USA: Excessive and lethal force? Amnesty International's concerns about deaths and ill-treatment involving police use of Tasers

Report
November 29, 2004

USA: Excessive and lethal force? Amnesty International's concerns about deaths and ill-treatment involving police use of Tasers

View More Research

  • a man who refused to be fingerprinted and wrestled and shoved officers (Pembroke Pines Police Department, Broward County)
  • a woman who interrupted a seminar at a country club and pushed officers away, shouting that they were "sick with demons" (Pembroke Pines Police Department)
  • a man who refused to discard the drink he was drinking in a park and refused to turn round and be handcuffed (Orange County Sheriff's Office)
  • a woman who, ordered out of a pool for swimming naked and once dressed, refused repeated commands to turn round and put her hands behind her back. (Orange County Sheriff's Office)
  • a 15-year-old schoolgirl, who was tasered and pepper sprayed after arguing with officers after she and other children were put off a bus during a disturbance. (Miramar Police Department, Broward County)
  • a 14-year-old schoolgirl who was tasered after fighting with a school "resource officer" in a classroom. The officer first used the Taser as a "stun gun" applying it directly to her chest; when she continued to struggle he deployed the "air cartridge" twice before she was handcuffed. (Putnam County Sheriff's Office)(41)

In May 2004, the city of Melbourne, Brevard County, Florida, announced a review of police Taser use after reports that officers had fired two Tasers simultaneously at an unarmed 23-year-old man who had turned his back on officers when they called at his house to investigate a neighbour's complaint about loud rap music. He was allegedly jolted multiple times, causing acute pain. A study of police incident reports conducted by a local newspaper found that Melbourne police had used Tasers against 75 people in 18 months, most of whom were unarmed.(42) They included