Video: Florida woman tasered by cop now brain dead after collapsing onto concrete

posted at 8:20 pm on February 21, 2012 by Allahpundit

In the annals of obligatory HA posts, there may be none so obligatory as this. The suspect was arrested for leaving the scene of two traffic accidents; when they caught her, she had a suspended license and was high on cocaine and oxycodone. They put her in the squad car and then

While she sat in the back of his cruiser, Maudsley removed her right hand from the handcuffs, the report said. When Cole opened the door to take her out, she told him, “I took this off.”

Maudsley was placed back in handcuffs and Cole took her into the substation, according to the report. As he worked on paperwork in a conference room, he sensed that Maudsley was moving, turned, and saw her at the main exit. He asked where she was going and got up from his seat before she ran out the door.

In an interview with investigators, Cole said he saw Maudsley turning in the direction of U.S. 19 after she exited the substation.

“If she makes it there, you know, there’s no winning,” the report quoted him saying. “I can’t let her get out and get run over,” he later said.

Cole ran after her, nearly caught up to her in front of the police station — and then pulled his taser and fired. She fell, smashed her head on the concrete, and now she’s in a vegetative state. The verdict of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on his taser use: Justified.

FHP policy allows troopers to use Tasers when it “reasonably appears necessary to control non-compliant individuals who have escalated their level of resistance from passive physical resistance to active physical resistance (i.e.: bracing, tensing, pushing, or pulling).”

The policy goes on to say it must be apparent the detained person has the ability to physically threaten others or is trying to flee or escape. It also notes that Tasers shouldn’t be used on someone who is handcuffed, but says there still could be times when even that is justifiable.

“The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted an independent review,” Sgt. Steve Gaskins, a spokesman, said Friday. “FDLE’s investigation found the trooper’s actions were legal and within the scope of his duties.”

Follow that last link and read about the numerous ways in which they failed to restrain her properly. They cuffed her in front instead of in back, making her a threat to swipe at a cop’s gun if she got within arm’s distance, and they didn’t cuff her to the chair when they were processing her. Then watch the dashboard video of what happened in the second clip below. To my eye it looks like the cop is literally within about a foot of her as they enter the frame, but he’s already got his taser out and appears to be slowing up, having presumably decided to just zap her and be done with it. I’m not convinced he couldn’t have caught her if he had been running at full speed; on the contrary, it looks like he decided he didn’t need to run because he had the stun gun on his hip to slow her down. That’s the taser debate in microcosm: Should cops use it only as a nonlethal last resort against suspects who are violently resisting or should they use it to subdue suspects who are momentarily out of their control for whatever reason? Exit question: If he was afraid she’d run into traffic on the highway, how come he didn’t chase her to the edge of the highway and then, if he still couldn’t catch her, zap her there?




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What really happened was a series of events that was preventable had only one person choose not to runaway. End of story.

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I ask this question in earnest: Would you have been okay with him pulling out a gun and shooting her in the leg as she fled?

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I ask because it would have led to substantially less injury than what she actually endured by his decision to tase her while fleeing.

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I ask this question in earnest: Would you have been okay with him pulling out a gun and shooting her in the leg as she fled?

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM

There is no such scenario; the average officer is trained only to take center-mass shots. The incapacitating shot exists only in Hollywood; an expanding projectile making better than 1000fps to the leg even if possible from a handgun on a moving target- is very likely to be permanently crippling if not fatal. You have no point to make. The entire purpose of a taser is to reduce the possibility of injury to the perpetrator and the arresting officer(s). This officer acted correctly.

M240H on February 22, 2012 at 3:09 PM

I ask this question in earnest: Would you have been okay with him pulling out a gun and shooting her in the leg as she fled?

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM

There is no such scenario; the average officer is trained only to take center-mass shots. The incapacitating shot exists only in Hollywood;

M240H on February 22, 2012 at 3:09 PM

You mean you guys can’t shoot the knife out of someone’s hand?
Another shattered illusion. /

sharrukin on February 22, 2012 at 3:13 PM

What really happened was a series of events that was preventable had only one person choose not to runaway. End of story.

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I ask this question in earnest: Would you have been okay with him pulling out a gun and shooting her in the leg as she fled?

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM

No. Why you asked this stupid question is beyond me.

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 3:16 PM

No, you alone own the responsibility of engaging in an ad hominen attack

PolAgnostic on February 22, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Ok then douche.

Meow on February 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

No. Why you asked this stupid question is beyond me.

