When Can Police Use Tasers?

Southeast Massachusetts Police Brutality Lawyers, Boston, Quincy & New Bedford.

Despite what you’ve seen on TV and in the movies, Taser stun guns are not toys—they are potentially lethal weapons that incapacitate victims with thousands of volts of electricity. It’s a common misconception that tasers work solely by inflicting pain; in fact, these devices are designed to disrupt voluntary muscle control and trigger strong involuntary muscle contractions, causing the victim to jerk spasmodically and fall to the ground in a heap. The tasers used by police fire two dart-like electrodes from a range of up to 15 feet, though they’re often wielded close up against the victim’s body, and the charge lasts for a full five seconds.

Despite the pain and potential injury they inflict on victims, tasers are often overused by the police in situations where extreme force is not warranted.  Departmental regulations vary from place to place, but in general, police are only supposed to use tasers (and other potentially dangerous weapons, like batons or pepper spray) when a suspect poses an immediate threat to himself, to another person, or to the police officer. Tasers should not be used repeatedly (except if the suspect continues to resist), and they should certainly not be used on a person who is already cooperating with the police.

Recent years have seen a rash of questionable taser incidents, many of them involving not strong, aggressive, potentially dangerous suspects but children and senior citizens. Increasingly, security guards in high schools, middle schools, and even elementary schools have used tasers to subdue unruly children, and tasers have also been wielded on unarmed suspects and even “inconvenient” witnesses to a police action (say, a parent or relative who repeatedly, but nonviolently, complains to the arresting officer and winds up getting zapped).

Also, see Taser Injuries

Quincy Police Taser Abuse Attorneys, Free Consultation

If you were a victim of the use of excessive force by police, or suffered severe injuries after being wrongfully tasered by a police stun gun your civil rights may have been violated.  Before you assume you have no right to civil justice, call our attorneys today and discuss your case for free.

No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call  us to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.