Virginia Police Under Investigation After Video Shows Man Being Tasered For 42 Consecutive Seconds

lantz-day_296120px-Police_issue_X26_TASER-whiteThere is an investigation in Fredericksburg, Virginia after the posting of a YouTube clip show police tasering, Lantz Day, 36, for what appears to be 42 consecutive seconds. On the video below, you can hear what sounds like the taser and Day screaming for them to stop. There is no reason that I can see why the tasering continued after Day was down and surrounding by officers, which leads to the concern that officers were punishing him for attempting to run. He was unarmed and under suspicion of property damage.

The incident began when a car damaged five parked vehicles as it sped through the downtown area. The driver fled and Day was a passenger in the car. According to police, when people tried to hold Day, he threatened anyone who called for help.

When Day tried to flee officers, he was tasered. He was later arrested not for the property damage but obstruction of justice.

Police are still looking for his accomplice.

I can certainly understand the desire to charge Day if he was in the car and made threats against citizens about calling police. I am surprised the charge is not criminal property damage, which is a felony over $1000. Obstruction however includes threats to witnesses:

§ 18.2-460. Obstructing justice; penalty.

A. If any person without just cause knowingly obstructs a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law-enforcement officer, or animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555 in the performance of his duties as such or fails or refuses without just cause to cease such obstruction when requested to do so by such judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, law-enforcement officer, or animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, any person who, by threats or force, knowingly attempts to intimidate or impede a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law-enforcement officer, or an animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555 lawfully engaged in his duties as such, or to obstruct or impede the administration of justice in any court, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. If any person by threats of bodily harm or force knowingly attempts to intimidate or impede a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law-enforcement officer, lawfully engaged in the discharge of his duty, or to obstruct or impede the administration of justice in any court relating to a violation of or conspiracy to violate § 18.2-248 or subdivision (a) (3), (b) or (c) of § 18.2-248.1, or § 18.2-46.2 or § 18.2-46.3, or relating to the violation of or conspiracy to violate any violent felony offense listed in subsection C of § 17.1-805, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

article-2506944-1965805C00000578-720_306x423It is notable that the reports do not say that the car was stolen, which would mean that police could trace its owner. Yet, there is now a viable civil liability option for Day to sue for excessive force. I do not seen a threat to the officers to justify such a prolonged tasering. Notably, police departments have moved to tasers that limit discharges to five seconds to prevent excessive force. Manufacturers also refer to a five second limit on police tasers. The United Nations considers the use of tasers to be a method of torture. We are seeing more and more of lawsuits over the unwarranted or excessive use of tasers like the recent case in Glendale. This seems destined for such a lawsuit.

39 thoughts on “Virginia Police Under Investigation After Video Shows Man Being Tasered For 42 Consecutive Seconds”

  1. The United Nations considers the use of tasers to be a method of torture.” – JT

    This case shows one reason why.

  2. Officers who kill men in wheel chairs for threatening them with a pencil – get off Scot Free – and these officers will not be appropriately punished either!

  3. Will this officer be disciplined for his illegal act? Probably not…. I hope the defendant gets a walk….

  4. Not even close to an accurate understanding or description of the post or the comments, Buckeroo.

    The guy’s (being tased) actions have been condemned. There is no question that if the allegations are true (threatening witnesses regarding calling police, being party in vehicle damage, fleeing the scene), that he should be prosecuted.

    None of that changes the laws that the police are bound to live and work by, though. If you run a stop sign, should the police be allowed to smash your windshield or break your fingers if one officer thinks it would be appropriate? Or should you get your day in court?

    As for being a jerk? That’s **still** not illegal here. Vigilantism is illegal.

  5. So Buckaroo , it’s acceptable to use torture now by our police? Should all unlawful jerks be tortured?

  6. Buckeroo:

    “Every day that my wife leaves our home I worry regarding her safety. Why do I worry ? It is because of jerks like this young man who many of you feel sorry for …”


    Maybe you should reserve some of that worry for cops who get out of line for minor offenses and shoot housewives waiting in church parking lots. Think it can’t happen to your wife. Some folks in Culpepper beg to differ:

  7. Every day that my wife leaves our home I worry regarding her safety. Why do I worry ? It is because of jerks like this young man who many of you feel sorry for … he got caught & obviously did not accept that fact. Now everyone seems more concern with his comfort & ways for him to obtain damages for being a jerk. Now why is that ? Meanwhile my stress continues without anyone concern to control the jerks,

  8. Paul Braxton Hicks:

    “…I will no long be doing any business inside Fredericksburg City proper… …welcome, to the POlice States of America… …where they carry the Chair as a weapon.

    Peace… …if we can find it – but not in racist Fredericksburg.

    ps: Don’t trust the POlice, they are trained not to trust you.”


    I understand your passion but condemning a whole town or police force for the actions of a few seems a bit rash. Also your blanket discriminatory approach seems perfect irony to me. Why don’t we wait to see what the powers that be do now that the video has surfaced.

  9. I find it interesting that police departments use a five second governor on the taser to avoid excessive force. They can not trust their own officers yet we must.


    (1) 58% of all arrests for weapons violations are blacks.
    (2) 46% of all arrests for violent crimes are blacks.
    (3) 73% of all “justified self-defense” killings are committed by blacks.
    (4) 60.5% of all blacks are armed with some type of weapon at all times.
    (5) 98% of all youths arrested for gun fights in Atlanta are blacks.


    Last Modified: May 6, 2012

    Imagine Soldier Field beyond capacity, brimming with 63,879 young African-American men, ages 18 to 24 — more than U.S. losses in the entire Vietnam conflict.
    Imagine the University of Michigan’s football stadium — the largest in the U.S. — filled to its limit of 109,901 with black men, age 25 and older. Now add 28,223 more — together totaling more than U.S. deaths in World War I.
    Picture two UIC Pavilions packed with 12,658 Trayvon Martins — black boys, ages 14 to 17 — nearly twice the number of U.S. lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Now picture all of them dead. The national tally of black males 14 and older murdered in America from 1976 through 2005, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics: 214,661.
    The numbers tell only part of the story of this largely urban war, where the victims bear an uncanny resemblance to their killers. A war of brother against brother, filled with wanton and automatic gunfire, even in the light of day, on neighborhood streets, where little boys make mud pies, schoolgirls jump rope, where the innocent are caught in the crossfire, where the spirit of murder blows like the wind.
    It is, so far, a ceaseless war in which guns are often the weapon of choice, and the finger on the trigger of the gun pointed at a black male is most often another black male’s.
    The numbers alone are enough to make me cry — to wonder why — we as African Americans will march en masse over one slain by someone who is not black, and yet sit silent over the hundreds of thousands of us obliterated from this mortal world by someone black like us, like me. It is a numbing truth borne out by hard facts:
    From 1980 through 2008, 93 percent of black victims were killed by blacks.
    Translation: For every Trayvon Martin killed by someone not black, nine other blacks were murdered by someone black.
    In 2005, — blacks — accounted for 13 percent of the U.S. population but 49 percent of all homicides. The numbers are staggering, the loss incomprehensible.
    Add to the tally of black males 14 and older slain across the country from 1976 to 2005, another 29,335 (slain from 2006 to 2010), and their national body count rises to 243,996, representing 82 percent of all black homicides for that 35-year period. What also becomes clear is this: We too often have raised killers. And this war is claiming our sons.
    But that’s still not the end of the story. Add to that number 51,892 black females ages 14 and older, plus five whose gender was not identifiable, and the total, not counting children, is 295,893 — more than the combined U.S. losses of World War I, the Vietnam, Korean and Mexican-American wars, the War of 1812 and the American Revolutionary War.
    Is the blood of these sons and daughters somehow less American?
    Two hundred ninety-five thousand eight hundred ninety-three . . .
    Imagine the United Center, Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular Field and Soldier Field nearly all filled simultaneously with black boys, girls, men and women. Now imagine that twice over. Now imagine them all dead.
    As far as I can see, that’s at least 295,893 reasons to cry. And it is cause enough for reticent churches, for communities, for lackadaisical leaders, for all people — no matter our race, color or creed — to find the collective will and the moral resolve to stamp out this human rights atrocity occurring right under our noses.
    Just imagine the human carnage and the toll to us all if we don’t.

    I can’t. I won’t.


  11. …I will no long be doing any business inside Fredericksburg City proper… …welcome, to the POlice States of America… …where they carry the Chair as a weapon.

    Peace… …if we can find it – but not in racist Fredericksburg.

    ps: Don’t trust the POlice, they are trained not to trust you.

  12. I recommend the following tactic when representing a plaintiff who has been electrocuted by a cop with a taser in the lawsuit. File a Notice of Deposition naming the cop and his mother. Put the cop under oath and have him explain how the taser is harmless. Then put the mother under oath and offer to tase her during the deposition. You can see where this goes.

  13. Here is an article on the ACLU newsletter about tasers:



    Tasers No Longer a Non-Lethal Alternative for Law Enforcement

    By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:39pm

    Tasers subject their victims to a 50,000 volt shock followed by 100 microsecond pulses of 1,200 volts. Since 2001, more than 500 people in the United States have died after law enforcement officers used this weapon against them. A study published this week by the American Heart Association’s Circulation Journal confirms that the misuse of a Taser can cause sudden cardiac arrest and death.

