Government officials and law enforcement agencies have turned increasingly towards less-than-lethal weapons over the past several years, with many carrying the Taser—a hand-held weapon designed to deliver an electric shock and incapacitate an individual.
Studies by Taser International Incorporated show that Tasers are used in over 7,000 of the 18,000 United States law enforcement agencies with more than 140,000 Tasers being used by police officials in the field. Even with the establishment of use-of-force policies, operational protocols, and safety procedures, police misconduct and the unlawful use of Taser has been steadily increasing as more of these devices enter the field.
Police misconduct through the use of Tasers is a growing problem across the nation. A report by the New York Civil Liberties Union demonstrated that a number of police departments across the state, including Albany’s, were guilty of the improper, unwarranted, or poorly documented deployment of electroshock weapons. The report not only stated that police officials used repeated and prolonged Taser shocks but that they disproportionately deployed Tasers on African Americans over white individuals. Furthermore, victims in approximately 75 percent of cases were not verbally warned by the police officer before being shocked.
A single Taser shock may contain up to 50,000 volts of electricity and can often penetrate two inches of clothing. While isolated incidents cause pain and temporary paralysis, repeated or extended Taser shocks can increase the risk of injury and even death. Fortunately, an experienced civil rights attorney can help provide legal representation for individuals who have been injured due to improper Taser use. In many cases, an attorney will aid the victims in gaining compensation for damages, including medical expenses and pain and suffering.
The police abuse lawyers at the Law Offices of Patrick Geckle are experienced in a number of practice areas, including the injuries due to the excessive use of Tasers, police assault, and abuse by prison guards. Get the representation you need in Philadelphia or South Jersey by contacting us at (267) 234-7708 or set up an initial consultation by visiting our website.