Thursday, November 29, 2007

Taser it before it grows- cops electroshock pregnant women. Three cases...

taser pregnant womanCops aren't shy about tasering old folks, kids, or women, even pregnant ones. A quick Google search using the term “taser pregnant” turned up three. Oldest first:

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in October of 2005 (no, taser brutality isn't a recent phenomenon) that officer Donald Jones tasered Malaika Brooks for refusing to sign a traffic ticket. Three cops couldn't handle her without using electroshock multiple times but eventually managed to get her cuffed and into a squad car. King County sheriff's Sgt. Donald Davis, who worked on the county's Taser policy and also, apparently, its lame excuses, blamed taser use on the victim. "I know the Taser is controversial," he said. "Why use a Taser in a simple traffic stop? Well, the citizen has made it more of a problem. It's no longer a traffic stop. This is now a confrontation." Malaika's healthy baby girl was delivered without incident next January.

Fast forward to the fall of 2007, when an Alachua County (think Gainesville) Florida Sheriff's Lieutenant tasered pregnant Leslie Donaldson on her baby bump and elsewhere while she was trying to help break up a fight between neighborhood kids. The cop claims he didn't realize she was eight months pregnant at the time and felt threatened. This is ridiculous; the woman looks like she swallowed a pumpkin whole. She was arrested for battery after being checked out at a hospital. You check out the video. But it's OK: the department has no policy prohibiting tasering hugely pregnant women.

Finally we have today's attack in Trotwood, Ohio (near Dayton), where Breitbart reports that a cop tasered visibly pregnant single mother Valreca Redden. USA Today also says that Officer Michael Wilmer tackled and tasered her for being uncooperative when she appeared at the police station, seeking help, at the recommendation of Child Services. Michael Etter, Trotwood's Public Safety Director, blamed the incident on the victim, saying "I don't think any of this would have happened had she cooperated with us." Etter said he began an internal investigation after a man complained about Redden's treatment. Michael Brooks, an FBI spokesman, said the agency has opened a preliminary civil rights investigation based on information supplied by Trotwood police. He declined to comment further. Gunslinger Wilmer remains on duty.

Bob Marley wrote:

Sheriff John Brown always hated me;
For what I don't know.
Every time that I plant a seed
He said, "Kill it before it grows."

A pattern emerges; Clueless cop, no credible threat, no crime, visibly pregnant woman, blame the victim, no policy prohibiting egregious, unjustified taser use, no departmental oversight, energetic excuse machine, cop remains on duty with pay. In these three cases, there's another even more disturbing pattern: white cop, black target.