As police misconduct becomes an increasingly concerning and hotly debated issue, particularly in the form of deadly police shootings, tasers are frequently referred to as a go-to non-lethal alternative to firearms. However, tasers are not always the easy non-lethal solution. Tasers can cause a variety of health problems, and can even prove deadly. In addition to this, they are often misused in severe cases of police misconduct. It is important to understand reasonable taser use in order to better understand and fight police misconduct.
The Dangers of Taser Use
Tasers are dangerous devices, and have led to multiple deaths. If a suspect who is tased has a pre-existing heart condition, the danger is very real and can lead to serious long-term health consequences. Additionally, tasers cause irregular heart rhythms even in completely healthy individuals. In serious cases, this can lead to cardiac arrest. Research has also shown tasers to seriously affect short-term cognitive functioning.
Guidelines to Reasonable Taser Use
Considering these dangers, most departments have guidelines in place to determine reasonable taser use. While these vary from department to department, there is plenty of common ground. Generally, proper taser use and improper taser use is determined on a case-by-case basis. What determines reasonable use can be very subjective. Existing police brutality guidelines must be followed when it comes to tasers in order to be considered reasonable.
One of the most universal guidelines regarding taser use is that the suspect should be actively resisting in order to justify the use of a taser. If a suspect is already restrained, a taser should not be used. Doing so is unnecessary, and can count as police brutality. In addition, the taser itself should never be used solely as punishment. Rather, the taser should be used only to incapacitate. If an officer uses a taser as a punitive measure against a perceived slight, then it is a clear case of police brutality.
Philadelphia Police Misconduct Lawyers at Patrick G. Geckle LLC Pledge to Fight Against Police Brutality in Philadelphia
If you or someone you know has been the victim of police brutality in Philadelphia, then the dedicated Philadelphia police misconduct lawyers at the Law Office of Patrick G. Geckle can help obtain the compensation that you need. From our offices in Philadelphia, we serve clients from the surrounding area, including Delaware County, Montgomery County, Bucks County and Chester County. Call us at 215-735-3326 or toll-free at 800-555-7780, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.