Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Taser As Proctological Tool

Taser As Proctological Tool

A Taser isn't supposed to be used in this way--and Boise City is settling out of court, reputedly in six figures, for police officers using a Taser where the sun doesn't shine--and worse:
The City of Boise wants to make it clear that they are not admitting guilt in the case of a man sodomized by Boise police with a Taser gun.
But they are also dishing out an estimated $150,000 to Gerald Amidon to prevent this matter from going to court.
This was so disturbing I went looking for more discussion of what actually happened, and it confirms what this audio recording of the incident shows. The July 29, 2009 Idaho Statesman coverage is pretty shocking:
Upon arrival, the officers heard the sounds of a struggle and voices coming from inside. The officers yelled for someone to open the door, and were greeted with a profane comment by a man in the residence. The officers had to kick and push the door open; the man inside was pushing against the door for more than 80 seconds. Once they gained entry, the officers said the suspect did not comply with their demands to get on the ground and stop resisting.
The suspect said that he was hit three times with a Taser after he was already handcuffed and face-down on the floor. Murphy's investigation found evidence that the suspect was hit twice with the Taser — once in the back before he was handcuffed and once in the buttocks after he was cuffed.
Murphy said the officer who used the Taser -— described as Officer #3 in the report — also coarsely threatened to use the Taser in the man's anus and genitals. Murphy's report says that use of Taser on a man's buttock's does not violate policy in and of itself; the question is whether it was "reasonable and necessary."
The exchange between Officer #3 and the suspect during the incident was captured on a police officer's recorder. Murphy transcribed some of it in his report:
Officer #3: Do you feel this?
Complainant: Yes, sir.
Officer #3: Do you feel that? That’s my -
Complainant: Okay
Officer #3: -Taser up your ass.
Complainant: Okay
Officer #3: So don’t move.
Complainant: I’m trying not to. I can’t breathe.
"This exchange, especially the complainant’s response, strongly suggests that, at that moment anyway, the Taser was pressed between the Complainant’s buttocks and near his anal area," Murphy wrote in his report on the incident.
Two circular burn marks 1 to 2 centimeters in size were found on the suspect's buttocks, Murphy said.
Officer #3 also threatened to use the Taser on the suspect's genitalia.
The officers involved are apparently being disciplined. Not fired? Not prosecuted? Look, if someone is resisting arrest, use of a Taser makes sense. But someone who is handcuffed and face-down on the floor?

UPDATE: Yes, the claim of "sodomized" isn't correct. Still not at all an appropriate behavior by the police officer, and it puts a bunch of money into the hands of someone who is probably nothing wonderful, either.

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