Wednesday, December 30, 2009
(12-30) 11:28 PST San Francisco (AP) --
A federal appeals court has set down strict guidelines for when police officers may use Tasers.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a Coronado, Calif., police officer used excessive force when he used his Taser on an unarmed, nonviolent suspect. The unanimous three-judge panel upheld a trial court's decision allowing the suspect, Carl Bryan, to pursue his lawsuit against the city, police department and officer.
The appeals court says police should use a Taser only in threatening situations because it inflicts more pain than other so-called nonlethal weapons at an officer's disposal.
Experts expect some police departments will have to change their Taser policies if the decision stands.