Archive for the ‘Law Enforcement’ tag
Regular readers of this blog know I’ve been following the disastrous Missouri raid that was videotaped by police, went viral, and resulted in an enormous public backlash. The Columbia police have now responded to the negative publicity by tailoring SWAT procedure.
Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton says under the department’s new protocol, police will keep target locations under surveillance before sending in SWAT teams. Also, police will do their best to conduct searches within eight hours of receiving a warrant. Drug search warrants must now be approved by higher-ranking police captains rather than drug officers or SWAT commanders. Police will also take the presence of children into consideration.
It’s sweet of them to take child safety into consideration, considering Jonathan Whitworth, the target of the raid, was charged with child endangerment when the cops found a bit of weed in his home. Meanwhile, the cops, who stormed into Whitworth’s home, guns blazing, were probably congratulated on a job well done when they returned to the station.
The BART Police Department has decided to strip officers of tasers following an incident involving a sergeant firing an electric gun at a 13-year-old boy fleeing from cops on his bicycle.
Butler said the suspension of the Taser program would allow the department to do training that integrates rulings by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that have already prompted changes at agencies around the Bay Area.
The most pivotal ruling came in December, when the court said a man could sue a Coronado (San Diego County) police officer who had stunned him with a Taser to gain compliance after pulling him over for failing to wear a seat belt. The man was “yelling gibberish and hitting his thighs,” the court said, but did not pose an immediate threat to the officer.
Yelling gibberish and hitting one’s own thighs are not yet crimes punishable by electrocution. Nor is fleeing from cops on a bike.
A Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge denied a motion by a stun-gun manufacturer to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by a man who claims he suffered permanent injuries after being shocked by one of the weapons in 2006.
Monday, Judge Jeff Almquist turned down the request by TASER International that would have ended the case. Almquist also fined TASER International $15,000 for delaying the court process, according to court documents.
Watsonville resident Steve Butler, now 51, is seeking lifetime medical costs in the suit. The trial is set for Aug. 2.
In 2006, Steve Butler was riding a bus when a police officer ordered him to get off. Steve admits he was drunk, and he refused the order. That’s when the officer tasered Steve. Three times.
Rolando Ruiz is the man featured in yet another taser video making the rounds on Youtube. Ruiz was in police custody after being arrested by a Minneapolis police officer for reportedly throwing a brick at an officer’s vehicle.
Ruiz, who is 18-years-old, is seen in the video with his hands on the car before the officer appears to hold the taser to the back of Ruiz’s neck for 15 seconds.
Chief Tim Dolan called the video “very disturbing” and has asked the FBI to review it.
We’re always told tasers are the “safe” alternative to deadly force, and that police officers need to carry electric guns for purposes of self-defense only. This video appears to shatter the self-defense myth as does this recent story about a 51-year-old man, who was shot dead by officers after trying to escape his tasering.