Court says 50,000 volts for not signing speeding ticket NOT "excessive force"!

This is roughly the 50th outrageous case to come to my attention:

A federal appeals court says three Seattle police officers did not employ excessive force when they repeatedly tasered a visibly pregnant woman for refusing to sign a speeding ticket….

“Refusing to sign a speeding ticket was at the time a nonarrestable misdemeanor; now, in Washington, it is not even that. Brooks had no weapons and had not harmed or threatened to harm a soul,” Berzon wrote. “Although she had told the officers she was seven months pregnant, they proceeded to use a Taser on her, not once but three times, causing her to scream with pain and leaving burn marks and permanent scars.”

The majority noted that the M26 Taser was set in “stun mode” and did not cause as much pain as when set on “dart mode.” The majority noted that the circuit’s recent and leading decision on the issue concerned excessive force in the context of a Taser being set on Dart mode, which causes “neuro-muscular incapacitation.”

…Stun mode, the court noted, didn’t rise to the level of excessive force because it imposes “temporary, localized pain only.”

…a verbal spat with the police resulted in the woman receiving three, 50,000-volt shocks, first to her thigh, then shoulder and neck while she was in her vehicle. An officer was holding Brooks’ arm behind Brooks’ back while she was being shocked.

Brooks gave the officer her driver’s license, but Brooks refused to sign the ticket — believing it was akin to signing a confession.

There must be thousands of similar cases nationwide. Obviously, many police can’t be trusted with tasers.

Police Taser abuse must stop! Let’s start by giving every judge in America who agrees with this decision a taste of 50,000 volts of “temporary, localized pain.”

Posted by James on Tuesday, March 30, 2010