September 23, 2008
The Canadian Press
AMHERST — A Nova Scotia woman wants the Amherst police department to review its use of stun guns after a recent incident that saw her husband zapped by one of the conductive energy weapons during a medical emergency.
The Amherst woman, who asked that her identity be withheld, said she grew concerned for her husband last Sunday when she could not wake him up. She checked his blood sugar and found his level was only 1.4, normal blood sugar is between four and six.
When the 34-year-old man started coughing and having difficulty breathing, she called 911 and paramedics were quick to respond. However, as he was waking up he was not letting the parmedics administer an IV, and they asked for police help.
"I left the room because it was very crowded and I was upset," the woman told the Amherst Daily News. "All of a sudden I heard the officers telling him they were going to tase him. I ran down the hall yelling to them, `he doesn't understand,' but they zapped him anyway. I told them to get out of my house. They stood in the hallway for a while and then left. After that an IV was put in."
Amherst deputy police chief Ian Naylor said officers only applied the stun gun when they felt he was a danger to himself or others. "He struggled with the officers and attempted to break free. He was able to sit up and kick his legs even though he was being restrained. He was also trying to bite one of the officers," Naylor said.
"The officers were unable to control him because of his size and strength and the officers were concerned that if he did break free he would be a danger to himself, the officers and . . . paramedics."
Naylor said the man was warned before the stun gun was applied, adding that he was only touched by the device for one second. "The Taser was used as a last resort when other use-of-force options available to officers were ineffective," he said.
Naylor said every incident involving a stun gun is reviewed.
Meanwhile, the woman said her husband bit off part of his tongue during the incident and couldn't walk for three days. She believes the stun gun had something to do with it. "I am very upset and feel he was tasered for no reason. It was cruel for them to do that considering the state he was in," she said, adding she realizes her husband is a big man but is no risk to anyone and didn't deserve to be treated that way.
"He needed their help and was treated cruelly. The scream that came out of my husband when he was tasered was the worst thing I have heard in my life."
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
September 23, 2008