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I didn’t ask because I thought it feasible, I asked because you indicated that there is a very small universe of things that qualify as excessive force. Your attitude strikes me as the, “she ran, therefore she deserved whatever she got.”

I think that (should this actually go to trial before the city pays out a monster settlement), a jury will find that this officer had a vast array of options that would have been less dangerous than the one he chose and would have been just as effective in restraining her. That he chose to draw his taser and shoot her was less about him minimizing the danger to the public and more about his minimizing his own effort.

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 3:26 PM

No. Why you asked this stupid question is beyond me.

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I didn’t ask because I thought it feasible, I asked because you indicated that there is a very small universe of things that qualify as excessive force. Your attitude strikes me as the, “she ran, therefore she deserved whatever she got.”

I think that (should this actually go to trial before the city pays out a monster settlement), a jury will find that this officer had a vast array of options that would have been less dangerous than the one he chose and would have been just as effective in restraining her. That he chose to draw his taser and shoot her was less about him minimizing the danger to the public and more about his minimizing his own effort.

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 3:26 PM

No what I said was it was preventable had she not ran. Stop projecting. Quote what I said, not what you think I said. Actual quotes, then we go from there.

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

[Dukeboy01 on February 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM]

Dukeboy1, take a look at the substation (zoom in on the #1 marker) from the Bing map and having looked at it, does it change any of your perceptions about the level of functionality you’ve inferred from it being called a substation.

Here’s a few stats I derived from looking at the map:

– A 1.25 acre property,
– 28 space open parking lot,
– a building roughly 25′x100′ of 2,675 sf,
– 13 police cars parked in the second, secure back lot.

It seems to me this is a pretty substantial station even though it is called a substation and planned as a way-station to address issues of geographic coverage and convenience for processing up the chain of security. And in that latter sense, I can’t help but think that they should have, could have, or do have dedicated space of 100-150 sf for a couple or three temp holding rooms/cells along one wall, somewhere in that building.

If it doesn’t, it seems to me there is a lack of common sense at FHP.

Dusty on February 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

No, you alone own the responsibility of engaging in an ad hominen attack

PolAgnostic on February 22, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Ok then douche.

Meow on February 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

GRIN

Dr Evil on February 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

The cops need to adopt Michelle Obama’s health plan and eliminate all the junk food at the police station. That means no more donuts or soda for them. ;)

And they should review PD physical standards so that they can run and catch up with the perp. Perhaps they need to be in as good physical shape as any special force soldier.

-Jared

Conservative Samizdat on February 22, 2012 at 3:39 PM

No what I said was it was preventable had she not ran. Stop projecting. Quote what I said, not what you think I said. Actual quotes, then we go from there.

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Alright, to begin with, you stated that you agreed with the following:

Long and short – it appears this officer followed his department’s policy. Her falling and hitting her head after being tased was her fault and hers alone. Period.

You then said this:

What this video doesn’t show is the officer beating the snot of a suspect who is helpless. It doesn’t show a group of officers using ASP’s over and over on her while she laying down. It doesn’t show an officer discharging his firearm into her while she was unarmed. Now those could be reasons to charge officers.

You may call what I did “projecting,” but you’ve just enumerated a list of events that you consider “reasons to charge officers.” You didn’t indicate that this was not a closed list. So when I call it “a very small universe” of things that constitute excessive force, forgive me for reading too much into it.

And as to your point, I agree that it was her decision to run that precipitated this injury, but the officer’s foolish decision not to properly restrain her that made her decision to run possible and it was the officer’s foolish/lazy decision to tase her rather than simply grab her that was the proximate cause of her injury.

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 3:55 PM

You still don’t not quote me. I didn’t say

“Long and short – it appears this officer followed his department’s policy. Her falling and hitting her head after being tased was her fault and hers alone. Period.”

That was someone else. You really can’t get what what I actually said correct. You not only misquote me, you also project from my actual quotes. I also never said

“reasons to charge officers”

You placed that in quotations. I never stated that quote. In fact I have no idea who you are quoting there.

In the end had she not ran, this never would have happened. It starts there and ends there. Anything else is a result of her actions. That is what people like you just can’t grasp.

I’m done answering your stupid questions because you can’t quote people correctly and you also project from what people actually said.

