Video: California Woman Goes Into Cardiac Arrest After Police Taser Her Three Times After Routine Traffic Stop

This video is the latest case of a person seriously injured by multiple taser hits from police. Angela Jones, 50, went into cardiac arrest after three hits from police at a routine traffic stop. Jones had objected to the police officers demanding to go through her purse and then tried to get back in her car when she was shot with the taser.

The officer stopped to question Jones who was stopped along the side of the road. She denied drinking but the officers removed her from the car and questioned her for 15 minutes. That seems a reasonable response since they had to be sure that she was not a DUI case. It was then that they asked her to give them her purse. She refused and said “I just don’t feel like I want you to take my purse from me.” She ran back to her car and the officer then tasered her. One officer deployed his TASER® X-26 TM three times. Jones can be heard screaming in pain as the officer yelled at her not to move . . . while tasering her. She then stopped breathing.

One officer was able to revive her with CPR on the sidewalk.

There was no illegal drug or alcohol levels in Jones’ system. Nevertheless, police charged her with resisting arrest and possession of less than one ounce of pot. It is not clear what she was being arrested for at the time. We have previously seen cases where alleged abusive police conduct results in questionable charges against a victim — an incentive to settle the claims against the police and a rationalization of the alleged abuse. In this case, I am curious as to why a driver cannot refuse to hand over her bag. If they were arresting her, they can search the car and the purse at incident to the arrest or as part of the custodial exception at booking. They would not have to ask permission.

Then there is the controversial use of the tasers, including shooting people in the chest (which the manufacturer warns against). Police too often use tasers where they would previously physically restrain a person. The speed with which tasers are deployed in many cases has drawn widespread criticism. There is a growing view that tasers are becoming the instant response of many officers to any resistance or problem.

When Jones runs back into the car, I do think that there was legitimate concern by the officers that she might be grabbing a weapon. It is certainly an uncommon response even when arguing over a search. That makes this routine traffic stop less routine in the end. However, the need to use the taser — particularly three times — remains a question. My greatest concern is the criminal charge since I fail to see the basis for the arrest before the tasering.

What do you think?

Source: CBS

101 thoughts on “Video: California Woman Goes Into Cardiac Arrest After Police Taser Her Three Times After Routine Traffic Stop

  1. Let this be a lesson to you citizen – do not resist!

    Seriously though, police are going to come to deeply regret the day they installed cameras. For every case where the video provides proof they acted appropriately there is another showing them getting out of line. But the worst part is it is destroying their credibility. I think it is seeping into a lot of comfortable suburban white folks brains that cop can lie and that they do cover up for each other. Once they figure out its not just kinds n coloreds that get this treatment it is going to be a lot tougher for the police to get the sort of automatic belief from juries they are used to.

  2. I saw this on the news yesterday….. The cardiac institute states pretty much that the manufacture is misrepresenting its data when it says that their is no evidence to connect heart attacks and the use of tasers….. Yeah…. I’d say the same thing as well…..

  3. “The officer stopped to question Jones who was stopped along the side of the road. She denied drinking but the officers removed her from the car and questioned her for 15 minutes.”

    What was the probable cause to think she might have been DWI? Nothing with respect to her driving. She denies alcohol or drug use. Presumably officer doesn’t smell anything suspicious. She doesn’t look to be stumbling around. She responds appropriately to questioning. Fifteen minutes of questioning seems unnecessary unless there was reason to believe she was intoxicated. I’ve been stopped by cops for traffic violations and actual questioning/interaction with the cop never takes more than a minute or two.

  4. Assault with a deadly weapon. Lethal weapon. My computer does not have italinan or Latin on it or Bold or underline, so I can not emphasize the words deadly and lethal. What this means in legal discourse is that the pigs shot her with a weapon which is little different than a gun which shoots out a bullet with gunpowder behind it. This seems to be a point that gets over looked in the lead articles on this topic on this blog. One can only use deadly force when when is in fear of deadly force. Until California or other states pass a law that says Pigs Cant Shoot To Kill with a Taser for Mouthing Off then these pigs are subject to criminal law and civil law and civil rights judgments for money and injunctive reliief. The superiors on the police force are liable for the monetary judgment, If it is a municipality that piggos work for then the town is liable. For large sums of money. Enough to put them out of business. See 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. If you are a young budding lawyer who is bored with doing divorces then look into this.

    Some states recognize the inhumanity of killing by electrocution and have gone to lethal injection. I supposse the police forces will be shooting poison dart guns next year after they begin to phase out the electrocution guns.

  5. As someone who has had 3 heart attacks; congestive heart failure; 29 years of angina; many instances of ventricular fibrillation; and finally a heart transplant I’ve learned many things about the functioning of the heart even though I’m not a Doctor. Many don’t realize that our hearts are a “muscle pump” that beats due to electrical activity. We have two ventricles which blood must flow through and their pumping of blood must remain in constant rhythm for the blood to flow properly. A disturbance of that rhythm will cause the blood to flow improperly and can lead to ventricular fibrillation and tachycardia, which can kill you. Been there, lived through that. My point is that a laser strike to the torso, with 50,000 volts of electricity, can disrupt that rhythm in may people and put them into a dangerous state. With my experience the idea of being tasered is a very scary one and the continued upswing of its use is a definite problem.

    Beyond that though, watching the entire video I fail to see why the police officers were unable to handle this woman with normal physical restraint. This was only a threatening situation for this woman and certainly not for the police. She had every right to refuse to let them look through her purse, since there was no cause to suspect this woman of anything. The fact that toxicology reports showed no intoxicants in her system proves this was not a case of DUI. This leads me inescapably to some conclusions. The first is that the taser was used punitively at her “offense” of not obeying their orders. Secondly, since when did resisting arrest become failing to obey an unreasonable order by police, when there was no indication that there was any cause for the person to be arrested in the first place?

