page x – tasers kill pt.vii [taser creep]


I knew that Tasers were a bad idea with agitated individuals, that their hearts stopped while they were lying on their sides, handcuffed. I imagined that Tasers would become deployed too commonly. But this is ridiculous–this is a maddening case of ‘usage creep’, or ‘Taser creep’: deployment for any old reason at all, for being confused or annoyed with a suspect.

Parents question why Ozark police used stun gun on injured son

Story Published: Jul 24, 2008 at 4:05 PM CST

OZARK, Mo. — A family from Branson wants answers about what happened to their son that left him hospitalized. Early Saturday morning, police found Mace Hutchinson, 16, underneath the Highway F overpass over U.S. 65…

“We called the police. My wife was afraid he was going to get ran over or hit,” said witness Doug Messersmith…

By the time officers arrived, the teen was off the 30-foot overpass, lying on the shoulder below along U.S. 65, with no good explanation as to how he got there.

“According to the doctors, all injuries are consistent with a fall,” said his aunt, Samantha…

His aunt says he is undergoing major surgery for a broken back and broken heel. While he was lying on the ground, she wonders why Ozark police used an electric stun gun on him up to 19 times.

“I’m not an officer, but i don’t see the reason for ‘Tasering’ somebody laying there with a broken back. I don’t consider that a threat,”

His dad says the use of the stun gun delayed what would have been immediate surgery by two days.

“The ‘Tasering’ increased his white blood cell count and caused him to have a temperature so they could not go into the operation.”

“He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him. He is making incoherent statements; he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers,” said Ozark Police Capt. Thomas Rousset…

“It’s a big concern for the officers to keep this guy out of traffic, to keep him from getting hurt,” said Rousset.

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