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

i would have just reached out and grabbed her. no need to taser her.one lazy cop

buck taylor on February 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

You still don’t not quote me. I didn’t say

What I actually meant to say…is You still did not quote me right. (I blame my daughter calling me while I was in the middle of typing.) :P

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 4:08 PM

What really happened was a series of events that was preventable had only one person choose not to runaway. End of story.

[Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 2:46 PM]

Why the steel between the front seat and the rear seat of the police car? Why use cuffs? Why use bars on cells? Why use locks?

Hello, preventing stuff is, if not raison d’être of the police, at least their by-word.

Look, I can see for reasons of liability and to not scuttle a defense against the lawsuit that the FHP Spokesman can’t say “This was an ‘Epic Fail’ moment.” But HA comments ain’t the place where official legal judgments are handed down and a little frank talk about responsibilities is needed.

So, sure, the woman is responsible for her death. Who’s responsible for the the officer not being able to control an arrestee? Who’s responsible for the officer being 45 lb into obese territory? Who’s responsible for operating a police station that arrestees can escape from? If the substation doesn’t have secure rooms to detain people, who’s responsibility is that? Who’s responsible for causing the lawsuit on the FHP with all the attendant time and money that will be wasted, ’cause they couldn’t keep a woman in her chair in a police station? Who’s responsible for the PR disaster?

For lack of a nail the horse was lost … or, in this case, complacency kills.

Dusty on February 22, 2012 at 4:17 PM

I’m done answering your stupid questions because you can’t quote people correctly and you also project from what people actually said.

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

I’m sorry you’re not willing to have this conversation. For clarification, I said that you AGREED with the first quote in my response. Your exact words in response to the words I quoted:

This retired one agrees with you. The rest who disagree, well I’ll keep that to myself. Hopefully the video teaches the next idiot to think twice about not running.

What this video doesn’t show is the officer beating the snot of a suspect who is helpless. It doesn’t show a group of officers using ASP’s over and over on her while she laying down. It doesn’t show an officer discharging his firearm into her while she was unarmed. Now those could be reasons to charge officers.

Conservative4Ever on February 22, 2012 at 2:46 PM (emphasis added for clarity)

I am NOT misquoting you, I am simply responding to what you said. And as for the real issue, you say that it started with her decision to run, and that anything else that happened after that was, “a result of her actions.” We could (and probably should) easily take it one step back from there and say instead, to paraphrase you:

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT AN ACTUAL QUOTE FROM CONSERVATIVE4EVER

In the end had she not ran the officer properly secured her, this never would have happened. It starts there and ends there. Anything else is a result of her his inactions. That is what people like you just can’t grasp.

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 4:26 PM

I ask this question in earnest: Would you have been okay with him pulling out a gun and shooting her in the leg as she fled?

Longing4Lincoln on February 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM

And endanger everyone else’s life? Hell no! Cops kill more innocent bystanders than the regular joe who carries.

Dante on February 22, 2012 at 5:15 PM

No, we wouldn’t. This is a bad argument, sharrukin.

“If he had pacified her with a lollipop and she choked on it and died, you’d want that cop’s badge for excessive use of force! Now we can’t even give candy to criminals?! When will it end?!”

Good Solid B-Plus on February 22, 2012 at 3:07 AM

In the last 89 years 82 Americans have been killed by bears. Compare that to the 22 deaths caused by toys like teddy bears EVERY YEAR.

Children are at most risk from death from their toys. For instance, small parts in a teddy bear can be a choking hazard (like its eyes). Also, children can trip on teddy bears and fall down a flight of stairs or hit their head on a sharp corner of a table.

Also, a teddy bear once killed 2,500 fish! A teddy bear fell into a pool at a trout hatchery, clogging the pipes. The fish all suffocated and died.

sharrukin on February 22, 2012 at 6:09 AM

Wow. When I posted that “cops can’t give people lollipops” gag, I was totally joking. Then you actually validate the joke with a “tasers aren’t deadly weapons because even TEDDY BEARS can kill people!!” post? Just….wow.

Good Solid B-Plus on February 22, 2012 at 5:32 PM

“tasers aren’t deadly weapons because even TEDDY BEARS can kill people!!” post? Just….wow.

Good Solid B-Plus on February 22, 2012 at 5:32 PM

When tasers become more dangerous that teddy bears I will give some consideration to your hysteria.

sharrukin on February 22, 2012 at 5:35 PM

“The policy goes on to say it must be apparent the detained person has the ability to physically threaten others or is trying to flee or escape. It also notes that Tasers shouldn’t be used on someone who is handcuffed, but says there still could be times when even that is justifiable.”