    By the evidence of the video, which ran for over forty minutes, this was a clear case of police brutality and putting a citizen in danger of losing their life. The LEO’s of this country need to be dealt with harshly in these frequent cases, since that would seem to be only way to get through to them that they are not our “keepers”, but merely public servants hired to enforce the law and keep order among us. The “Law” they enforce should be equally applied to them when they break it. As far as I’m concerned these officers were guilty of deadly assault and should be treated as such.

  6. The above account refers to 15 minutes of questioning and states: “That seems a reasonable response since they had to be sure that she was not a DUI case.” Really? There was no evidence given that she was DUI. She merely stopped by the side of the road.

  7. If they were arresting her, they can search the car and the purse at incident to the arrest or as part of the custodial exception at booking. They would not have to ask permission.

    Right IF they arrested her….BUT for what!?!? These guys were clearly fishing…and had no reason to taser her.

  8. Not criticizing the woman, but what she did wrong in this instance was to start for the car. Officers are trained to be a bit paranoid about the risk of the person getting a weapon. She was clearly not under arrest, and did not want them to look in her purse. What people are beginning to learn is to repeat the broken record mantra, “Am I free to go now? Am I under arrest? Am I free to go now? Am I under arrest?”

  9. Isn’t illegal to try to search the woman’s purse? Don’t law enforcement officer need at least probable cause to request to search a purse? As I remember there is a Supreme Court ruling on this. Comments?

  10. I agree that the officers exceeded their authority and the use of these tasers is out of control. They were not arresting her and she should have been allowed to leave.

  11. “Isn’t illegal to try to search the woman’s purse? Don’t law enforcement officer need at least probable cause to request to search a purse? As I remember there is a Supreme Court ruling on this. Comments?” -Marco


  12. Criminal law enforcement. Reckless disregard, assault with a deadly weapon. Police need to be prosecuted for indiscriminate use of tasers.
    There is NO excuse for this behavior. Tasers are lethal. There was no cause herefor lethal force in this case.

  13. Frank: Nope, white & this is one of the things that will hit home with the white comfortable suburban crowd – it is not just ‘them coloreds’ getting this treatment
    Mike S: I’d suggest extreme caution if you ever deal with the police – do whatever thing they ask & do it quickly. No experiments with electric shock in your case!
    Several: Its not illegal to search her purse if she consents to it. If she does not the officer either has to invent probable cause, arrest her or get a warrant. Of those the easiest is probably cause. Many drug sniffing dogs can signal on command thereby allowing the officers to say they suspected drugs were in the purse. The cops could hold her there until the dog arrives.

  14. I suppose you could say that if she did not have pot in her purse she would not have been paranoid and if she had not been paranoid she would not have run and if she did not run then she would not have been tased. As pot is still illegal in CA, there was a law broken now wasn’t there.

  15. Frankly,

    Thanks. Your answer begs the question, what if they manufacture some sort of probable cause and find nothing? Or, they make an arrest and find nothing?

  16. Resisting arrest with no underlying charge to warrant a lawful arrest.

    The charge is simply a negotiating tactic when the civil suit inevitably comes.
    Unfounded criminal charges are laid against someone to lesson liability.

  17. Just another contempt of cop case, when you get right down to it. She had the temerity to refuse any and all commands by them; regardless of the legality of them.

    She no doubt panicked because of the weed in her purse. And became another casualty of the drug war, and the arrogant, dangerous law enforcement it has produced.

  18. lottokatz – good point

    I take back the “no doubt” part of my comment. There’s really no telling why she panicked. It could well be she was just terrified of what they might do to her and acted irrationally. She shouldn’t have to come close to death for that. Thugs

  19. There is “telling why she panicked”? She panicked because every American knows that being stopped by the police can end very badly whether you have done anything or not. Fear of the police is both rational and a good defensive posture.

  20. Even if all events occurred as stated by the officers, what is the explanation for tasing the woman THREE times?

    Does the taser in question have a hair trigger? Did the officer believe it had misfired the first two times? Were the woman’s involuntary convulsions perceived as proof that she was insufficiently subdued (as indicated by the officer’s repeated commands to “STOP moving!” after he tazed her)?

    The apparent lack of training required before a LEO wields such a dangerous and potentially deadly weapon is appalling.

  21. lottakatz
    1, November 21, 2012 at 11:14 am
    Was the weed in her purse before or after the LEO’s killed her?

    also, she panicked because she has a healthy fight or flight response to being terrorized by 3 bulky, uber-armed, uniformed men who were obviously out of touch with legal boundaries and her rights…..she, who from the video is a slight, white, middle aged woman who had the audacity to say “no thanks” when they offered to search her bag for her….

  22. MikeS knows much more than I. However, it never made sense to me that these tasers were said to be benign vis a’ vis the heart. There are more than a few instances of kids being hit w/ a line drive, usually pitchers, and going into cardiac arrest. These are not kids w/ preexisting conditions. If the heart muscle takes a sudden hard blow timed to the beat of the heart, the heart will loose the electrical impulse and go into fib. It seems its mostly kids Litttle League and younger, although I can’t believe anyone is immune. Maybe it’s just that kids don’t have the experience and refelexes to cath a hard liner right @ them. For this reason, all Little Leagues are required to use a low impact baseball. It’s softer and not as tightly strung. It reportedly helps significantly although I don’t know any stats. I believe they should also get rid of aluminum bats which propel the ball much faster. Louisville Slugger endorses my thought on bats.

  23. “I believe they should also get rid of aluminum bats which propel the ball much faster. Louisville Slugger endorses my thought on bats.”


    When I started to play softball again this summer, all they had were metal bats. I never liked them. The sound is not satisfying and the feel in your hand doesn’t suit me. I prefer a lighter bat, with a thick handle. I’m a line drive hitter, rather than power/pull and I find it is easier to place the ball with a light, thick-handled bat. The bats I had to use this summer were too thin and balanced with the weight up top. Good for slugging perhaps, but not good for place hitting. I had to choke up on the handle which hampers my normal swing. I think it was Hank Aaron who started the thin handled trend in bats, but what is good for Hank, isn’t necessarily good for everyone else.

