CommunityPam's House Blend

More out-of-control tasing — Ohio

What will it take for officials around the country to agree that training on how and when to use a taser is sorely needed — such as some kind of standard certification — that the deployment in the field of these devices should be rethought. (CNN):

An Ohio police officer has been put on paid administrative leave after his own police cruiser's dash camera captured him using a stun gun to subdue a handcuffed woman, an attorney for the city of Warren, Ohio, told CNN on Thursday.

Warren City, Ohio, police officer Rich Kovach said he used his stun gun seven times on Heidi Gill.

Warren City police are investigating a September 2 incident in which the officer repeatedly used a Taser to control the woman, who police allege was wildly out of control after being forced from a bar.

… “I deployed a second Taser cartridge into her, and the violent turbulent action stopped immediately” he wrote.

Kovach used the Taser for the seventh and final time while trying to transport Gill from one police cruiser to another.

In the video, the officer can be heard saying, “You're going to walk to that car or you're going to be Tasered again.”

Gill fell down, knocked her head on the pavement and lay there unconscious, Kovach wrote in his report. An ambulance then took her to a hospital.

I should point out that the CNN report refers to the incident at the University of Florida where a student was tased at a John Kerry speech, and made no mention of the NYC case of the son of a police officer, who was tased four times at a community barbecue, beaten 15 times with a nightstick and choked. The case of the schizophrenic wheelchair bound woman in Florida who died after being tased was discussed.

ABC has a good piece up on the use of the device in law enforcement, “Taser Nation: Are Cops Using Tasers Too Often?”

Police departments each develop their own “use of force continuums,” a series of escalating steps that officers employ to determine when and how much force should be deployed against a suspect.

“Some departments put Tasers pretty high on their force continuum, some pretty low down at the level of pepper spray,” said Mona Cadena, the deputy director of Amnesty International's western region.


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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding