Is TASER drive-stun heading to the U.S. Supreme Court?
Properly deployed TASER probes will provide instant neuromuscular incapacitation — drive-stun is a pain-compliance tool, not an incapacitator in most circumstances
Thirteen months ago, I wrote about the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal’s en banc hearing to consider TASER issues arising out of two cases, “Mattos” and “Brooks.” You may review that article here. The court recently issued its ruling that officers used unconstitutional, excessive force in both cases. However, the court granted the officers “qualified immunity” in both cases because the law on TASER use was unsettled.
The Brooks case involved a pregnant woman who refused to sign a traffic citation, thus was subject to arrest. She tightened her hands on the steering wheel and refused to submit despite much pleading from the officers and their sergeant. Ultimately, she was drive-stunned on her thigh, arm, and her neck for five seconds each before she was extracted from her car.
There is much confusion in the ranks. In fact, there is much confusion at the court! In the decision, the chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — dissenting from the majority of his colleagues — wrote, in part: