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56 Vill. L. Rev. 363 (2011-2012)
The Shocking Truth: Law Enforcement's Use and Abuse of Tasers and the Need for Reform

handle is hein.journals/vllalr56 and id is 367 raw text is: 2011]

In June 2010, an eighty-six year old bedridden Oklahoma woman was
TASERed, according to police reports, for taking a more aggressive pos-
ture in her bed that allegedly caused the ten officers surrounding her to
fear for their lives.' The officers have been accused of assaulting the wo-
man and depriving her of oxygen when they stepped on her oxygen tank
line before TASERing her.2 On September 7, 2010, a school resource of-
ficer in Middletown, Connecticut TASERed a seventeen year old boy ac-
cused of stealing a beef patty from the school cafeteria.3 In July 2009, the
chief of police of Tucumcari, New Mexico tased a 14 year old girl with
epilepsy as she attempted to flee and pierced her brain when one of the
prongs went through her skull.4 These are just a few of the recent inci-
dents that have called into question the overzealous use of TASERs by law
enforcement and security personnel.5
* Villanova Law School, J.D. expected, Spring 2012. 1 would like to thank the
members of the Villanova Law Review for all of their helpful comments on this
Article as well as Jack and Joan McStravick and Ed Costa for their unending
1. See Complaint at 4, Varner v. City of El Reno, No. CIV-00636-F (W.D. Okla.
filed June 21, 2010) (recounting officer's comments in official police report from
incident). The victim is bringing claims against several El Reno police officers for
being wrongfully seized, assaulted, battered, physically harmed, humiliated, emo-
tionally harmed, . . . cruelly injured with a Taser and imprisoned for several days
without probable cause in a hospital. See id. at 1 (asserting multiple claims for
injuries sustained during TASERing incident).
2. See id. at 4 (alleging that officers shot woman twice with TASER at high
voltage, causing extreme pain, burns to her chest, and loss of consciousness).
3. See Leanne Gendreau, Cops: Tasering Teen in Stealing Beef Patty Incident
Appropriate, NBC CONN., Sept. 8, 2010, http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/
local-beat/Student-Tasered-Over-Stolen-Patty-Cops-102368909.html (reporting
TASER incident in which school resource officer TASERed teen while being es-
corted from school grounds after attempting to steal beef patty).
4. See Laura Schauer, Taser Use in Need of Regulation, SILVER CYTY SUN-NEWS
(N.M.), Aug. 24, 2010, (documenting disturbing pattern of both inappropriate
and excessive use of TASERs by law enforcement in state of New Mexico).
5. See, e.g., Amnesty Int'l, United States of America: Excessive and Lethal Force?
Amnesty International's Concerns About Deaths and Ill-treatment Involving Police Use of
Tasers, at 46-53, AI Index AMR 51/139/2004 (Nov. 30, 2004), available at http://
www.amnestyusa.org/countries/usa/Taserreport.pdf (compiling case studies on
TASER abuses by law enforcement).


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