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. OS, I did. Still, 4 deaths a month from a “non-lethal” weapon, increasingly misused, is nothing to minimize.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Never mind, I thought you said “I’ll throw you out of the game.” I have problems reading!!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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;

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

  13. When are the three hits? Seems like one at 0:53 and one at 1:00, but I’m not seeing the third.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

    1. “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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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