Eideard

SCOTUS hides from coppers tasering pregnant woman

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Malaika Brooks and her baby girl

A “defiant” pregnant woman who was subjected to three Taser stun gun shocks by law enforcement officers after refusing to sign a speeding ticket will not get her appeal addressed by the Supreme Court.

The justices without comment Tuesday rejected separate petitions from both Malaika Brooks and the Seattle Police officers sued for excessive force…

Hundreds of such Taser-related lawsuits have been working their way through lower state and federal courts, but the Supreme Court so far has refused to address the issue of what the officers call “a useful pain technique.”

Brooks was seven months pregnant and driving her 11-year-old son to school in 2004. Police clocked her going 32 miles per hour in a 20 mph school zone. She handed over her driver’s license but denied wrongdoing.

A speeding citation was issued but the woman refused to sign it as state law required. Brooks later claimed she mistakenly believed signing the ticket was an admission of guilt. An argument ensued with two police officers. A federal appeals court later said, “she remained defiant even after (Officer) Jones told her she’d be arrested if she continued to refuse.”

The word that these coppers used before editing by the shift captain — probably was “uppity”!

A police sergeant soon arrived and informed the motorist that force would be applied if she did not get out of her vehicle as ordered. Brooks refused. A Taser electro-shock weapon was displayed, and officers warned her it would be used if there was further resistance. Brooks explained her pregnancy, and later claimed one of the officers replied, “Well, don’t do it in her stomach, do it in her thigh.”
The Taser was applied in a “drive-stun” mode three times in a one-minute span — in her thigh, arm, then neck, according to court testimony.

Brooks fell out of the vehicle, was dragged onto the street face down, and then was handcuffed

A federal appeals court in San Francisco eventually issued a split decision, finding excessive force was used, but saying the officers could not be sued because “it was not sufficiently clear” in the law at the time that what they were doing was a constitutional violation…

RTFA for the details. Poisonally, I see nothing wrong with requiring police officers to have a brain and a bit of education about law, health, communication.

Add in a little humanity just for giggles and you might have a copper with good sense.

Then you have the conservative-dominated Supreme Court of the United States. A group with great responsibility – and apparently governed by cupidity, cowardice and a convenience store schedule. Their convenience.

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Written by Ed Campbell

May 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm

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