Police Brutality

Photo: Kids
Locked up in custody for two hours: Tree-climbing friends Katy Smith, left, Sam Cannon and Amy Higgins

KHUSHWANT SACHDAVE, Daily Mail (UK), reports:

To the 12-year-old friends planning to build themselves a den, the cherry tree seemed an inviting source of material.

But the afternoon adventure turned into a frightening ordeal for Sam Cannon, Amy Higgins and Katy Smith after they climbed into the 20ft tree - then found themselves hauled into a police station and locked in cells for up to two hours.

Their shoes were removed and mugshots, DNA samples and mouth swabs were taken.

Officers told the children they had been seen damaging the tree which is in a wooded area of public land near their homes.

Questioned by police, the scared friends admitted they had broken some loose branches because they had wanted to build a tree house, but said they did not realise what they had done was wrong.

Officers considered charging the children with criminal damage but eventually decided a reprimand - the equivalent of a caution for juveniles - was sufficient.

DAVE NEWBART, Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporter, reports:

A 14-year-old boy who went into cardiac arrest after he was zapped by a Chicago Police stun gun had not threatened police or anyone else before he was shocked, four eyewitnesses to the February incident say.

The developmentally delayed boy was sitting on a couch in a juvenile home and was not attempting to harm anyone, the witnesses claim in sworn court depositions obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

After the boy went into convulsions and fell to the floor, the officer who used the Taser allegedly said, “Now look at this f—–’ paperwork I’ve got to do,'’ at least two witnesses claim in the depositions.

Robert Anglen, The Arizona Republic, reports:

A man who Phoenix police say exhibited bizarre behavior and “incredible strength” died Friday morning after he broke into a Church’s Chicken restaurant, chased out the employees and fought with officers, who shocked him three times with a Taser.

His death marks the second time in a week that someone died after a Taser shock and comes only two days after the mayor of Birmingham, Ala., ordered police there to stop using Tasers because of concerns over the stun gun’s safety.

More than 130 people, including four men in the Valley, have died after police Taser shocks since 1999. Earlier this week, a 17-year-old boy in Texas died after being shocked three times by police responding to a call that the youth was high on drugs.

The Associated Press reports:

Euless — A 17-year-old North Texas boy has died two days after police used a Taser gun three times to stun and subdue him.

Euless police say Kevin Omas of Grapevine had taken two hits of Ecstasy and four of LSD at a party before they were called to a reported disturbance early Sunday.

Police officials say Omas was unruly and charged at officers repeatedly. Police say a supervisor fired all three Taser darts at Omas, zapping him with 50,000 volts of electricity each time, before he was subdued.

Omas was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where he went into a coma. He died Tuesday. An autopsy has been ordered, and Euless police are conducting their own investigation.

Three people have died in nearby Fort Worth after they were Tasered by police. The Tarrant County medical examiner ruled cocaine intoxication as the cause of two of those deaths. A ruling is still pending in the other death.

News Channel 5 (WEWS, Cleveland, Ohio), reports:

LORAIN, Ohio — Police departments use the x26 Taser to shock unruly suspects into submission, but Lorain residents are stunned that an officer used one on a school bus to subdue to 12-year-old boy, reported NewsChannel5.

According to the police report, police were called to remove the boy from the bus after he tried to steal another boy’s CD case.

Police Capt. Russ Cambarare said the boy cussed at the officers and then threatened her.

Photo: John Welch

Josh Welch stands at his front door where he was shot with a Taser by a sheriff’s deputy. Welch argued with deputies for not rushing to get medical aid for his father, who had slashed his own wrists.

Palm Beach Post reports:

In a sheriff’s report, the deputy wrote that Josh “came at me with a lit cigarette in a threatening manner.”

Josh, who is working toward his GED, admits he mouthed off at deputies. He said he did walk onto his front porch with a cigarette but didn’t threaten anyone.

From just a few feet away, a deputy fired two Taser probes into his chest, “right over his heart, no less,” his father says. Josh remembers the pain and how his body “just wobbled around and stuff” on his front patio.


Traffic Stop Tasing
Boynton Beach officer Rich McNevin is shown in a department video using a Taser on driver Victoria Goodwin, who was charged with driving on a suspended license and resisting arrest without violence. She had berated officers and refused to get out of her vehicle. Police officials back McNevin’s choice. (video)

Dani Davies, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer, reports:

BOYNTON BEACH — Victoria Goodwin’s spirits were high as she sped through Boynton Beach in her SUV that Friday morning.

