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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-02-10 04:02 PM
Original message
Court OKs Repeated Tasering of Pregnant Woman
Edited on Fri Apr-02-10 04:20 PM by Kurt_and_Hunter
Since the taser is supposed to be used to reduce police reliance on deadly force I am left to assume that back in the day the police would have had no choice but to summarily execute this woman by the side of the road if she did not sign her speeding ticket. Right?

The taser is following the same course as our bombs. Precision munitions reduce civilian casualties when used like non-precision munitions. But if the 'humanity' of a new technology is used as a justification for expanding the mission-set into target areas that would never have been considered before then the humane becomes inhumane.


Court OKs Repeated Tasering of Pregnant Woman
By David Kravets March 29, 2010

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.

The lawyer representing Malaika Brooks said Monday that the courts 2-1 decision sanctioned pain compliance tactics through a modern-day version of the cattle prod.

To inflict pain on a person if that person is not doing what the police want that person to do is simply outrageous, said Eric Zubel, the womans attorney. I cannot say that loud enough.

Zubel said he would ask the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear Fridays 2-1 decision that drew a sharp dissent from Judge Marsha Berzon:

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, (.pdf) 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.


Read More http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/03/pregnant_woman...

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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-02-10 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's messed up
An unsigned traffic ticket is perfectly prosecutable.

The LEO simply writes "Refused to sign" on the ticket, and that is that.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-02-10 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. This is strange, indeed...
From the article:

The woman was driving her 12-year-old to the African American Academy in Seattle when she was pulled over on suspicion of speeding in 2004. The child left the car for school and 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 drivers license, but Brooks refused to sign the ticket believing it was akin to signing a confession. She was ultimately arrested for refusing to sign and to comply with officers asking her to exit the vehicle.

A suspect who repeatedly refuses to comply with instructions or leave her car escalates the risk involved for officers unable to predict what type of noncompliance might come next, Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall wrote for the majority. She was joined by Judge Diarmuid F. OScannlain.

Therefore, while using the Taser three times makes this a closer case, we find that it does not show excessive force in light of the corresponding escalation of Brooks resistance and the fact that it was the third tasing that appeared to dislodge her such that the officers could finally extract her from her car and gain control over her, Hall wrote.
They already had her arm twisted behind her back!

Sounds like she was already restrained with an officer holding her arm behind her back. Then why taser? To force her to sign the ticket? And the judge's decision A suspect who repeatedly refuses to comply with instructions or leave her car escalates the risk involved for officers unable to predict what type of noncompliance might come next rings hollow when one considers the woman was already restrained. Don't police learn and practice restraining techniques anymore? Or is tasering just enough...

Sounds like the police tried torturing her to sign the ticket and the judge went along with the practice so as not to invite police scorn...
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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-02-10 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. This sort of precedent makes Yoo's torture analysis possible
If this is a proper way to handle a speeding ticket then I guess water-boarding really isn't torture.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-02-10 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I wondered this at the time...
If torture is okay at GitMo, then how long before it becomes okay here?

I'm surprised some company hasn't sprung up to provided waterboards, restraints, and purified water to municipal police departments. Imagine the potential for sales!

(I assume the victim would get purified water, but I suppose tap water would suffice).
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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-02-10 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Nice that there was a 12 year-old child in the car
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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-02-10 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. somebody needs to taser that judge a few times....nt
did anybody consider or care about potential risk to the fetus? this is so unbelievable. I am so sick of this country...Ijust want to :puke:
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-02-10 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. The judgment wasn't a misdemeanour. It was criminal.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-02-10 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. Fucking pigs.
:grr:
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Demoiselle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-02-10 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. You said it perfectly, Odin. This is a horrible story.
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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-03-10 07:16 AM
Response to Original message
10. .
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