The policy seems to allow the officer to taze her, since she was trying to flee or escape. But did the officer use good judgment? Probably not. On the other hand, if she had only been bruised, we might be saying that he did use good judgment since tackling her could have caused injury to them both.

Ira on February 22, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Sloppy ineffective perp assessment/detainment + dumbass crackhead girl = tragedy.

Whatcha gonna do?

Whatcha gonna do when they sit on you fat boys fat boys?
At the donut shop takin’ a break,
7-11 now takin’ a break, fat boys./

I respect or disrespect cops on an individual basis, the all goons or all angels dichotomy is total BS, in my experience. Where I live, they’re usually fairly professional.

If you try to escape detention they’re probably going to hurt you, the good ones only as much as it takes to do the job.

S. D. on February 22, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Justified.

Wade on February 22, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Epic fail, for negligence on the part of the cop for failing to secure. If they were honest, they would admit he did not follow normal procedure in securing the perp, particularly when they knew she was high. Such people have their judgment seriously impaired and require extra care.

Yes she tried to run, but that’s simply a bad fact, and using that to deflect attention from the cops responsibility to secure her will not work. The proximate cause is the electrically caused seizure where she loses complete control of her body, which was caused, at the bottom line, but her ability to escape because the cop didn’t do his duty. If there is a law suit over this, and I’m betting there will be, the FHP is probably in deep kimchi.

Unfair perhaps, but the cops need to stay aware of the political environment they are required to work in. This was a serious lapse.

Quartermaster on February 22, 2012 at 9:01 PM

The posters seem to be from three groups here.

1. Those who are convinced that we are hellbent on our way to a police state and this is an example of it.

2. That the police didn’t do anything wrong. The victim is responsible.

3. That the police should have done something different to change the outcome, as though the police had some sixth sense about future events.

To clear things up in order.

1.-

This is not an example of a police state gone wrong. If anything, and remember I’m pulling back the curtain for you TV cop show watching couch quarterbacks here so pay attention, it shows that bad things happen when certain policies and procedures are either put in place or not put in place due to pressures from overzealous do-gooders.

I’ll explain. When securing suspects we are commanded to care for them and protect them, often from their own actions. That is a good thing and part of the agreement between the society and us. However, how to properly implement this is subject to debate and is often on a case to case basis. Remember, life is imperfect and often dangerous. In this case, the officer may have followed procedure completely. Cuffing someone in the front is not a violation of anything. It is an option, and often exercised if the bad guy isn’t perceived as a threat. We used to cuff people in the back all the time, for all reasons, because it was “policy” until lawyers started filing suits due to alleged injuries. So now it is behind and then once in custody, in front, but that is a personal choice of the officer as he judged the threat level.

Police are constantly having to adjust their policies and procedures to fit unforeseen events.

When I was a teenager I worked for the Sheriff Dept and rode with the deputies. One case we had a suspect was kicking at his as we tried to put him in the car. We didn’t have tie restraints back then, so we improvised by pulling his baggy pants down around his ankles and sticking him headfirst into the seat, upside down. Positional affixation was unheard of then. There was no “police state” conspiracy. Just us trying to handle some stoner trying to kick our teeth in.

But now, we go to training classes learning how it happens and how to avoid it, as a result of some high profile lawsuits filed by people who were injured.

2. -

But again remember, whether the person is cuffed in front on in the back, it is THEIR choice to run or submit. The officer cuffing in front should not be perceived as an suggested opportunity to run.

Each substation is designed differently. Some aren’t secure. Some are barely secure. Some are very secure. The outside of the building tells you nothing.

This is not a “serious lapse” of anything. This is a woman, on drugs, who took off. Heck, I’ve had suspects kick the windows out of my patrol unit and try to scamper off. They were secured and cuffed in the back, so that didn’t stop them at all. It was not uncommon for some, just for fun, to pull their cuffs from around back and under their legs into the front position, just to see what I would do. I had one do it three times on the way to jail. I ended up hog tying him.

3.-

I’ve had suspects try to ease off during an investigation, even had one take off from his front porch while three officers, including myself, were right there. He ran across part of our city that is absolutely desolate and open. You could see for a half mile in every direction, but he took off anyway, huffing and puffing his rear across the fields, going who knows where.

My point is, we can’t anticipate every thought, move or attempt. Just can’t. All you can do is treat suspects like people- the citizens that they are- and hope they aren’t intent on killing you.

