Can you see it coming too? "It's Taser time."
Police use stun gun on 12-year-old
Lorain officer called to calm melee on school bus
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Plain Dealer Reporter
Lorain- An empty CD case - that was all it took to spark a school bus fight Thursday that ended when police used a stun gun on a 12-year-old boy,
The Masson Elementary School student had tried to take the case from another student and became enraged when the other boy refused, according to a
A police officer had to board the bus and used a Taser on the boy after the boy head-butted her when she tried to restrain him, police said.
A crowd of 20 or 30 people surrounded the bus, pounding on windows and demanding that police leave the boy alone, the report said.
The 12-year-old faces juvenile charges of robbery, assault on a police officer and disruption of public service, police said. He also could be
expelled from school, Lorain schools spokesman Dean Schnurr said.
Woman claims excessive force in Taser use
Roger Harvey/Eyewitness News
Hamilton County, May 31 - Police car video of a traffic stop late one night in November of 2003 shows two officers questioning a suspected drunk
driver at a gas station at 116th Street and Brooks School Road.
Minutes later, Hamilton County Sheriff Deputy Greg Lockhart made a declaration as the woman reached into her car for her cell phone.
"It's Taser time."
"It felt like he was trying to pull my arm out of the socket. It was an incredible pain, an incredible pain."
Jennifer Marshall, five-foot five and 105 pounds, says she couldn't believe an officer who outweighs her by nearly three times, along with a second
deputy, used a Taser.
"It was almost like it was a malicious, vindictive movement like, drop to the ground but I am just going to keep pushing this button and I know you
can't fall. It was just very horrible."
Protesters denounce Taser use, violence
Akron crowd rallies at police department after weekend fatality
Posted on Wed, Jun. 01, 2005
By Marilyn Miller Beacon
Journal staff writer
About 25 protesters picketed in front of the Akron Police Department on Tuesday morning, criticizing the use of Taser guns and calling for an end to
what they say is police brutality.Richard T. Holcomb, 18, of Akron died after being stunned with a Taser gun by a Springfield Township police officer
An autopsy is planned. Holcomb's death was the second Summit County fatality this year involving a police Taser. The Jan. 5 death of Dennis Hyde, a
30-year-old Akron burglar, was ruled a homicide, and the stun gun was deemed a contributing factor.Nationally, 12 deaths have been linked to
Tasers.``We don't want to tie the police department's hands not to use weapons. We're just saying the Taser may not necessarily be the safest way
to try to control anybody,'' said Deborah Calhoun, spokeswoman for the protesters. ``The issue is that everyone should be treated with the same
level of humanity.
Whether they are incarcerated, sane or crazy, they should still have human rights.''She referred to Akron police officers' use of a Taser in April
on Anthony Hudson, 43, of Akron, a frequent personality on Warner Cable's public access channel and a former Akron City Council candidate.
Taser use in schools questioned
At least 4 students have been stunned
Posted on Wed, Jun. 01, 2005
The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - At least four students at Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools have been stunned by police weapons that zap targets with 50,000 volts of
electricity.Despite several cases around the country that have raised questions about using the Taser on minors - including a 6-year-old boy shocked
by South Florida police in October - Charlotte-area police departments don't keep an official count of how many times the weapons are used in
Police said they were justified in using the Tasers each time.One case came in the second week of the school year last fall.A fight erupted between
two students at Garinger High School in Charlotte, and neither the principal nor campus security could stop it.As hundreds of students crowded around,
the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer assigned to the school pulled out a Taser and fired off enough electricity that the 16-year-old's muscles
froze in place.
Tasers have prompted groups including Amnesty International and the International Association of Chiefs of Police to call for additional study of
their use. Amnesty International called for a temporary moratorium, citing 103 deaths after their use in the United States and Canada. Activists
specifically question their use on elderly, disabled and young people.
Man sues police for Taser use
Federal-court plaintiff claims he was stunned 17 times, scarred
By RICHARD BURGESS
LAFAYETTE -- A man who claims Lafayette police stunned him at least 17 times with a stun gun filed a federal lawsuit this week seeking damages for
what he says was excessive force during a drug arrest.
It is the second lawsuit filed against Lafayette police in connection with the use of stun guns that immobilize a person with a high-voltage
The first lawsuit involved a man who died last year after being struck with a Taser stun gun.
Kevin Alexander, 28, of Houston claims in the recent lawsuit that he was severely injured and permanently scarred after police repeatedly shocked him
Alexander has said that he was in a hotel room waiting to meet a friend when police officers burst through the door and began shocking him with a stun
Alexander said one officer climbed on top of him and placed it directly to his skin.
Taser use spikes amid safety concerns
By Richard Byrne Reilly
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Despite the growing controversy over the safety of Tasers, Pittsburgh police are quickly embracing the stun guns to subdue unruly people.
City police used Tasers on 42 people in the first three months of this year, compared to just six in all of 2004, when police made 686 use-of-force
arrests. The most popular method of restraint -- wrestling or tackling suspects -- was used in 352 of those cases. Police used pepper spray in 102
The increasing reliance on Tasers by Pittsburgh police comes at a time when many other law enforcement agencies and local governments throughout the
country are rethinking their policies.
In February, the Lucas County sheriff's office in Toledo, Ohio, stopped using Tasers when a man died after being shocked nine times. About the same
time, the Chicago police department said it will not distribute any more Tasers to its officers while it investigates the device's use on a man who
died and a teen who was injured. Last month, the police department in Lexington, Ky., announced that it won't buy more Tasers while awaiting the
outcome of medical studies about the risks of the weapons.