She had just dropped her daughter off at day care and was heading to her mother’s house to get her hair and nails done. On Monday, she would fly to Jamaica to be a contestant in a modeling competition.

He pulled her over.

Five minutes later, the young mother was squirming on the ground, her body electrified twice by 50,000 volts from McNevin’s Taser.

Photo: Unidentified Bartender
This bartender, who prefers not to be identified, was hit by a Taser shot after she yelled at officers for not arresting a customer who had thrown a drink in her face.

The deputies repeatedly told the bartender to calm down and lower her voice. She didn’t. Standing outside the club, she continued yelling at them.

One standing several feet away hit her with his Taser. One prong lodged in her left breast. The other went into her abdomen. She fell to the sidewalk, flailing.

“I thought he had shot me with a gun. I actually looked down to see if there was blood,” she said, calling the pain indescribable.


A 13-year-old girl is hit at least twice with a stun gun while handcuffed in a caged patrol car.
A 13-year-old girl is hit at least twice with a stun gun while handcuffed in a caged patrol car.

Local6.com reports:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An officer has been suspended for zapping a 13-year-old girl at least twice with a stun gun while she was handcuffed in his caged patrol car.

An internal report by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Llahsmin Lynn Kallead was handcuffed and in the back seat of the patrol car when Officer G.A. Nelson stunned her, the Florida Times-Union reported for Tuesday editions.

Nelson and his partner had been called to the apartment Kallead shares with her mother Rosie Vaughan because they were fighting.

Vaughan wanted police to help get medical help for her daughter, who had been hospitalized for observation in the past for emotional disorders, the newspaper said.

Nelson, a 6-foot-2 officer weighing 300 pounds, allegedly used the low-setting stun mode when the 4-foot-8 Kallead wormed the handcuffs from behind her back and would not do as directed. “The situation was under control at this point,” the internal report said.

Sgt. D.E. Smith, who was called to the scene, said, “Please don’t tell me this is the person you Tased.”

Department spokesman Ken Jefferson said Nelson has been suspended for three days.

“A supervisor questioned the judgment of the officer, and he began the investigation process,” Jefferson said Monday.

Nelson did not violate written guidelines on using stun guns, but his actions showed poor judgment, the report said. He had been trained to use Tasers and received training as an instructor in January.


Miami Herald reports, via Resnse.com:

A Miami-Dade police officer used a Taser to stop an unarmed, 12-year-old girl who was running away from him after she was caught skipping school, police acknowledged Friday night.

The incident happened Nov. 5, just over two weeks after other Miami-Dade officers used a stun gun to restrain a first-grader. In that case, police said the 6-year-old boy was holding a shard of glass and threatening to cut himself. Police Director Bobby Parker defended the decision to shock the boy because he could have seriously hurt himself.

But Parker said Friday that he could not defend the decision to shock the fleeing 12-year-old, who was apparently drunk.

‘’Under the circumstances, we thought that he should not have used the Taser,'’ Parker said referring to the officer. “It’s likely that discipline will be forthcoming.'’

Sean Kelly, George Merritt and Howard Pankratz, Denver Post Staff Writers, report via Rense.com:

A Denver police officer likely mistook a soda can for a weapon before shooting and killing a 63-year-old man in his bed, Police Chief Gerry Whitman said Monday.

Frank Lobato was shot once in the chest Sunday night during a police search for a domestic-violence suspect. Lobato, a career criminal and formerly homeless man whom neighbors said was disabled, was not involved in the domestic dispute.


Barry M. Horstman, Cincinnati Post staff reporter, writes:

Cincinnati police officers ordered Nathaniel Jones to stop resisting arrest and place his hands behind his back at least 16 times before, while and after they repeatedly struck him with their nightsticks in an effort to subdue him, videotape of the fatal confrontation shows.

The videotape, from cameras in multiple police cruisers that responded to the deadly encounter, is the critical piece of evidence in various investigations into yet another controversy that threatens to unravel the halting progress made in police-community relations in the 2 years since riots erupted on Cincinnati’s streets, and that has once again placed the city in an unflattering national and international spotlight.

The Chicago Anti-Bashing Network writes:

CHICAGO — On Friday, a ten-person jury found the City of Chicago guilty of systematically covering up criminal violence by its police officers, to the point where officers felt they could commit crimes without fear of arrest or discipline by the department.