  24. Three things about these continued cases baffle me: (1) In spite of multiple deaths, cops themselves seem ignorant of the risks (2) Even if the use guidelines say they were entitled to use the taser in a given situation? Seriously, there needs to be a national guideline that says “Use the taser ONCE!” It is always multiple strikes that produce the greatest risk of death.
    (3) I wonder why all these folks don’t get together and launch a class action suit against the maker of these devices.

  25. “If you’re a cop, deadly force is the last thing you want to use. However, if you’re a really twisted cop, a weapon that leaves a suspect flopping about like an epileptic puppy is dead-bang perfect.” Found this quote at the Onion. Pretty much sums it up.

  26. The taser company reminds me of the pharmaceuticals, there is no published evidence of harm . . . because we didn’t publish the massive amount of our evidence that shows it is harmful.

  27. The use of the Taser was justified. A person who runs to get into the car as she did is either going for a weapon or fleeing. That is the training and the experience I had and seen and that is what can happen.

    If she is fleeing, it is likely she is going to speed off and a high speed chase could ensue resulting possibly in a crash and injury or death.

    If she is going for a weapon, the same could result.

    The first officer deploys the Taser and it is not effective, as heard by the clicking sound. That clicking sound is made when the darts are not fully seated in the body. The second officer then deploys his and it is on target.

    It should also be noted that had the officers tried to restrain her to prevent her from driving off it would have been difficult and she could have put the car in gear and drove off, dragging the officers to their injury.

    I am more inclined to believe she did not want the MJ to be found in her purse so she tried to flee to prevent her eventual arrest.

  28. Mr. Smith,
    I deleted your comment because of the reference to police officers as “pigs.” I rarely delete comments on this blog and indeed I have difficulty keeping track of the many comments. However, such insulting references violate our civility policy. More importantly, while this blog routinely runs police abuse stories, we have always maintained that the vast majority of officers are professional public servants. They deserve our support and our thanks. These men and women have exceptionally difficult and dangerous jobs. Too many have given their lives in the line of duty. You are welcomed to continue to comment on this blog, but I would ask if you would refrain from such insults in the future.

    Best regards,

    Jonathan Turley

  29. Gene, I have a wooden Louisville Slugger in my car. It’s the Ozzie Smith model, small and easy to swing in close quarters. I have carried a wooden bat in my car for decades. I’ve had to brandish it a few times and use it once. I’m of the age before aluminum bats. I hate the sound when it hits a ball, wood is much more beautiful an octave. If you’re a baseball fan the Louisville Slugger factory tour is a great one. I could so it several times. It’s a small factory and a REAL TOUR, you are on the floor w/ the craftsman/women. The beautiful smell of wood permeates. They have little water mists that spray once in awhile to keep the humidity perfect. They have a lot of competition from Japan now.

  30. “tink.” versus “Chock!!!”

    No comparison. I’m of the cusp age of aluminium bats. Never have liked them. The one I’ve got is a foundling and it’s for home defense if the shotgun shells run out. Never have hit a ball with it. I do carry a stun gun in the car though. Works great if someone tries to get in with you. I has some street person try that in Dallas. I did the polite thing though and dragged him out of the roadway before driving on. The problem with tasers is they are a ranged weapon and much more susceptible to misuse offensively than a stun gun, but the misconception they can’t be lethal is just that; a misconception. The training and deployment of them in LE is woefully inadequate and poorly thought out.

  31. Thank you Professor Turley. My daughter just this minute left for work at the Sheriff’s Department, and every time she leaves I hold my breath until she comes home at the end of her shift. She and I both thank you.

  32. Pigs, eh? Why don’t you use your anger, P(iggy) Smith, on one of your Grade A Prime LEO of choice? Would you be reluctant to do so in close proximity of them or are you more comfortable as a gutless long distant and remote person of insult? Thought so.
    In this case I think we can all agree that the police seemed to go way over the line, especially if she passed the road screen for DUI. It should have been “OK, move along”. She didn’t have to react so crazily either. It should have been “No, if you don’t like it bring me in”. Then at least these guys would have occupied their time on meaningless busy work. If more people did that they maybe they would get tired of the meaningless harassment and the waste of effort on nothing. She sure didn’t deserve a tase but if you try to flee the interview … look at the terrible ending that can happen.

    Most importantly, what would The Dude do? Yes, The Dude Abides.

  33. Darren/OS,

    That the error here was the woman going toward her car is without doubt and I agree with Darren the first sounded like a misfire, but the third shot is what I have a real problem with. Once contact is made, unless the person is on something like PCP, they’re going to stop. With the disruption to their nervous system, at that point it’s just basic physiology.

  34. Darren Smith
    1, November 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm
    The use of the Taser was justified.
    the use of the taser was not justified.
    She declined to allow her purse to be searced, at that point I would think the officers were obligated to either let her go or to give reason for the detention, that most certainly would have de-escalated the situation. She broke no law, the encounter was premissed on checking to see if she was safe…..they pushed, they were wrong, then they killed her. She did not endanger herself by not going along w/ what was clearly a breach ….that onus belongs to those policemen. Period.
    There may be good reason for the police to maintain a certain sense of paranoia….but I doubt very much that this woman fit the criteria for their most horrible nightmares….

  35. “She broke no law, the encounter was premised on checking to see if she was safe…..”


    I agree with Woosty on this for the reason above. I’ve had times when I’ve had things on my mind, or felt upset emotionally, when I’ve pulled to the side of the road to get a grip. They were checking to see if it was a problem and then THEY escalated the situation. The woman was “guilty” of their cynicism and suspicion. The request to look in her purse after fifteen minutes of futile questioning, which means they’re looking for something wrong and not finding it, was and infringement on her rights. She had every right to walk off because at that point they did not have the authority to holder her. In watching the video she was walking, not running and if they really thought she was a danger one could have gotten in front of her and blocked the door.

    Perhaps she was a serial killer, a mass murderer and/or a felonious criminal, the surmises of police are not always to be trusted and these days some real harm is being done. I am certain you were wonderful in your profession because you are a reasoned man, filled with empathy. A small percentage of officers, however, get bored at time and amuse themselves with over-zealousness, sometimes to the point of grievous harm.

    As for Mr. Smith who called police “pigs” that is an expression i’ve never used towards them because most police join the department to do good in this world..

  36. Gene, Darren & Woosty,
    I think everyone can agree that the woman’s dive toward her car triggered a response from the police officers. That was bad judgement on her part. There is no way for them to evaluate her intent, and for all they knew she was going after a weapon. The first Taser strike was a dud, as Darren points out. The second Taser deployment can be justified on those grounds. On the other hand, as Gene points out, the second hot tap was uncalled for. And it did not “kill” her, but did throw her into cardiac arrest and would have been fatal had it not been for the immediate CPR. Everyone involved in this incident should have learned a very serious lesson in what not to do.

    As for whether someone looks dangerous or not, you cannot judge by looks. As Lt. Joe Kenda (retired Colorado Springs detective) has pointed out, “What does a murderer look like? It can look like the cute housewife next door.”

    A friend of mine, the first elected black sheriff in Mississippi and heck of a nice guy, was shot and killed at a simple traffic stop. He did not know the guy he stopped for speeding had just stolen the car he was driving.

  37. My mistake. The sheriff was shot and killed when the guy was stopped on suspicion of drugs, not a traffic violation. Funny how memory can play tricks on you after twenty-six years have elapsed.

  38. Otteray Scribe
    1, November 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    No, I still do not agree and i will tell you why. The situation was already out of control long before the woman ‘bolted’ for her car. She had complied with their demands and only was acting to protect herself AFTER the police became threatening by deviance (of the law). The problem I have w/seeing this any other way is that it is apologetic to a degree that undermines the safety of anyone who is stopped by police…it would create a fear in the populace of the police and that would escalate this dynamic. By not recognizing that those police were out of line long before the taser event, their behavior goes unaddressed and the next victim becomes necessary to their ceasing the behavior. Please correct me if I am wrong…with reason.

  39. Woosty, I do not disagree with you about the escalation by the officers. However, the best way in the world to either get shot or tasered is to make a move that could be construed as going for a weapon. The police were clearly in the wrong and were making demands of her that were in violation of her Fourth Amendment protections; however, she made the so called “false move,” and that part has to be her responsibility. As I showed in the video link upthread, the best thing a citizen can do is to keep repeating, “Am I under arrest? Am I free to go now?” Broken record.

    In an encounter with the police, keep your hands in sight and do not make any sudden moves. If you have to reach for something, tell them what you are going to do before you do it, such as reach into the glove compartment or an inside pocket.

  40. “However, the best way in the world to either get shot or tasered is to make a move that could be construed as going for a weapon.”


    This is where I disagree with you although your advice is rock solid. By looking at it this way, as I think Woosty is saying, you transfer the burden of guilt to the victim for in effect “acting stupid”. I never act “stupidly” around people with lethal weapons, but other people sometimes do. The police overstepped their bounds and finally this woman found it too upsetting. I would have been seething, but then I’m a controlled person and would have complied with them. While there is the possibility that this woman was a bad person, there is also the possibility that the police attention might have been under the rubric of sexual harassment. A wide range of possibility exists, but the only facts we have are the tape and it does nothing to justify the use of the taser.

  41. W=^..^

    You’ll get no correction from me. It’s a valid point. At the point she said no, they should have arrested her or cut her loose.

  42. When he yelled at her “Do not move,” at 1:23 and you can hear her scream again just before she goes silent.

  43. however, she made the so called “false move,” and that part has to be her responsibility.~ OS
    still I disagree….if the police had been within bounds up to the point she fled I would agree 100% w/you. That woman is lucky that the post-mortem is only on the situation. It is also true that her responding in the manner you suggested may be the best way to go if you think you can de-escalate a situation…but only she can judge that in that moment, the onus is on them. Not everyone in a threatening situation can behave in that ideal fashion and to expect that they should is creating a false hope fueled by expectation of outcome. Further, encouraging expectations of victims behavior to influence the percentage of ‘blame’ in a situation looks to me an awful lot like;

  44. I think that it would be very helpful to see a video of the top executives of Taser International voluntarily submit to multiple Taser blasts at close range at their chests, and then see interviews with them wherein they describe how they feel after the blasts, and in which they explain how safe the Taser is–assuming that they still alive and not incapacitated. I’ll be waiting with bated breath for that promotional video to be coming out soon.

  45. I have no doubts that the pot was planted on her by these ‘helpful’ officers.

    Seriously, if the cops are going to act like thugs and criminals they do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

  46. Otteray Scribe, based on the statistic you posted above the average is 4 tazer related deaths a month. WoW. That’s a significant number for a “non-lethal” weapon.

    Otteray Scribe: “And it did not “kill” her, but did throw her into cardiac arrest and would have been fatal had it not been for the immediate CPR.”
    I’m going to modify my statement to say they mostly killed her.

    I went looking for info on SCA- Sudden Cardiac Arrest, which is different than a heart attack. 95% of people that have it die from it because they do not receive emergency medical attention in time. Highest at risk of death are women and African Americans. African Americans have a less than 1% chance of surviving a cardiac arrest.

    No heart function nor breathing is not death, death is more comprehensive, (of course- brain death) the brain dies in about 10 minutes. Someone suffering from SCA isn’t considered dead until the brain dies, one presumes because the heart can’t be returned to its normal function. Chest compression’s keep the blood flowing to the brain, but do not necessarily restart the heart. The best thing to do is to apply CPR and chest compression’s until emergency help arrives.