You are trying to make something of this that isn’t there. The freak nature of the injury speaks for itself. She could have landed differently by an inch, or hit grass, and she’d be fine. As for chasing running suspects and hitting them with a taser vs pushing them to the ground is crazy. If the video had this big cop pushing her down and she cracked her skull, you all would be screaming police brutality.

I, like the 30yr guy, hate tasers. Too much technology. But that said, they do work and they are safe. If the trooper had hit the woman and she fell, you’d be calling for his head. If he had tackled her and she got hurt, same complaint. Tripping- same.

The point here is that she shouldn’t have run, and NO this is not a contest to see if you get away the police won’t go after you “because it is a non-violent crime” like the “Running Man” movie. If that became policy everybody would run. Can you imagine the chaos? Car chases, foot chases, fights. Crazy.

Let this go. The trooper tried to do the right thing, the bad gal didn’t. They both paid. Her with her life, him with witnessing it and having to live with it, and then being second guessed and sued for doing nothing wrong.

archer52 on February 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM

archer52 on February 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM

Thank you for your this post and thank you again for your service.

PolAgnostic on February 22, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Under normal circumstances: dopey girl runs, gets tazed, drops to ground, soils pants, gets hauled back to jail.

Under these circumstances: lazy officer, tazes fleeing suspect, drops to ground, has a brain freeze, CHP eventually pays out $1M+.

It’s sad when the tax payers have to pay for the mistakes of the public workers. They should have to pay out equal to at least a years worth of salary when they are found guilty of stuff like this.

BTW- I agree he was justfied in using the tazer. Just seems like tazers are truely “less” than lethal. Wich means lethal on occasion.

SFTech on February 22, 2012 at 11:11 PM

archer52 on February 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM

Thank you for taking the time to post this. You make great points.

JannyMae on February 22, 2012 at 11:55 PM

The posters seem to be from three groups here.

1. Those who are convinced that we are hellbent on our way to a police state and this is an example of it.

2. That the police didn’t do anything wrong. The victim is responsible.

3. That the police should have done something different to change the outcome, as though the police had some sixth sense about future events.

archer52 on February 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM

In response to your breakdown:

1. Arguable, and especially on the coasts. However, this particular incident? No, nothing particularly extreme.

2/3. These are tied together. Whether cuffing behind or in front is standard procedure or not is actually irrelevant. The cop knew that this woman was high on drugs. People high on drugs do not act rationally nor predictably. If a holding cell was available, it should have been used. If one was not available, she should have been cuffed to the chair, either by her wrists, her ankles, or both. Heck, I’ve seen some instances where the cops cuff the cuffs to a bar, pole, or chair, though that seems more common in prison transport where they’re in leg shackles and handcuffs.

At the end of the day, this woman did, in fact, bring this fate on herself. Whether the cop chose to taze her or tackle her, she was going to hit the concrete regardless, and Murphy’s Law applies equally. The officer was negligent in failing to properly restrain a woman who was not in a sane state of mind, but this appears at first brush to be an honest mistake, and not a case of intentionally trying to harm the woman or create a situation where he would be justified to do so.

TL;DR: Lawyers are going to have a field day with the civil suit. However, barring any new evidence that shows malicious intent on behalf of the officer, he should not and most likely will not be charged with a criminal offense, nor terminated.

Asurea on February 22, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Archer and Asurea are spot on.

The problem here, I think, is we have WAY to many people commenting who only know law enforcement from TV. “MY GOD! He…he…he used a TAZER on her! Don’t you know how DEADLY they are! Why….you get hit and you’re covered by BLUE LIGHTNING! And that horrible ZZZAP ZZZAP ZZZAP sound! The smell of burned pork as the person fries! Why, don’t you know what ELECTRICITY does to the heart?!? They ELECTROCUTED that POOR INNOCENT HARMLESS woman for no reason! Why, he might as well have taken a baseball bat to the back of her head!” (that last bit is an actual statement from around page 5)

Ok, here’s the reality kids. Tasers are harmless. They do NOT envelope you in blue fire. The shock does NOT reach the heart, and even if it did it does not have the amperage to effect cardiac muscle. There is no electrocution trauma, nor do you fry. The ONLY thing that happens is your muscles contract, you experience pain and sometimes momentary paralysis as the skeletal musculature system is overwhelmed, and you fall down. That is it. It is MUCH preferable to tase someone then to knock them down or tackle them. It causes much less injury, and is much easier. As someone who has tackled and pushed down many a fleeing subject, I can state with complete honesty I would MUCH rather use a electric stun device (ESD) then a physical action. It is my experience in 24 years that you have fewer injuries that way. But then again, my experience comes from actually doing the job and not watching CSI or Law and Order.