    In theory, a Taser is intended to serve as a non-lethal method of control for law enforcement officers when they need to physically restrain a dangerous person. But as the new Circulation study demonstrates, Tasers cannot so simply be categorized as “non-lethal.” In addition, there are far too many instances in which officers have impulsively deployed Tasers against children, pregnant women and the mentally ill, even though the victims posed no real danger to either the officers or anyone else.

    The new evidence that Tasers can cause cardiac arrest and death, coupled with the disturbing trend of officers using Tasers in flagrantly unnecessary situations, makes it all the more troubling that states do not uniformly or consistently govern or regulate officers’ use of Tasers. This means that Taser policies vary greatly between police departments, often leading to vague, outdated and inaccurate guidelines that result in misunderstanding about the misuse of these allegedly non-lethal weapons.

    Taser training materials are mostly provided by Taser International, the private company that makes the weapon. Relying on a private, for-profit company that has a vested interest in promoting and selling their product for training guidelines is not only nonsensical, but dangerous. For example, though Taser International advises officers against administering a shock to the victim’s chest, it does not prohibit targeting this area. In fact, Taser minimizes the potential risk of death or cardiac trauma, instead emphasizing a need to insulate police officers – and itself – from the legal ramifications associated with a shock to the chest. The company goes on to recommend against aiming for the chest because “shots to the chest, particularly at close range, are frequently ineffective because of the lack of major muscle groups in the chest area.” It’s not difficult to see why relying on Taser International’s profit-seeking and liability-evading advice, rather than on rigorous and objective scientific evidence, is both unwise and unsafe.

    The new Circulation study should provoke us all – including and most importantly law enforcement agencies – to revisit when the deployment of a Taser is worth its serious risks. To be sure, law enforcement officers have a legitimate interest in protecting themselves and the public during potentially violent encounters, and for the victim, a Taser is generally a less lethal alternative to a firearm. But history demonstrates that law enforcement agencies have failed to create and implement Taser training policies that effectively educate officers about the risks involved and ensure that officers only use Tasers when actually necessary. Law enforcement agencies should review and revise their Taser policies so that officers can make informed and responsible decisions about when using a Taser is warranted. Particularly given the increasing – and disturbing – popularity and indiscriminate use of Tasers, police departments around the country must ensure that they use these lethal weapons responsibly, ethically and as safely as possible.

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  14. Police officers are trained to mitigate;
    not – “instigate” – issues at hand.

    To protect and uphold the Law.

    If you do not abide by the Law;
    you should not be permitted to be an enforcer of the Law.

  15. Itchin, it is obvious that this is a street justice trial by ordeal. A modern day dark age system of justice. If the “perp” survives they advance to a full modern day trial by underpaid overworked appointed attorney, where the victim gets to plead guilty to a lesser charge.
    No fuss no muss. …. when the victim dies during the ordeal, it is proof of guilt. The cops statements always confirm this.
    …..yes this is arksnay.

  16. The cop who shot the guy for 42 seconds with the taser turned on needs to be prosecuted in federal court for assault and battery by use of a deadly weapon, and violation of his civil rights under the federal criminal statute pertaining to same. The victim can sue the cop (state actor) for violating his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. The cops who were helped are liable under the criminal statute and the civil rights civil statute. The Superior who put copo out there on the street with the weapon and authorized its use in this manner is liable for the civil suit but probably not the felony. The city who employs the cop is liable for the civil suit under certain circumstances under the Monell doctrine.

    The people who talk riddles around the use of tasers need to go to some class on use of deadly force and deadly weapons and not listen to the stun gun manufacturer.

  17. The blog here has been dealing with tasers for a long time. They are lethal weapons. They are not just some mechanism for obtaining obeyance to civil commands from an officer to stop yakking. A lethal weapon, when used, against a human is the use of deadly force. When the use is not warranted, not permissible, the it becomes a threat or an assault and when the taser touches the person it is an assault and battery with a lethal weapon and deadly use of force. So in this instance it is assault and battery with deadly use of force by use of a lethal weapon.

    Now if the cop is holding an extension cord with the plug plugged into an outlet and the other end in his hand is cut off from the socket and has a live wire, that is not a lethal weapon per se. It was not devised to shoot electricity at a person. But, if the cop touches you with the hot end of the cord and your are shocked, then it is assault with deadly force. Deadly force is like when you punch a baby in the head with your big fist.

    The people who write topics on this blog should either agree with the foregoing or disavow it and explain yourselves as to how the use of these deadly taser weapons is something different than described by this dog.
    People all over the United States die from them when they are shot by cops. The ruse or notion that they are not deadly weapons is a big fat lie.

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