We may all live in a great big global community, but in my Blog, it's my world.
Published on May 10, 2005 By terpfan1980 In Politics
From Seattle Post-Intelligencer, headline is linked.




Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Police used Taser on pregnant driver

Woman convicted of refusing to obey Seattle officers

By HECTOR CASTRO
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

She was rushing her son to school. She was eight months pregnant. And she was about to get a speeding ticket she didn't think she deserved.
So when a Seattle police officer presented the ticket to Malaika Brooks, she refused to sign it. In the ensuing confrontation, she suffered burns from a police Taser, an electric stun device that delivers 50,000 volts.
"Probably the worst thing that ever happened to me," Brooks said, in describing that morning during her criminal trial last week on charges of refusing to obey an officer and resisting arrest.
She was found guilty of the first charge because she never signed the ticket, but the Seattle Municipal Court jury could not decide whether she resisted arrest, the reason the Taser was applied.
To her attorneys and critics of police use of Tasers, Brooks' case is an example of police overreaction.
"It's pretty extraordinary that they should have used a Taser in this case," said Lisa Daugaard, a public defender familiar with the case.
Law enforcement officers have said they see Tasers as a tool that can benefit the public by reducing injuries to police and the citizens they arrest.
Seattle police officials declined to comment on this case, citing concerns that Brooks might file a civil lawsuit.
But King County sheriff's Sgt. Donald Davis, who works on the county's Taser policy, said the use of force is a balancing act for law enforcement.



... more at linked article


Yet again, I wasn't there, didn't witness the event, and don't know what was the hearts and minds of the people involved, but I have to believe that the police over-reacted in this case. With that said, I'll also single out the woman involved as using poor judgement, considering she herself knew of her pregnancy, and should have considered her own personal safety (and that of her unborn child) a bit more in her response to the police, as well as in remembering not to speed to begin with.

The woman was clearly emotional in her response to the police, but they were also just as wrong to even consider using a Taser on a woman that was obviously pregnant, and whose only real crime was speeding and then refusing to sign the ticket. They could have just given her the ticket, noted that she refused to sign it, and in some other way document that she had been given the ticket (even if that would have required two officers, one to witness the other).

Yet again, we have proof positive that some police officers are far too quick to escalate a situation, rather than try to resolve it in a more peaceful manner.

I hope that the woman's child never has any emotional problems, no epilepsy or any other problems that could in some way ever be traced back to the use of the Taser on the mother while she was pregnant. If something ever happens in that regard, I can see where the woman will find a Jackie Chiles type lawyer to sue and win her and the child a ton of money from the coffers of the Seattle police department.

Comments
on May 10, 2005
First of all ... She is probably going to sue and claim damages that could never be proven. Like, every time I close my eyes I see the brutal cop and his taser of death. I haven't been able to sleep in months and now my baby is an insomniac and has a funny twitch in his big toe. The twitch is causing developmental problem and the other babies at the nursery make fun of him. He is scarred for life.

Now that I have ranted ... I think that if the officer felt he needed to use the taser, he had full rights to do so. I am not saying that all cops are good and always do the right thing, but we are talking about other than lethal force. A couple of years ago local officers shot and killed a man waving a cell phone. I watched the video over and over and over again from different angles of all of the cars that were there. If I was a cop, I would have made the same decision. I couldn't tell what he was jumping around waving. All that I could tell was that he had something shiny and it could be a gun. As it applies to this case, given the choice if a physical altercation with this woman or a shot from the taser, I think she got the better of the two. If she was resisting arrest, at least she wasn't thrown to the ground.


Cut the officer some slack. They have to make life and death decisions more often that anyone should have to. If he had an error in judgment let it be just that. Slap his hand and send him on. If this is a repeating occurrence, throw the book at him.
on May 10, 2005

Sorry, as the Taser is a non-lethal means of cooling a potentially hot situation, I dont agree.  If they had beat her senseless with their batons (as is another option given resisting arrest), that probably would have been.

I am sure she is going to sue, but I hope the judge throws it out.

on May 10, 2005

I don't care, you don't taser an 8 month old woman over a speeding violation, period.

on May 10, 2005
If she had been attacking the officer physically, maybe I could see it, but it doesn't say that that was the case (of course, I didn't click the link, so I might be missing something). The fact that she was pregnant should have prompted the cop involved to resist using the stun gun, though. He's a cop, after all...he couldn't restrain her himself?
I'm sure she'll sue, and I'm equally sure the judge won't throw it out; how often does that happen, after all, even with ridiculously less substantial claims ?
on May 10, 2005
I won't cut the officer ANY slack; he responded inappropriately and should be fired and charged with assault. The purpose of law enforcement is to ENFORCE laws, NOT to bully the public into submission.

Should the woman's refusal to sign be a crime at all? Personally, I don't think so. Again, examples of society run amuck.
on May 10, 2005
First of all ... She is probably going to sue and claim damages that could never be proven. Like, every time I close my eyes I see the brutal cop and his taser of death. I haven't been able to sleep in months and now my baby is an insomniac and has a funny twitch in his big toe. The twitch is causing developmental problem and the other babies at the nursery make fun of him. He is scarred for life.

Now that I have ranted ... I think that if the officer felt he needed to use the taser, he had full rights to do so. I am not saying that all cops are good and always do the right thing, but we are talking about other than lethal force. A couple of years ago local officers shot and killed a man waving a cell phone. I watched the video over and over and over again from different angles of all of the cars that were there. If I was a cop, I would have made the same decision. I couldn't tell what he was jumping around waving. All that I could tell was that he had something shiny and it could be a gun. As it applies to this case, given the choice if a physical altercation with this woman or a shot from the taser, I think she got the better of the two. If she was resisting arrest, at least she wasn't thrown to the ground.


Cut the officer some slack. They have to make life and death decisions more often that anyone should have to. If he had an error in judgment let it be just that. Slap his hand and send him on. If this is a repeating occurrence, throw the book at him.


No slack! NONE! Are you trying to tell me that the police officer could not "handle" an 8 month along pregnant woman? If that is truly the case he does NOT deserve to be a police officer.
Meta
Views
» 274
Comments
» 6
Category
Sponsored Links