Crime, Police, Taser, Violence

Chicago Police Turn the Tasing Up to Eleven

Andrew Meyer — the University of Florida student who coined the phrase “don’t tase me, bro” — was only tased one time, but his screams were heard around the world thanks to YouTube. And as far as we know, he didn’t sue over the incident.

But how many times do you think the average person would have to be tased before he marched his ass to the closest law firm? Two times? Five times?

How about 11 times? At that point, we’d be surprised if the poor guy could even remember his name, let alone the fact that he might have a cause of action….

Let’s just say that Josue Tapia was lucky that his wife was watching when he allegedly got tased 11 times, because his brain was totally fried. After a while, he remembered how to spell what seems to be the most important word in the English language: L-A-W-S-U-I-T.

Here’s some more background on the story from Fox News Chicago:

When Chicago Police officers arrested the wrong man last year because he had the same name as a wanted man, they Tasered him several times and beat him without cause, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.

Josue Tapia claims Chicago Police officers pulled over the vehicle he was driving on May 15, 2010, near West 45th Street and South Hermitage Avenue, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

The officers ran his name through a computer and found an outstanding warrant for “J. Tapia,” the suit said. Even though “J. Tapia” was 30 pounds heavier, six inches shorter and 12 years older, the officers arrested Tapia, then searched him and his vehicle.

The officers struck and kicked Tapia, and Tasered him 11 times although he did not resist, the suit alleges.

11 times? 11 times? The Chicago Police Department tased the wrong man 11 times? Jesus tap-dancing Christ. Seems like someone got a little trigger happy. Tapia is now suing in federal court, and his lawyers — Blake Horwitz and Dennis Giovannini — say that the excessive use of the taser by the police was tantamount to torture. WTSP 10 News has comments from Horwitz:

“It was a case of just Tasering over and over and over and over again, in a horrific way,” attorney Blake Horwitz said. “It literally fried him. It fried his mind. He has great difficulty remembering what transpired while the electricity was passing through his brain.”

As we mentioned earlier, it’s a good thing that Tapia’s wife witnessed the whole thing, because Tapia can’t even remember what happened to him. Memo to Tapia’s lawyers: you probably don’t want to go around telling the media that your client has “great difficulty” remembering what went down. That isn’t really going to help your case.

But that’s beside the point. Let’s get back to the real issue here: was it really necessary for the police to tase this guy 11 times? Have people so quickly forgotten about Kelly Thomas, the man who was tased and beaten to death by police in California? In case you needed a reminder, tasers kill people with actual death.

Yes, the police are supposed to serve and protect regular civilians, but this doesn’t seem like the best way to do it. This isn’t Spinal Tap. There is no need to turn the tasing up to eleven.

Man files lawsuit, charging he was stunned by taser 11 times [WTSP 10 News]
Lawsuit: Police Tasered Man 11 Times for Mistaken Identity [Fox News Chicago]

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