A “Taser” is an electroshock weapon that is sold by the Taser International corporation. The word taser has become synonymous with electroshock weapons in general. The taser is a hand-held device that resembles a hand gun. Instead of shooting a bullet like a conventional firearm, the taser or stun gun shoots two small dart-like electrodes. These electrodes stay connected to the hand piece by wires which deliver the electric shock from the hand piece to the electrodes. The dart-like electrodes are propelled by a small compressed nitrogen gas charge similar to an airsoft or paintball gun. The difference is that the dart-like electrodes are designed to pierce the skin of a person and deliver a 1200 volt electric charge through a person. The darts are fired at a speed of 160 feet per second and the shock disables the target’s muscles and overrides the victim’s central nervous system rendering the target helpless. The shock causes paralysis and intense pain.
Law enforcement started using tasers or stun guns as a welcome alternative to excessive force. However, the lawfulness of the taser or stun gun arises when the law enforcement office is not facing a dangerous situation. Federal case law has developed a body of case law directed at taser and stun gun abuse by law enforcement. This body of law has recognized the difference between passive resistance of a law enforcement officer and active resistance. Examples of passive resistance include protesters at a sit in refusing to leave a premises, refusing to carry your own body weight for law enforcement and refusing to turn around and put your hands behind your back. In cases of passive resistance, it is typically unlawful to tase and individual.
Consult with a San Diego Taser and Stun Gun Lawyer
Unlawful and unconstitutional taser and stun gun use can cause serious injuries. Becoming paralyzed in the standing position causes falls, broken teeth and bones. Some extreme cases have even caused death by taser. And the extreme pain alone from the tasing is a damage that can be compensated in a taser or stun gun lawsuit. If you have been the subject of an unlawful taser or stun gun, contact Gateway Law for a free consultation to determine your rights.