    She easily could have been one of that 4 @ month average.

  47. lottakatz:
    Note the second statistic I posted just above your comment. On average two police officers are killed in the line of duty every month. That figure does not come close to the number of non-fatal, but crippling, injuries received.

  48. what works best for aluminum bat is to cut the tip of the handle off, fill the bat with sand and have someone heliarc the end back on. better weight, harder swing and no annoying tingle in your hands after contact.

    they’ll throw you out of the game if they catch you using it in baseball though.

  49. Mike, I agree about the bats used today. The Louisville Slugger factory have computer driven lathes w/ the specs for hundreds of Major and Minor Leaguers. They scout the minors trying to sign prospects to be loyal users. The tour guide was a retired bat maker. When I toured they were making the pink Mother’s Day bats. The finish guy was making Jeter’s bats when we walked by. He has about 50 made each year, giving many away to moms and breast cancer victims. Jeter is their most loyal MLer now. His bat looked a bit more like the type of bat you[and I] like. Like yourself, I was a line drive, gap hitter. I was only average, my specialty was pitching. I always had a wood fungo bat and a wood regular bat in my bag when I coached. The kids liked the sound of the wood. Once in awhile a kid would use the regular bat in a game. It’s obviously heavier and a disadvantage. However, I had a Mexican kid I coached who would only use the wood. The kid was a natural hitter. One of the kids you say, “Just don’t f@ck him up.”

    Great to hear you’re back to softball. You’re a good man w/ a good heart, no pun intended. A Happy Thanksgiving to you and you family. You’re a guy who knows although life is far from perfect, we have much for which to be thankful.

  50. This is a really curious story. In California less than an ounce of weed is an “infraction”. A hundred dollar fine and no jail time. It’s virtually a ticket. You have to have an ounce or more for it to rise to even a misdemeanor. (Checked a lawyers site for that info)

    How can you have less than an ounce of weed on you in California and be freaked out that the police would find it? That’s just a “sin tax”, nothing to freak out about.

  51. lottakatz,
    Many of the high speed pursuits we hear of tend to be the result of some kid thinking, “If I get a ticket for (speeding, running stop sign, etc. ) my dad will ground me.”

    So the kid takes off and for all the officers know, they are following a fleeing felon. Under stress, most people do not think clearly, as has been pointed out upthread.

  52. zzzzt stop moving, zzzzt stop moving, zzzzt stop moving.

    kinda hard to stop twitching when you’re being electrocuted.

  53. In re “pigs”.

    I’ve known a lot of cops, from small town constables to big city beat cops to detectives and a few Feds. I liked more of them than not as people, but like any profession, there are good cops and bad cops. I’ve know a few that shouldn’t be allowed to carry a badge or a gun under any circumstances, a few that were little better than criminals themselves. One who was eventually arrested for his criminal activities. I have some real issues with the LE “blue brotherhood” mentality as well even among good cops. But “pigs”? Yeah, that’s a bit out of line. It’s a tough job and to use “pigs” is a disproportionate slam against an entire profession and the fallacy of composition. Yeah, there are bad cops and they are a huge problem for our society, but many of them are doing the job for the right reasons and most of them don’t like bad cops any more than you do. I think the biggest problem stems for the increased militarization of departments and the tendency to hire ex-military for policing. The job of “peace officer” and “military police” are diametrically opposed. One job is to keep the peace and resolve as much on the ground as possible without unnecessary escalation. The other job is to bust heads and clean up the mess afterwards, which is where the problems all come in. We need more peace officers and less police.

  54. as she is getting into the car she is saying something along the line of “I’m calling for help”……and they were chasing her with those tasers in their hands……..pointd at her…..sheesh!

  55. maybe if the police were less threatening they wouldn’t be getting shot quite so often OS (and I am not anti-police…) …..but fear is a funny thing….it is as contagious as a cold and there are better reasons to draw a weapon…

  56. Our state supreme court (sorry I don’t recall the citation) ruled that flight from Terry stop constitutes the crime of Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer. The standard of law to stop and detain a person is reasonable suspicion that the person has, is, or will commit a crime. The burden of proof for this is small compared to an arrest.

    The Supreme Court also ruled that a person does not have a right to resist arrest even if that arrest is held to be legally tainted by a legal issue.

    But regardless of whether or not the officers where not legally able to detain the woman for the length she was the law does not permit her to engage in actions that threaten the officers or the public. Even if the detention is held to be unreasonable, the officers will have qualified immunity in a case such as the actions using the Taser because there was a clearly articulable threat to the officers (going for a weapon by her, attempting to drive off and injuring the officers, or speeding off and becoming involved in a high speed crash resulting in injury or death.)

    I would also disagree the severity of the detention, if held unlawful, would survive the “Shocking to the conscious” test of a civil rights violation.

    Moreover, given the speed and action of the woman, and that she was seated in the seat, it is highly impractial to just Tase her in the legs and if she was going for a weapon, getting close to her to take her by conventional restraint holds would jeopordize the officers.

    It is clear that everyone here involved would have been better off had this not happened. On a side note, as I had mentioned a few months ago in this blog. It is the “stupid stuff” like this that for some reason seems to blow completely out of control going from a minor incident to completely horrible, and it goes on and on and on. I don’t know why it is this way, but it is. I have been several times in deadly force situations where someone nearly got killed (shot) and nothing became of it beyond the arrest and the normal process. Then, I have seen other officers get involved in something insignificant and they or the suspect or a bystander does “something stupid” and it turns into a major ordeal that takes four or more years of court, litigation, hearings and consternation before it finally goes away.

    That is why I always told rookies to not bother with the stupid stuff. I would postulate this is what Mike S and Woostie, in essence is mentioning what is to be avoided.

