50 a.m. Saturday, while he was on routine patrol near Cervantes and T streets.

The man left the scene on a bicycle and Ard pursued, attempting to stop him using verbal commands and blue police lights, the release said.

The officer also tried unsuccessfully to shock the fleeing man with a Taser stun gun, according to the release.

After the Taser was fired, the man turned into the parking lot of a vacant business near R Street, crashed his bicycle, and was run over by the pursuing police car, according to the release.

The man, who remained unidentified Saturday afternoon, was pinned beneath the car during the crash, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kristen Perezluha, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said investigators were not ready to release any additional details about the crash.

“We are investigating, but we’re not releasing any details at this point,” Perezluha said.

Perezluha said her agency will handle the “use of force” aspect of the case and the Florida Highway Patrol will investigate the crash.

“We’re handling it the same way we handle officer-involved shootings,” she said. “Generally we complete our investigation and turn the information over to the State Attorney’s Office.”

Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille said his office was contacted Saturday morning and will await the results of the investigation before deciding whether charges will be filed against Ard.

(2 of 2)
For more than four hours Saturday morning, investigators took photographs and measurements and placed small cones along the road and the grass to mark the trajectory of the bicyclist and the police cruiser.

As many as a half dozen patrons attending a concert across the street at the music venue Sluggo’s, said they saw Ard pursuing a young black male with dreadlocks on a bicycle eastbound on Cervantes Street shortly before 2 a.m.

Witnesses said they saw Ard fire a stun gun out the window of his moving cruiser at the fleeing suspect immediately before the crash.

Jamison Boler was seated outside with at least seven friends when they saw the blue lights of the police car, then noticed the male on a bike heading east, toward the Pace Boulevard intersection.

“The man on the bike was on the sidewalk, boogeying down, trying to get away,” Boler said. “The policeman fired a Taser out the window. The guy (on the bike) made a U-turn and ditched the bicycle and kind of did a somersault on the ground.
“Not two seconds later, the cop car just ran over him,” Boler said. “The cop ran up on the curb and hopped out of the car and said, ‘Where are you at?’ The guy was still underneath his car. You can still see his red shoe sticking out.”

Another witness, David Taylor, 25, said the male, who appeared to be a teenager, was dragged after being stuck beneath the police car.

“The kid fell off the bike (after being shocked with a stun gun) and then was stumbling because of the momentum,” Taylor said. “It was probably about 10 to 15 feet that the man was drug.”

The police car came to a stop about 35 feet from the male’s bicycle. The man remained pinned beneath the car for more than three hours before the car was removed and his body was taken away.

Police cordoned off the block of Cervantes as a crowd of concertgoers and passersby looked on.

The police later moved the crime scene tape farther from the street because they said the onlookers were hampering the investigation.

Staff writers Travis Griggs and Jamie Secola contributed to this report.

UPDATE: Georgia man dies after Taser ‘drive stun’

Individual was using crack just before incident, police say
October 03, 2009 12:01:00 AM

PANAMA CITY — A Georgia man who was stunned by a Taser during a law enforcement BADGES investigation was taken to a hospital shortly after the tasing Friday and later died, Panama City Police said in a news release.

Two Panama City Police officers and two Bay County Sheriff’s deputies, all of whom are part of the Bay Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Squad (BADGES), stopped a vehicle Friday afternoon in the area of the Turtle Lake Apartments, which is just off West 20th Street. Officers saw that one of the vehicle’s occupants was “consuming an unknown amount of what appeared to be narcotics,” officials said in a news release.

The two Panama City police officers attempted to prevent the man from “consuming or destroying” what turned out to be a large amount of crack cocaine, and they began to struggle, officials said late Friday.

One of the Panama City officers pulled out his Taser X26 and used it to stun the man in what is known as a “drive stun,” the release said. In a drive stun, the probe cartridge is removed from the Taser before use; the device is then pressed against the subject and used, according to the release.

By design, the Taser can be used in 5-second blasts only; however, officials said late Friday they did not yet know if the man was stunned more than once. After the altercation ended, officers realized the man was in need of medical attention and rushed him to the hospital, officials said. He later died.

The medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy as early as today to determine the cause of death. The man’s name was not released Friday night pending notification of his family, officials said. The names of the officers involved in the incident were not released Friday night.

The two Panama City officers were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, officials said. Panama City officials have asked Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the death, said Deputy Chief Robert Colbert.

“I think everyone involved would agree that this is an unfortunate sequence of events that, if it were at all possible, we would liked to have avoided,” Colbert said. “However, you do have an individual that became combative with law enforcement, and officers are required to react.”

Two other men inside the vehicle were arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. The men have been identified as Bernard Crapps, 30, of Panama City, and Jarell Lacoute Daniels, 25, of Albany, Ga. Another man is in custody and faces weapons and drug charges, but officers did not yet know the man’s identity late Friday, officials said

An Electrifying Tour of the Taser Factory

From Wired:

Taser has built an arsenal of weapons that are meant to save lives, by giving police officers the ability to subdue resistant suspects without shooting or bludgeoning them. But since their inception, the less-lethal weapons have drawn criticism.

Reports of minivan moms and mouthy grandmothers getting jolts from the devices still make headlines. And occasionally, people die within hours of being incapacitated. Such was the case with Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant who died after getting several jolts from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at Vancouver International Airport.

Despite those incidents, the company continuously develops new models, and each is a bit more powerful than its predecessor. Taser claims its products have been used on humans nearly 1.4 million times, and that they do not cause damage to the heart, or change its rhythm.

This summer, the company launched the X3, its latest and greatest people-zapper. The new device can be fired three times without reloading, delivering brutal five-second pulses of electricity to incapacitate whoever has been struck by its flying darts. Taser also released an electronic shotgun cartridge that can shock people for up to 20 seconds.

To find out how the less-lethal weapons are made, we sent photographer Pat Shannahan of Wired.com on a tour of Taser International headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Read the rest:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/09/taser-tour/

Taser International Inc. sues Canadian government

I can’t wait to see how this plays out. Taser has sued individuals but I think this is the first time it has sued an entire country.

From AZCentral.com:

Taser International Inc. filed a lawsuit Friday in Canada blasting a government report that prompted severe limitations on how and when law-enforcement officers in British Columbia can use stun guns.

Officials with the Scottsdale-based manufacturer called the Braidwood Inquiry biased and asked the Supreme Court of British Columbia to quash all of its findings and declare those involved in compiling evidence derelict.

“We provided . . . more than 170 studies, periodicals (and) reports with respect to the safety of the device and use-of-force questions,” David Neave, an attorney for Taser in Canada, said Friday. “All of that information clearly indicates that when the device is used properly there is not cardiac effect. For reasons unknown to us, that information did not wind its way into the report.”

Read the rest:

http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2009/08/15/20090815biz-tasers0816.html