Orlando police have asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate why an officer used his Taser twice on a restrained man in a hospital bed to get a urine sample, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Amnesty International USA, which has been critical of police use of Tasers, compared the incident to the behavior of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime. Local defense attorneys suggested that the officer and the hospital may be criminally liable for what happened last week.
After being arrested on drug charges, Antonio Wheeler, 18, told police he had consumed cocaine and was taken to Florida Hospital Orlando. While there, he was asked to provide a urine sample. When he failed to do that, hospital officials tried to insert a catheter to get Wheeler’s urine. He was handcuffed and strapped to his hospital bed. When he continued to resist and cover his genitals, Orlando officer Peter Linnenkamp used his Taser twice and other forceful methods to “compel [Wheeler] to release his penis,” according to a police report. Linnenkamp — an 18-year police veteran with little or no disciplinary history — said, “this attempt was deemed medically necessary” by hospital staff. After two Taser shocks to his forearm, Wheeler relented and provided a small urine sample on his own.