  57. Darren,
    That is what I tell the new hires I interview. Don’t let your emotions and testosterone overtake your brain. I often show them some of these types of videos and get them to tell me what their take is on the situation. Draw them out on what the officers did right and what they did wrong. Also, get them to tell me how the situation could have been avoided in the first place. Hopefully some of that will soak in, but sometimes you can’t fix stupid.

  58. Woosty

    i don’t have any numbers on this but i’ve always felt that “three strikes you’re out” habitual offender automatic life sentences contribute to many officer shootings.

    if it’s their third offense people get desperate.

  59. Maybe all citizens should be required to take a class along with their drivers license on how to act around these badly trained cops these days. Because you are more likely to be killed by a cop than a bag of marijuana.

    Are Police so badly trained it has to come to this? The cops were bored and were harrassing this woman. They were sure she was drunk- they ASSUMED she was up to no good, just like George Zimmerman.

    It has alot to do with the gang mentality. it was those officers seeing how many orders they could make this innocent woman obey. I would bet that if it was one officer on his own, he would have questioned her and left when it was determined she was not intoxicated She did well until THEY overstepped her Constitutional rights.
    They absolutely prodded her to a defensive position. So what if she hugs her purse? She already told them “no”, and I dont blame her for saying she was calling for help.
    I would have made a phone call for backup to my friends or family at that point too.

    This stop turned into pure harassment, and the only thing that will determine how long lasting the effect of their sadism and incompetence on her life will be the number of minutes her brain was without oxygen when they electrocuted her into heart failure.

    I will take this into account the next time I pul over to make a call on my cell phone. i have a stick shift & never adapted to talking & driving at the same time. If a cop stops to ‘help’ me, i am calling for backup right away.

  60. pete I’m not a lawyer or a policeman so I’m at a loss other than to say that this video, on its own merit alone, does not feed into any of the ‘fears’ that may be excusable for the police action. 1 woman and how many cops? They essentially killed her….and I’m appalled at the apologists….the argument is tantamount to don’t wear short skirts or you’re asking to get raped….fooey!

    (who were you uggesting was the desperate party?)

  61. i can remember my uncle, a police officer, telling his daughter never to stop for police in a deserted area. turn on the emergency flashers and drive to a well lit area, preferably where people are.

    i don’t believe that would be good advice anymore.

  62. We are exporting these militarized police all over, they think the civilians are the enemy, otherwise how can one explain their behavior? Acting like blood brother gangs against the civilians instead of doing their proper job:

  63. The one cop had every opportunity to EASILY grab the woman’s arm and stop her from getting in the car. Instead he just stood there. The second cop could probably also have grabbed her when she started to ”run” off! Instead, they sat there and watched her get into the safety of her vehicle and then pulled out the taser. The arrest report said THREE jolts hit her. They admitted to a full three. I have seen this in other videos also, where a cop could have reached out and grabbed his suspect by the arm, but didn’t because he preferred the taser. I spoke to an ex cop once who told me the tasers were only to be used when someone could not be subdued any other way. This was someone who left the force because of these types of things.

    I also understand why this woman did not want her purse invaded by the cops. Purses are personal and they are ours, and we don’t want people willynilly going through them. I don’t see WHY they wanted to go through her purse anyway. According to the beginning of the tape, she was being stopped to check on her welfare. They did that. She apparently was fine. She looked to me like the kind of person that cops are there to protect; not to kill!

    Very good point made earlier about when the pot came into this lady’s possession. Great question!

    Nice article on the fallen cops. I myself would love to see one on the fallen innocent Americans whose lives have been ended by cops for no reason. Including the ones that have been killed while having seizures on their own living room floor, by old deaf people riding a bicycle who are tasered to death by cops, by people who are mentally impaired (the cops seem to REALLY love to taser THEM), by cops who have mistakenly chosen the wrong house and killed people in it, by unannounced raids when they scare people (the people maybe they got an anonymous tip about OR another mistaken address), the ones who kill each other in friendly fire and then blame the frightened person who is running away from them, etc. Is there a listing of these people who thought they were safe in their own homes? Or do these people not count, because they are not LEOs? I myself feel that they deserve their own list. I also feel that cops who are on the list given previously should be removed from said list if they were on there when doing things that were unconstitutional (by OUR definitions, not the ones that are set by the police after it’s all over with).

    I miss the days gone by, when cops had integrity and protected the people they served. When you felt safe around them and knew they would protect you from evil. I know there are plenty left like that, but the problem is, you can’t COUNT on them being like that anymore. There are too many people out there who have called the police for help and wound up being injured or killed as a result.

    Think about it! This lady was fine. The cops stopped her to check on her welfare. They killed her and brought her back. Now she is having cognitive problems. And yet it is HER fault, because she didn’t want her purse gone through by strangers and got into her car.

    So say she sues and wins, even wins big. Nobody cares. It’s not THEIR money! They don’t get in any trouble. The real problem here is that NOTHING CHANGES!

  64. Nick Spinelli – next time you take the Louisville Slugger tour, make sure you follow it up with a nice martini at Proof on Main, next door. And I hope you got a picture while holding Mantle’s bat!

  65. femeister, In Mexico, when the police ask to look through your purse, you know they can be bribed. This is what these breaches of rights come to. Pay me off or I will: give you a ticket, arrest you, take you down for resisting an officer, etc.

    The stop and frisk program also encourages the police to force the population to submit to unreasonable search and breaches the right to privacy and property of citizens. The Toronto police department that is regularly beating up homeless men for no reason also has a stop and frisk policy, calling it ‘carding’. This is where it starts, imho.

    At least a bribe does not kill you.

