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Taser ruling sets standards for police, claims
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 12/8/9 | Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Posted on 12/28/2009 9:24:51 PM PST by SmithL

Police need reasons to believe a suspect is dangerous before firing a Taser and can't use their stun gun simply because the person is disobeying orders or acting erratically, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Monday.

The decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sets judicial standards for police and for people who claim they were victims of excessive force after police hit them with a Taser dart.

"The objective facts must indicate that the suspect poses an immediate threat to the officer or a member of the public," Judge Kim Wardlaw said in the 3-0 ruling.

Though stun guns may offer a valuable, nonlethal alternative to deadly force in defusing dangerous situations, Wardlaw said, they inflict a "painful and frightening blow" and must be used only when substantial force is necessary and other options are unavailable.

"It's a significant use of force, not like cuffing someone or using pain compliance or pepper spray," said Eugene Iredale, a lawyer for a San Diego-area man who was Tasered by a police officer who had stopped him for not wearing a seat belt. "It's not to be used promiscuously or lightly."

The ruling allows Iredale's client Carl Bryan to go to trial in his damage suit against Brian McPherson, a policeman in Bryan's hometown of Coronado. McPherson's lawyers were unavailable for comment.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: 9thcircus; activistjudges; taser
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1 posted on 12/28/2009 9:24:54 PM PST by SmithL
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Wardlaw, Kim McLane
Born 1954 in San Francisco, CA

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U. S. District Court, Central District of California
Nominated by William J. Clinton on August 10, 1995, to a seat vacated by David V. Kenyon; Confirmed by the Senate on December 22, 1995, and received commission on December 26, 1995. Service terminated on August 3, 1998, due to appointment to another judicial position.

Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Nominated by William J. Clinton on January 27, 1998, to a seat vacated by J. Clifford Wallace; Confirmed by the Senate on July 31, 1998, and received commission on August 3, 1998.

Education:
University of California, Los Angeles, A.B., 1976

University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D., 1979

Professional Career:
Law clerk, Hon. William P. Gray, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1979-1980
Private practice, Los Angeles, California, 1980-1995
Member, Justice Team I, Department of Justice, Presidential Transition, 1992-1993
Member, Mayoral Transition Committee, Los Angeles Mayor-elect Richard Riordan, 1993


Race or Ethnicity: Hispanic

Gender: Female

2 posted on 12/28/2009 9:25:21 PM PST by SmithL (SARCHASM: The gulf between the maker of sarcastic wit and the person who just doesn't get it.)
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To: SmithL

This is stupid, so now they have to come into contact with the suspect again.

Will all police departments switch to beanbag rounds now.


3 posted on 12/28/2009 9:27:47 PM PST by dila813
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To: dila813

They’ll find a reason they’re too abusive too.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2009/11/experts_say_tactical_choice_of.html

The “12 year-old” in question was about 5 foot 7 and more than 150 pounds.


4 posted on 12/28/2009 9:39:41 PM PST by DakotaRed (What happened to the country I fought for?)
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To: dila813
Yeah, the cops should be able to taser anyone they wish anytime they wish, just like what happened HERE.

Caution, VERY disturbing, from 1:33 on. The man dies on the scene.

In a more civilized time, one of the cops would have walked up to the guy offering a smoke, they'd sit down and everyone would have walked away safe and sound. Instead, some Mounties got to try out their new toy. They even LIED about the incident before and during the inquest into the incident, in the face of the video evidence they first confiscated and would not return until sued, then tried to suppress!

It's almost to the point where the police are earning the same level of esteem as lawyers: 1% have their reputations smeared by the other 99%

For our FReeper police members, this is hyperbole, just in case you missed that, or are that sensitive to such statements. The sting, however, shows there is more than a grain of truth to my hyperbole...

5 posted on 12/28/2009 9:46:36 PM PST by Don W (I keep some people's numbers in my phone so I know not to answer when they call)
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To: SmithL

Here’s some interesting and related news.

Cop Went Wild With Taser, Diabetic Says
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2416480/posts


6 posted on 12/28/2009 9:51:55 PM PST by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: SmithL
Police need reasons to believe a suspect is dangerous

I'm sure there are those who will find an excuse, any excuse. After all, they ARE the Po-lice.........

7 posted on 12/28/2009 9:54:01 PM PST by Sarajevo (You're jealous because the voices only talk to me.)
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To: DakotaRed
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2009/11/experts_say_tactical_choice_of.html

The “12 year-old” in question was about 5 foot 7 and more than 150 pounds."

