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Taser Abuse

A police officer and a former police officer were recently indicted for civil rights violations stemming from wrongful use of their taser guns. The incidents happened in 2004 and 2005 in the City of Desert Hot Springs, California. If my math is correct that is about five to six years ago. My first questions is, why did it take so long to file charges against these two men?

In recent years, many of us have noticed that almost all of our local law enforcement officers are now carrying Taser devices on their belts. In days past, Taser devices were limited to supervisors or special units and only deployed in rare situations. Now, with so many officers carrying the Taser guns, there was bound to be some abuses.

In 2004, one of the indicted officers allegedly tased a handcuffed inmate who was already in custody in the jail facility. In a separate incident that same officer tased a woman in custody at the jail and pepper sprayed her in the face and eyes. The other incident involves a former police officer who allegedly tased a man who was already handcuffed during an arrest in 2004.

I wonder if there have been any similar abuses by police officers in the last five years? I think that waiting this long before filing charges is giving officers implicit authorization to continue abusing their authority. In this very case, one of the officers is still working as a police officer in Desert Hot Springs. I’ll bet he is still carrying the same Taser gun that he was using five years ago. He must go through a lot of batteries.