Officer Cole tazed her to keep her from running into traffic. It was the best use of force option he had, which would ordinarily have resulted in a safe incapacitation of the subject. In this case, it went horribly wrong. Sometimes crap happens, and in this incident it went for broke. There are many things he COULD have done, he picked the option with the GREATEST chance for LEAST injury. He did not intend for her to die, or be harmed. Some of the comments here equate what he did with willfully shooting her with his sidearm, or hitting her with a baseball bat. Bull crap. Although in the past those WERE allowed. Frank Serpico recites a story of chasing a fleeing suspect and shooting at him as he climbed a fence back in the ’70s; they found the man’s testicle on the other side of the fence. There is a reason cops don’t shoot fleeing suspects anymore. Up until the advent of pepperspray and ESDs we used batons to end chases. People died due to blunt force trauma. Now we don’t use batons as much. Instead, we use ESDs. Most of the time the suspect is taken into custody with no fanfare; occasionally crap happens. When it does, the officer involved pays for it for the rest of his life. Trust me on this, I doubt anything that ya’ll have said about Officer Cole is worst then the castigations and second guessing he is putting himself through right this minute. He’s living a nightmare, and all because a woman consciously decided to break the law by getting stoned then endangering the public by driving. Try to remember that, mmkay?

wolfva on February 23, 2012 at 12:33 AM

wolfva on February 23, 2012 at 12:33 AM

As to the officer’s likely reasoning, and whether his choice was appropriate, I would absolutely agree with you.

As to the effects of the tazer, I’m going to disagree with your assessment. Against a healthy individual with no serious existing health issues, it is absolutely a safe method for subduing an aggressive or fleeing suspect (barring Murphy intervening). However, the shock does temporarily override ANS and PNS function, and in an individual with some types of pre-existing health problems, it can cause fatal complications.

My experience to date is 3 years as an autopsy assistant, and I’ve seen a couple of people who died of such complications. It’s certainly not common, and neither of them were police-related, but it does happen.

Asurea on February 23, 2012 at 12:57 AM

True Asurea, but it is rare. I think (and I have no data to back me on this, just opinion) that deaths from Excited Delirium probably outnumber deaths from ESDs due to health issues. Since officers have no way of knowing if a suspect has a particular health problem that may be effected by a shock it really can’t be used as a condition for taser usage.

I remember back in the 1990s a morbidly obese man died after being sprayed with pepper spray, which was relatively new. They almost banned pepper spray for use by police in that locale (I think it was South Carolina) until the police pointed out one salient fact that had escaped everyone’s attention. If you took away pepper spray, then the police were left with the old tools that the spray had replaced…the baton and brute force. It was pointed out that there were far FAR less injuries and deaths with the spray then with the old methods and they were allowed to keep using them. It was then discovered the man died of positional asphyxia brought on by his morbid obesity and the position he was left in (the classic head between the knees pose). Until we get Star Trek style phasers the taser is the best tool to safely subdue most suspects.

Come to think of it…those phasers caused people to drop to the ground just like a taser does. Funny, no one ever tried to sue Captain Kirk because a Klingon bumped his head after being phased and died…

wolfva on February 23, 2012 at 1:21 AM

What a horse’s ass you are Allah.

rcl on February 23, 2012 at 6:40 AM

Exit question: If he was afraid she’d run into traffic on the highway, how come he didn’t chase her to the edge of the highway and then, if he still couldn’t catch her, zap her there?

And there she would be, lying in the highway, with cars running her over.

Blake on February 23, 2012 at 10:06 AM

True Asurea, but it is rare. I think (and I have no data to back me on this, just opinion) that deaths from Excited Delirium probably outnumber deaths from ESDs due to health issues. Since officers have no way of knowing if a suspect has a particular health problem that may be effected by a shock it really can’t be used as a condition for taser usage.

wolfva on February 23, 2012 at 1:21 AM

True on the rarity, and agreed on the “can they know” point, to a degree. A fat old man, barring him having a knife or similar, would be a poor candidate for tasing. Drug addicts usually make perfect candidates for a little shock therapy.

And, definitely, better than the alternatives.

Asurea on February 23, 2012 at 3:17 PM

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