The 12-year-old girl must have really been something else. Current and former bouncers in some of the rougher country music dance hall nightclubs are going to laugh themselves silly while reading that. Thanks for the laugh.


8 posted on 12/28/2009 9:56:20 PM PST by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: DakotaRed
...goofed on quoting your comment. Here's the correction.

"http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2009/11/experts_say_tactical_choice_of.html

The '12 year-old' in question was about 5 foot 7 and more than 150 pounds.
"

The 12-year-old girl must have really been something else. Current and former bouncers in some of the rougher country music dance hall nightclubs are going to laugh themselves silly while reading that. Thanks for the laugh.


9 posted on 12/28/2009 9:58:07 PM PST by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: SmithL

Police should not be using the taser for punishment. They could have cuffed the guy if he was not cooperating but this sounds like street justice to me.


10 posted on 12/28/2009 9:58:11 PM PST by microgood
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To: SmithL

Give me the taser over OC spray 10 times out of 10....the OC bothered me for a month.

Taser was over as soon as the juice stopped flowing.


11 posted on 12/28/2009 10:06:13 PM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (There once was a dream called, "Hippy Beat Down." The mere whisper of if caused cops to cry.")
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To: microgood

A Taser is also so impersonal. If it’s worth doing it’s worth handcrafting.


12 posted on 12/28/2009 10:08:42 PM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (There once was a dream called, "Hippy Beat Down." The mere whisper of if caused cops to cry.")
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To: SmithL

Taser equals torture.

We don’t torture anymore.


13 posted on 12/28/2009 10:11:24 PM PST by RazzPutin ("You have told us more than you can possibly know." -- Niels Bohr)
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To: TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig
If it’s worth doing it’s worth handcrafting.

But they have those pesky cameras.
14 posted on 12/28/2009 10:11:50 PM PST by microgood
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To: Don W

It is possible to use excessive force with any weapon, but the standard shouldn’t be set this high.

It is absurd, we have policemen dieing everyday without having to worry about having to tackle someone. You don’t make such an absurd ruling on a single instance no matter how heinous you may think the video is.

With a taser, 1-3 officers can take someone down and into custody. With this standard we will have to wait till 6 officers are on the scene before we initiate contact.

With budgets strained, there are no additional officers to hire. This means this rule will kill more people than it saves because of the officers tied up with one person who can’t follow instructions.

What about the innocent victims that want want to live?


15 posted on 12/28/2009 10:16:08 PM PST by dila813
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To: dila813
The problem with your post is that the Supreme Court has ruled that "law" enforcement has no duty to serve and protect.

I would rather citizens be allowed to police themselves. The statists would have to go before that takes place, though.
16 posted on 12/28/2009 10:24:23 PM PST by randomhero97 ("First you want to kill me, now you want to kiss me. Blow!" - Ash)
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To: randomhero97

I would agree with you, but if you live in a gun free zone, what’ya gonna do?


17 posted on 12/28/2009 10:26:25 PM PST by dila813
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To: SmithL

Good for a start. These things are less lethal but can be deadly never the less.

There should be a very high standard to use a device that alters the electrical current of a human being.


18 posted on 12/28/2009 10:29:47 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig

To true.


19 posted on 12/28/2009 10:40:40 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: SmithL

Crazy man...Yes, that Court ruling does set the bar way too high and the ruling should be appealed so the law enforcement person has more leeway in taking action to protect him- or herself, and the public, from harm...


20 posted on 12/28/2009 10:43:42 PM PST by billmor
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To: dila813

Any problem with OC and taking them down, hard? Don’t these guys learn leverage and locks such as those used in Hapkido or some Steven Segal moves?

I learned them in college when I wanted to become an officer and while I chose not to pursue that career those same skills have come in handy and saved my ass.


21 posted on 12/28/2009 10:44:30 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: SmithL

Good for the judge.
Cops don’t need cattle prods.


22 posted on 12/28/2009 10:57:06 PM PST by tsomer
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To: Vendome
Don’t these guys learn leverage and locks such as those used in Hapkido or some Steven Segal moves?

Real life isn't the movies. Hapkido and Aikido look good on film, but seldom work in real life.

Going hands on with someone is always dangerous, both for the officer and the suspect. People who watch too much Television might not recognize that, but it is reality.

23 posted on 12/28/2009 11:05:22 PM PST by freedomwarrior998
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To: tsomer

A taser is not a “cattle prod.”


