Saturday, October 30, 2010

Former Officer Not Guilty in Trial for Taser Death of Suspect.

The trial in another racially polarizing Taser death ends with a not guilty verdict. The suspect was Tased 8 or 9 times. It took the jury only about 3 hours to reach the verdict. LINK


  1. A guilty verdict would place responsibility for knowing and respecting the risks associated with the deceased's medical condition with the arresting officer . . . absurd. There seems to be a growing sentiment that officers are supposed to suffer injury before using a Taser . . . also absurd.

  2. Ridgway thanks for the post. In general, I agree. Thus far, it appears that most, if not all, of those who died by Taser were under the influence of drugs or had pre-existing medical conditions. This makes cause of death difficult to prove, and makes it unfair to punish officers who could not have known about the pre-existing condition or type/extent of drug intoxication. However, I think it is only a matter of time until it is proven that a healthy non-druggie died after 40 seconds of jolt, 35 seconds of which were unnecessary. In this case, a conviction would, IMHO, be justifiable. We must also take into account that officers have other non-lethal alternatives, such as pepper spray. However, many of the alternatives are not as effective and their use (in lieu of the Taser) could put the officer at unreasonable risk. Unfortunately, every case is different and it is hard to figure out where to draw the lines sometime. The 9th Circuit now treats the Taser differently than other non-lethal weapons. They have placed new/additional restrictions on Taser use.