High Court Close to Deciding Whether to Hear WA Taser Case


Next week, the Supreme Court may decide whether to hear an appeal from three Seattle police officers who say they are worried about the future of Tasers–what they call “a useful pain technique,” says the New York Times. The case involves Malaika Brooks, who was seven months pregnant and driving her 11-year-old son to school in Seattle when she was pulled over for speeding. The police say she was going 32 miles per hour in a school zone; the speed limit was 20.

Brooks refused to sign a ticket and eventually was Tased three times, causing intense pain and permanent scars, she says. The officers won a split decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco. The majority said the officers had used excessive force but nonetheless could not be sued because the law on the question was not clear in 2004, when the incident took place. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski dissented, saying Brooks had been “defiant” and “deaf to reason” and so had brought the incident upon herself.

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