24 posted on 12/28/2009 11:05:57 PM PST by freedomwarrior998
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To: Vendome

Try it on someone who is high on Meth


25 posted on 12/28/2009 11:09:57 PM PST by dila813
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To: freedomwarrior998
A taser is not a “cattle prod.”

It ain't now.

26 posted on 12/28/2009 11:19:25 PM PST by tsomer
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To: dila813

Oh I have and drunk guys too.

There isn’t a perfect solution to everything but the Taser is being viewed by LEO as such. It needs to have a standard of escalation applied much like deadly force.


27 posted on 12/28/2009 11:23:21 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: Vendome

Pepper spray and batons kill and cripple more than Tasers ever dreamed of. Asthma attack after OC... accidental head strikes in Baton fights. Or successful knee or elbow strike with a baton, drunk offender easily crippled there for life.

No drunk in their right mind would want that, taser is the way.

Suggesting police all become junior Aikido experts is silly. Not a serious alternative.


28 posted on 12/28/2009 11:46:28 PM PST by DesertRhino (Dogs earn thi title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: microgood

Under the correct circumstances a Taser is a great tool....but it can lead to a lack of willingness to lay hands on people when controlling their movements is imperitive.

And Tasers don’t always make a good connection when deployed or winter clothing defeats they darts...etc.

They a wonderfull on crazy though.

It will tire crazy out faster that you can get tired out which is important.

But in the end, it’s just a tool like a baton or handcuffs or OC spray, or your hands or your firearm.


29 posted on 12/28/2009 11:48:07 PM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (There once was a dream called, "Hippy Beat Down." The mere whisper of if caused cops to cry.")
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To: DesertRhino

Hmmmm.... you have some valid points. though I am still bothered by the videos of people being tasered for no real or seriously real reason. “Don’t tase me bro” or the guy on the side of a highway in Utah or the one in an airport or even some fat 14 year old girl.

Screwing with the electrical system of a human being is going to some shocking outcomes.


30 posted on 12/28/2009 11:56:26 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: dila813
because of the officers tied up with one person who can’t follow instructions.

Just when did cops become God and have the right to tase, gas, or beat down those who don't follow instructions. Not all instructions are lawful orders.

31 posted on 12/29/2009 12:00:58 AM PST by packrat35 (Democrat Healthcare is a 9-11 Attack on the Constitution)
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To: dila813

Move.


32 posted on 12/29/2009 12:01:59 AM PST by packrat35 (Democrat Healthcare is a 9-11 Attack on the Constitution)
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To: dila813
It is absurd, we have policemen dieing everyday without having to worry about having to tackle someone.

Of course cops are supposed to tackle people. lol...

What do you think cops do? Cops roll in the mud with drunks, crazy people and bad guys. Everyday...lol.

That what happens when ya got politically correct cities and counties hiring 5'7" 150 pound females... What would you expect?

I recall a time when there were strict height and weight standards for males...Of course that was way too much common sense.

33 posted on 12/29/2009 12:06:41 AM PST by dragnet2
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To: Vendome

The more this country turns toward collectivism the more these cops become the tip of the tyrant’s spear.

By default it will change from “To Serve and Protect” to “To Serve the State and Protect Our Power Grid”. It’s about revenue and keeping the citizenry subdued as life gets increasingly difficult—not necessarily in that order.

You can see the transition already as cops more and more look upon the average Joe as just another annoying citizen pawn threatening his/her authority. They’d sooner fry you with 50,000 volts than listen to you protest their blatant intimidation and oppression.

Long gone are the days when the local cop was everybody’s friend. Everybody fears the cop and his/her citizen torture devices.

The more citizens fear them the more they will act against them, from small ways to outright killing them. And the cycle continues, and the situation escalates until it gets medieval.

I wouldn’t want to be just entering this “profession” as the job description is now fluid and heading in a, shall we say, distasteful direction.


34 posted on 12/29/2009 12:12:48 AM PST by Boucheau
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To: dila813
With a taser, 1-3 officers can take someone down and into custody.

Pretty sad, today's cops need to electrocute unarmed people to take them into custody...In the days past, the cops were not 5'7" 25 year old females....Simple common sense tells ya that they don't stand a freaking chance on the street unless they electrocute, shoot the suspect, or call for backup to save themselves.

35 posted on 12/29/2009 12:18:23 AM PST by dragnet2
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To: Boucheau
Long gone are the days when the local cop was everybody’s friend.

Sh*t happened...Like too many people...

Cops now see every non-cop as a suspect and a danger...Sad, but that's the way it is. Throw in 25 year old 150 pound female cops, and they have to shoot or electrocute the unarmed non-cooperating suspect, just to take him into custody, because the suspect will kick their ass and take take their GD weapon otherwise.

