Monday, December 28, 2009

New Spokane Police Department Reading Material

From an article in the San Francisco Chronicle we have a Ninth Circuit ruling allowing Carl Bryan's case against a police officer to proceed for using excessive force (a TASER).

The decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sets judicial standards for police and for people who claim they were victims of excessive force after police hit them with a Taser dart.

"The objective facts must indicate that the suspect poses an immediate threat to the officer or a member of the public," Judge Kim Wardlaw said in the 3-0 ruling.

Though stun guns may offer a valuable, nonlethal alternative to deadly force in defusing dangerous situations, Wardlaw said, they inflict a "painful and frightening blow" and must be used only when substantial force is necessary and other options are unavailable.

Bryan was stopped for not wearing a seat belt. He was agitated and acting bizarrely but was never a threat to the officer. The officer used his TASER and Bryan landed face first on the pavement and breaking four teeth.

You can read the entire story and the ruling here (PDF) on the Ninth Circuit's web site.

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