Human rights groups say the growing popularity of Tasers is cause for alarm. Tasers are used by more than 7,000 police agencies, and blamed by Amnesty
International in the deaths of more than 100 people in the U.S. and Canada since 1999. In a report released in March, Amnesty International said there
were 13 Taser-related deaths in the U.S. and Canada in the first three months of this year, compared with six during the same period last year.
"There is not enough medical research that shows Tasers are safe," said Amnesty International spokesman Ed Jackson. "There needs to be more
alternatives to lethal force. That Tasers are safe is fictitious."
The stun gun's manufacturer maintains that the devices are among the safest tools to subdue a violent person.
Police Report Shows Taser Use Up Almost 3,000 Percent
POSTED: 6:06 pm EDT May 12, 2005
UPDATED: 11:47 pm EDT May 12, 2005
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A new report shows that in the four years they've been using Taser guns, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have shocked more than 160
Taser reports made secret
City terms reports personnel records
Globe Staff Writer
In the wake of Globe requests for reports on the use of force by police officers, the city of Joplin on Friday did an about-face, declaring reports on
officer use of Taser guns also off-limits to public scrutiny.
A state press association lawyer termed the city's justification for the move questionable, and an official with a civil-rights organization said
more secrecy adds to the risk of eroding public trust.
The Globe earlier this month requested the Police Department's use-of-force reports for Jan. 1, 2003, to Apr. 30, 2005.
Officers file the reports after they hit a person or use a weapon - including Tasers, which are weapons that deliver an electrical shock to their
The city denied the newspaper's request for the overall use-of-force reports on Wednesday, saying that the reports are confidential personnel
The reports had not been considered confidential as recently as about seven months ago. The Police Department had in October 2004 given the Globe its
records about the use of Tasers in the wake of a house explosion that could have been triggered by use of a Taser.
The Globe's review of those reports showed that one officer, Charles Ward, accounted for 28 percent of the department's Taser deployments since the
force adopted the weapon. From May 1, 2003, to Sept. 30, 2004, Joplin officers fired Tasers at suspects 88 times. Ward used the weapon 25 of the 88
times, more than any other officer.
In recent weeks, the Globe learned and reported that Ward and Officer Ron Buchanan were disciplined after questioning, handcuffing, and arresting an
11-year-old boy at his elementary school in November 2004.
City officials have refused to divulge any specifics regarding the discipline in connection with that incident, and it was in connection with that
investigation that the Globe asked for the use-of-force reports, not just Taser reports, on all officers. The city refused that request, contending
that the reports are personnel records.
Resolution seeks end of Taser use
By LEE ANN O'NEAL
Councilman wants more research into safety
A councilman will submit a resolution at tonight's Metro Council meeting calling on police here to end the use of Taser stun guns until further
research into their safety is finished.
Tasers have been used by Metro police in 68 incidents since they were put into use in November. About 7,000 of the nation's 16,000 police agencies
have purchased the devices, USA Today recently reported.
A resolution — as opposed to a bill — is nonbinding. If the Taser resolution passes, it could raise public awareness but would not force the
police department to cease using the weapons. While unanimous council support would be a strong public statement to the department, the resolution
does not appear to have that kind of overwhelming support at this point.
Police Chief Ronal Serpas has refused to say what action, if any, the department would take if the resolution passes.
Taser use too common
Palm Beach Post Editorial
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Taser International, manufacturer of the Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle, has covered itself nicely, requiring even police officers in training to sign
liability waivers before testing the stun gun's 50,000-volt electric shock. But with Taser-use standards all over the map, law-enforcement agencies
face even more liability over their increasing use of the weapons. Palm Beach County police chiefs are correct to expedite unified guidelines for the
circumstances in which the dart-firing guns would be used. The standards should apply statewide, however, so the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
may need a push from the Legislature.
Taser-use report called `innocuous'
Posted on Fri, May. 13, 2005
GRAND JURY URGES `PROFESSIONAL FORUM'
By Crystal Carreon
A Santa Clara County civil grand jury reviewed one of the most controversial issues in public safety and produced what the foreman acknowledged was an
innocuous examination on police use of Tasers.
In a report issued Thursday, the 19-member watchdog panel called for the creation of a ``professional forum'' to evaluate how local police agencies
are using Tasers and establish guidelines on police training use and tracking of stun gun incidents.
But Police Chief Rob Davis said his department is already talking to other police agencies about Taser guidelines, and a critic of Taser use said the
grand jury failed in its duty to critically evaluate the 50,000-volt weapon.
``I am very disappointed with that result,'' said Richard Konda of the Coalition for Justice and Accountability, who called for police to stop using
Tasers this week.
``There is ample information the grand jury should have looked at that would have led them to conclude that Tasers are lethal weapons that need to be
Michael A. Smith, the civil grand jury foreman, said he recognized the controversy surrounding Tasers but said the panel decided to focus on training
and guidelines, because ``we are not necessarily the right people'' to tackle the ongoing medical, ethical and legal issues enveloping the weapons.
He declined to elaborate, citing the civil grand jury's confidentiality protections.
``This is about as innocuous of a grand jury report as you are ever going to see,'' said Smith, a retired engineering manager.The civil grand jury
report cited the ACLU and Amnesty International as Taser critics and summarized the organizations' calls for independent testing, but the report did
not advance or support any such calls.
It also included a Dade County, Fla., grand jury finding this year in support of Tasers as a life-saving tool.Many police departments have purchased
the new Taser X26 model. The Taser fires wired barbs at a speed of 180 feet per second that can temporarily disable a person by scrambling the
impulses sent by the brain to the rest of the body. The 50,000-volt jolts can incapacitate someone in a quarter of a second.