"The use of tasers has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years in Cincinnati and other cities because of questions about their safety and their proper use," a Cincinnat Enquirer article this morning began.
Last Wednesday we reported a taser case in Columbus in which a suspect had been seriously injured while trying to escape police over a fence and when tasered. ( Here)
This is a Cincinnati case that started out as a “jaywalking” incident from which a suspect ran, and then in which a police officer used a taser on a the suspect, whose injuries were minor, not because he jaywalked, but because he was running away, an act the officer believed could indicate his involvement in a more serious crime.
This morning's article says the City & police department maintain the officer "followed his extensive training on Taser use and also followed a city policy that gives officers necessary discretion on when to use a Taser or some other force to stop a suspect."
The City had thus filed a motion to dismiss based on plaintiff’s "failure to state a claim." District Court Judge Timothy Black, in a 17-page order, denied the motion saying in part, "The City's training program, as reflected by the official policy, permits officers to deploy tasers in these situations. Plaintiff maintains the training is inadequate because it does not require officers to balance the government's interest in seizing a fleeing person against the risk of serious injury as required by the Fourth Amendment. Based on the literature, case law, and even an explicit warning from the taser manufacturer, the high risk of serious injury or death was established and the City knew, or should have known, of that risk. However, the City continued to advise its officers that the use of the taser on a nonviolent fleeing misdemeanant was permissible. Consequently, Plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts to go forward on this claim that the City's policy, which explicitly permits such deployment, is unconstitutional on its face."