Everything You Need to Know About Police Taser Abuse Cases
Tasers, also known as stun guns, are non-fatal weapons that law enforcement can use to subdue aggressive suspects. While police gun Taser devices are designed to be less lethal than firearms, they are not without risks.
Over the years, the number of Taser abuse cases involving police officers has increased at an alarming rate. This trend has sparked widespread concern among the general public, raising questions about whether civilians have the right to seek legal action against such misuse.
If you believe a police officer wrongfully tased you, you’ve come to the right place.
This blog will explore Taser abuse and what makes it different from reasonable force. We’ll also discuss how to file a claim against an aggressive officer. Read on to learn more about the shocking reality of police gun Taser abuse.
What Taser Abuse Is & How It Works
Taser abuse refers to the unwarranted and disproportionate use of Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEWs), like stun guns, by law enforcement officers. It’s a common form of police misconduct.
There are plenty of ways a police officer can abuse a gun Taser. One of the most common examples of this is if they tased a potential suspect without fully assessing the situation.
According to the law, police officers must use reasonable force when responding to potential threats. They have to try to use as little force as possible, which means using de-escalation techniques and other non-violent methods before resorting to Taser deployment.
If an officer immediately uses their Taser instead of diffusing the situation first, it’s considered an excessive use of force.
Excessive force is punishable by law. It violates the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement.
Other examples of Taser abuse include the following:
- Using a taser on an incapacitated target: Cops are not allowed to use tasers on targets who are already incapacitated or restrained.
- Using a Taser as punishment: The punitive use of a Taser is highly prohibited. But, these incidents are widespread, especially in correctional facilities nationwide.
- Using a Taser on vulnerable populations: Police officers must not use stun guns on vulnerable civilians such as pregnant women, children, and older people unless there is an immediate threat to their safety.
- Using a Taser for an extended time: Extensive use of CEWs can lead to severe bodily harm to a target.
- Failure to provide immediate medical attention to a target who’s been tased: Officers must provide medical attention to people who have been tasered to prevent serious injury. Failure to do so is considered Taser abuse.
What Causes Taser Abuse?
Several factors can cause Taser abuse, some of which are not intentional. There have been instances where a police officer abused their Taser due to a lack of comprehensive training.
Whenever officers receive a new weapon to use in the field, they must learn how to use it properly. Devices like stun guns require specific training since they can be as harmful as a loaded gun. They have to know when to disengage the use of the Taser based on the target’s age and weight.
Unfortunately, these trainings are not standardized. The guidelines for their use also vary between law enforcement agencies. This leaves too much room for errors and a potential for abuse.
Common Injuries Caused By Tasers
If a person is tasered multiple times, they can sustain the following injuries:
- Loss of vision
- Soft tissue damage
Moreover, they can cause significant damage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Those with heart problems could experience severe arrhythmia and even cardiac arrest.
With all these risks in mind, police officers are required to exercise extreme caution when using CEWs.
Can A Civilian Sue A Police Officer For Gun Taser Abuse?
Yes, civilians have the right to sue police officers for Taser abuse. However, pursuing legal action against a law enforcement member is never easy. You must have strong evidence that the offending officer used excessive force against you.
There are three factors that courts focus on when determining the reasonableness of force that an officer used:
- Nature and severity of the crime
- Degree of threat
- Active resistance
Nature & Severity of The Crime
Taser deployment is considered reasonable if there is a serious or violent crime at hand. However, if the offense is relatively minor, taser use will be considered excessive force. An example of this is if an officer used their stun gun on a person who committed a traffic violation.
Degree of Threat
Police officers are generally allowed to use Tasers against a target who they believe poses an immediate threat to their safety and other people. Even if the crime committed is relatively minor, any threatening behavior a person exhibits can be used to justify using a CEW.
Tasers are primarily used to subdue individuals who are actively resisting or trying to evade arrest. But as mentioned earlier, officers can no longer use them if the target is restrained or otherwise compliant.
Other factors that are vital in determining excessive force include:
- Extent of injury
- Whether the officer identified themselves as a member of law enforcement
- Whether the officer informed the target that they would use a stun gun.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
Due to the complicated nature of Taser abuse, it would be best for you to consult a lawyer and determine the validity of your claim. A civil rights attorney will help you understand the nuances of Taser abuse and guide you through the process of seeking justice.
If you need help pursuing legal action against a law enforcement officer, look no further than Adamson Ahdoot.
Adamson Ahdoot is one of California’s leading civil litigation firms. With a combined legal experience of over 100 years, we have helped hundreds of families fight for their right to justice and fair compensation.
Our team of experienced lawyers will provide you with the legal expertise needed to navigate the nuances of civil rights violations properly. We will be your advocates, working tirelessly to guarantee a favorable outcome for your case.
Let Adamson Ahdoot represent you in court. Contact us today at (800) 310-1606 for a free consultation with one of our premier attorneys.
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