  66. “I’m going to modify my statement to say they mostly killed her.”~Lottakatz
    mm, kinda like being mostly pregnant?

    you are right about the text book definitions of cardiac arrest and heart attack….from the AHA;
    ‘People often use these terms interchangeably, but they are not synonyms. A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack is a “circulation” problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem.’

    the thing is, they both cause death without intervention and they BOTH almost immediately cause circulation and oxygenation problems…the difference is the initial point of reference, a blood clot or an electrical disturbance…the difference in tissue death, without intervention, is essentially nil. And while giving CPR restores some circulation it does not restore all of it….there ia always some tissue death when there is a cardiac event…if you are lucky, it is the kind that can e repaired or replaced (ask Mike), but she was still taken out of her life stream by what in my book is tantamount to violence….and her loss of faith in police and law enforcement and those who serve sincerely is probably forever changed as well….funny how fcourts don’t take these things into consideration because they will all have a negative effect on her life…

  67. Excellent points, Woosty.

    From JT’s CBS article:

    “Jones’ attorney Maria Cavalluzzi said her client now has many memory deficits and cognitive issues after the incident.

    Cavalluzzi would only let Jones speak briefly due to the pending criminal charges, but the Studio City resident spoke just long enough to describe what little she remembers from the night of the traffic stop.

    “Do you remember what it felt like when that TASER hit?” Paige said.

    “I can remember fear,” Jones said.”

  68. Lou-John, Being a purist martini lover[Beefeater dry up] I appreciate your advice. However, I’m a lover of bourbon. I drove the bourbon trail. So, it will take some discipline to wander to a martini. But, I’m up for it! No pictures of me w/ the great Mick’s bat. “I’m not worthy”

  69. “My greatest concern is the criminal charge since I fail to see the basis for the arrest before the tasering.”

    I can’t even see a basis for the arrest AFTER the tasering.

    Folks, the police are just plain OUT OF CONTROL. Unless you live in a really REALLY bad neighborhood, you don’t have as much to fear from criminals as you do from police.

  70. Malisha,

    “I can’t even see a basis for the arrest AFTER the tasering.”

    A case of adding insult to injury, IMO, and covering their own a$$es… knowing that they’ll be sued, at the very least.

    “Folks, the police are just plain OUT OF CONTROL. Unless you live in a really REALLY bad neighborhood, you don’t have as much to fear from criminals as you do from police.”

    True and true.

  71. Malisha, back in the 70s I lived in Orlando, and had a boyfriend who was from Memphis. He told me at that time, that when there were crimes in Memphis, that people did NOT call the cops, because they were worse than the crooks. They just dealt with it. That was unimaginable to me (about 19 at the time); Orlando was not like that at all. But now it looks to me like his Memphis cops have spread out and overtaken the whole country. When I read about people who have called the cops for help (i.e, the old deaf black man riding the bicycle who fell off, and someone called the cops to check on him, and the people who called because the man was having a seizure in his own home) and the cops came and tasered both of them to death (the seizure guy was brought back after 11 minutes by the paramedics and has brain damage) it just flat out makes me cry. What part of the complete egregiousness of these actions do they not understand? They are ALWAYS cleared by the higher ups. Why don’t we have CITIZENS review the actions of these cops, instead of other cops? and if on the off chance it’s true, and these people ARE following procedure, then the procedures need to be changed bigtime! And I saw the tape again recently of the woman at the cop station who was cuffed (I think behind her), and they turned the camera off and beat her and when the camera came back on there was a huge pool of BLOOD that had come from this woman and she was almost dead. And then they showed the picture of her afterwards with eyes swollen red and shut and her whole head like a piece of meat pulp. How can they not see how wrong this? Why is it not a crime with a death sentence when things like this are done? Why is this type of abuse and torture allowed to go on?

    The one thing I WILL say for the cops in this instance is that they did start helping the lady immediately, and they weren’t like those others that just beat people to death. But WHY did they use a taser in the first place? There was no need whatsoever for a taser. I hope this lady recovers, as I seriously don’t see anything that she did wrong. And I would not count that pot as evidence, because it certainly could easily have been planted, so I think that should be thrown out. Along with those cops from their jobs, as well as their superiors, if they say that these cops acted appropriately.

  72. This is the most worrisome developments in police procedure, these swat teams bashing in doors with no evidence, or the wrong evidence.

    How badly trained are police when they do not even get the right address? They have no evidence against this man except for a ‘confidential informant’, the swat team kills this innocent marine veteran while breaking into his home:

  73. Oh, I finally found this. The news report was interesting too. The officer was fired, but no criminal charges were brought because they couldn’t prove he did anything. According to ”them” she was injured when she tried to leave the police station while cuffed, and she ”fell.” Hard enough to leave a huge pool of blood and black both her eyes. Would be VERY interesting to have that cop’s version of the way her ”fall” blacked those eyes like that!

  74. Tasers should be used as an alternative to deadly force – they are not a convenience for police officers who do not wish to get their hands dirty. Two male police officers vs. one lanky woman – this is ridiculous. And multiple strikes. The woman appears within her rights to refuse the search. The problem is that these law enforcement agencies do not care how many millions they have to pay out in damages – and Taser International is following the game plan of the tobacco companies – they clearly know the risk of their devices and are simply acting in their economic self-interest – this is a great argument against corporate personhood – they legal entity cannot be made to pay the same price as an individual – the entity cannot be incarcerated – therefore the available deterrents are much different. Hence because a corporation is unequal, they do not automatically deserve the same rights as persons.


    “JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville police officer has quit after admitting he told colleagues that he would volunteer to assassinate President Barack Obama.

    Sam Koivisto told the Florida Times-Union () on Wednesday that his comments had been blown out of proportion and that he’d planned to retire in five months anyway.

    The 57-year-old retired earlier this month while facing an internal investigation into his comments to other officers after the election. He told them that if an order came to kill Obama, he “wouldn’t mind being the guy.”

    When questioned by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office integrity unit, he said he also didn’t care if a nuclear explosion killed everyone in the Northeastern U.S because they supported Obama. He told the investigators his comments were hyperbole and not actual threats.”

  76. Anonymously, what would have happened to you or me, had we said that? I think a bit more than being canned or investigated, don’t you? What an idiot that guy is. You don’t SAY stuff like that! You’d think a cop would know that! And additionally! He is liable to find out his retirement has been confiscated! The State (Florida) does that for certain infractions.