This is what PC affirmative action did.

36 posted on 12/29/2009 12:24:47 AM PST by dragnet2
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To: Vendome

Agreed, but if you intend to take someone downtown because they won’t follow instructions your options are either tase them or tackle them to take them into custody.

Tackling them is more likely to cause them permanent bodily harm than tasing them.

I would rather be tased than beat down.


37 posted on 12/29/2009 12:27:56 AM PST by dila813
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To: dragnet2

I agree, the police force has become too pc.

That being said, you either get tased or beat down, which would you like?


38 posted on 12/29/2009 12:28:54 AM PST by dila813
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To: packrat35

I am fortunate to not live in a gun free zone, so why would I move?


39 posted on 12/29/2009 12:30:16 AM PST by dila813
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To: packrat35

You follow their instructions then you sue them later.

Unless you want to go to war with the cops, don’t go there.


40 posted on 12/29/2009 12:31:53 AM PST by dila813
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To: dila813
You're suggesting every unarmed person that resists being arrested be electrocuted?

If that's the case, look for upwards of 1000 people per day in this country being electrocuted by taser.

41 posted on 12/29/2009 12:32:26 AM PST by dragnet2
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To: dila813
That being said, you either get tased or beat down, which would you like?

I've seen plenty of non-armed, non-cooperating types be arrested without being beat down or tased. Training helps in addition to hiring cops that can actually handle themselves on the streets.

42 posted on 12/29/2009 12:37:52 AM PST by dragnet2
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To: Vendome

Going “hands on” often leads to police brutality, severe injuries to both parties, lawsuits and expensive workers comp claims. Once you get into fight mode, it can be very difficult to regain your composure once the suspect is in custody.

Used properly, Tasers quickly subdue suspects and reduce overall injuries. Unfortunately, there are more than a few cases where they were used unnecessarily.


43 posted on 12/29/2009 12:38:48 AM PST by MediaMole
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To: dragnet2

Ok, I support the cops giving the person the option to choose.

“Sir, would you like us to tackle you and potentially doing you permanent physical harm or would you like to be tased?”

Ultimately, if they say you are under arrest, what are they supposed to do? herd you to the police station?

“Sir, would you please follow us in your car to the police station?”

I don’t know what people are thinking, put yourself in the day to day grind that cops have to deal with.

This is one freaking video and doesn’t represent your average cop.

Anyone who owns a gun knows the advantage it gives you is it is a standoff weapon, you don’t have to come into physical contact with the person you are dealing with. If you have to physically contact the person you are risking physical damage to yourself and the person that you are dealing with. Not only that, think of all those videos where the cops have to beat someone in submission?

This is a liberal Lawyer’s wet dream. I can’t believe on this board that there would be so many willing to make liberal dreams happen.

Logically, tasing is safer for the cops and the person being tased.


44 posted on 12/29/2009 12:40:52 AM PST by dila813
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To: dragnet2

When ever physical contact is involved, all bets are off.

A situation can quickly escalate.

There was a fat guy that didn’t look like he could even walk fast and it took 5 fit guys to pin this guy down. Later on we found out that his shoulder was dislocated, when did it happen is anyones guess.

No one had a taser.


45 posted on 12/29/2009 12:44:08 AM PST by dila813
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To: MediaMole
Going “hands on” often leads to police brutality, severe injuries to both parties, lawsuits and expensive workers comp claims.

That's something you'll never get away from. Hence my comments above regarding the problems hiring 24 year old females as street cops. That is a law suit, workers comp claim, tragedy, and or early medical retirement just waiting to happen.

46 posted on 12/29/2009 12:44:35 AM PST by dragnet2
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To: dragnet2

The problem with the article and the order issue is the assumption that tasers are only for an alternative to lethal force.

I beg to differ.

They are also an alternative to physical force.


47 posted on 12/29/2009 12:47:09 AM PST by dila813
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To: dila813
Lemme ask you, you think the use of a taser on the video, at #5 was justified?

If so, what do you base that justification on?

48 posted on 12/29/2009 12:47:43 AM PST by dragnet2
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To: dila813

I was answering your question.


49 posted on 12/29/2009 12:48:42 AM PST by packrat35 (Democrat Healthcare is a 9-11 Attack on the Constitution)
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To: dila813

Cops are NOT my masters.


50 posted on 12/29/2009 12:49:04 AM PST by packrat35 (Democrat Healthcare is a 9-11 Attack on the Constitution)
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