    Shano, I think the reason that cop was fired was because that was in Canada. I doubt if it would have happened here! He probably would have had a medal pinned on his chest here. That 3 year old is probably involved with the 18 month toddler they had to pull off the plane because he was on the NO FLY list!!!!

  77. feemeister, I’m reminded of the following:

    Police Union Under Fire For T-Shirts Reading “U Raise ‘Em, We Cage ‘Em.”

    A comment from the above posting:

    Junctionshamus 1, November 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Have in my possession a cap from the LAPD Officers’ Association, received in 1984 – “To protect and serve, when we (f)ucking feel like it!”


    There are some good cops, to be sure, but…

  78. “We need more peace officers and less police.” Probably the best statement on the thread. Escalation is an issue that leads to these incidents, and too often the escalation is by the police.

    Pete9999: “i can remember my uncle, a police officer, telling his daughter never to stop for police in a deserted area. turn on the emergency flashers and drive to a well lit area, preferably where people are.” It is likely really bad advice today. A black woman either in Yavapai or Coconino County did just that, after that county’s Sheriff had publicly announced that women should do just that, and had a Deputy so angry that the escalation was immediate. She ended up being convicted of “Resisting” or some other charge. It was reported that she had tried to contact police to confirm it was a cop behind her. No service.

    My daughter went through driver’s ed (expensive) taught exclusively by ex-cops with some off. They gave her the same advice as well. Also that there are good cops, bad cops, and fake cops but that she should trust none of them in the same way you wouldn’t trust a stranger.

    I don’t like Pig either and have never used it. I have cops in my family and they aren’t pigs.

  79. I have to disagree with those claiming the woman contributed to her situation. After all the 15 minutes were excessive and suggests the officers were fishing to try and find a reason to arrest her. Darren Smith’s post tries to justify the use of the tasers, he gives reasons for the first 2 taser’s of the woman, but he conveniently leaves out the 3rd taser and offers no explanation for it.

    Also I am so tired of every time law enforcement is criticized everyone first must qualify their statements claiming how dangerous cop’s jobs are, how many have given their lives, and when an officer kills someone the excuse used and accepted by just about everyone is “my job is dangerous and i could of been killed”. I do accept that law enforcement is a dangerous career but not nearly as dangerous or deadly as law enforcement suggests. There are many, many more dangerous jobs out there. Being a police officer is not even listed in the top 10 most dangerous occupations. Being a fisherman is more deadly than being a cop, being a taxi driver is more dangerous than being a cop, being a roofer is more dangerous than being a cop. People just assume its more dangerous than it is, because law enforcement’s mantra and because they deal with crime. Now if this involved a police officer in Juarez, MX then I would be more sympathetic to their positions.

  80. I forgot to add that the vast majority of police deaths come from car accidents or off duty deaths, not from being killed on duty by criminals or citizens, like the woman in the video

  81. Joe, I always remember that back in the day, cops shot to wing people when possible. Also back then, it was common knowledge that people went into that job with their eyes wide open. But nowadays the attitude is shoot to kill and ask questions later. Not sure when that attitude became the new mantra, but it has. And nowadays, it is not SUPPOSED to be such a dangerous job for that very reason. Nowadays, it’s taser an innocent woman (innocent until proven guilty you know) because she MIGHT jump into her car to pull a gun on me or to pull me into a highspeed chase etc. And if she dies, oh well, no great loss there. She was OBVIOUSLY guilty or the police wouldn’t be questioning her!

    That excop that I know assured me that tasers were to be used ONLY when there was great danger and no other alternative. I’m sorry, but that was not the case in this video. It’s also not the case in almost all incidcents of taser usage I read. Makes you wonder how many there are we don’t hear about. I had heard they were trying to take the tasers away from the cops in Britian for this very reason. Not sure if they ever did that or not. But they should do it here.

  82. This totally hits home for me. I recently was surround by police in a field while sleepwalking. They thought I was drunk and started screaming at me. i woke up to screaming and flashlights. I put my hands in the air and said,” I don’t know where I am. I will not resist.” They ordered me to lay down in the mud saying get on the ground mother fu#@er. I was shot with a rubber bullet and tased twice. Then when I asked what was going on I was told I was drunk. I asked three times to take a breath or blood test to prove my innocence.the response was,” Shut the fuc# up mother fuc#er. Didn’t you learn the first time? Ill tazer you again. Then I was jail for just shy of three days with no explanation. On the end of the second day I was told I was being charged with evading arrest and public intoxication. Now I go to court every month while they decide what to do and mysteriously the public intoxicated case has vanished from the records. the Da had a hard time explaining why someone who was evading had taser leads in the front of his abdomen and why they tased me while on the ground when.I asked what I did.wrong.

  83. Secondly, if you do a Google search of the grand prairie. police, you will find that the NAACP is pursuing them in another excessive force incident. When will someone step up and put boundaries on this cops that think they are above the law?

  84. James, it doesn’t look like they are going to. Everywhere I look I see things like this and they just seem to get worse and worse and worse. I read these things every day, and I just say out loud to myself ”This just has to be STOPPED!” I mean, it is SO illegal and totally immoral and wrong. I don’t understand.

    And James, seriously, what if you WERE walking in a field drunk? Where is the actual serious HARM in that? To me, I would think either the police get you, find out where you live and take you home, or put you in the slammer to go home in the morning. That’s it! I mean, unless you INJURED someone or stole something, or something like that. But why in the WORLD carry on like that over nothing? I am so sorry you had to deal with all that. They totally ruin people’s lives!

    Could you tell us what state this happened in? Please say it wasn’t in Florida! I really hope this goes away for you soon; how awful to have to keep going to court over it!

    They didn’t used to beat women up. Now, they not only beat women, they beat PREGNANT women. I don’t know where it’s going to stop.

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