California’s Bay-Area Transit Police Stripped Of Tasers

Have we finally reached the point at which police over-use and abuse of tasers will start resulting in the danged devices being taken away? The Bay Area Rapid Transit police are losing their tasers after a police sergeant attempted to tase a 13-year-old boy on a bicycle whom he was pursuing by car. Oh, and there was last year’s fatal shooting of an unarmed, restrained man on a subway platform after a BART police officer confused his handgun with his taser. California’s KTVU reports:

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BART to pay $1.5 million to daughter of man shot by transit cop

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Officials have agreed to pay $1.5 million to the daughter of a man fatally shot in the back by a transit police officer on New Year’s Day 2009 in Oakland, California.

A bystander’s cell-phone video of the shooting on a transit platform was widely circulated on the Internet and on news shows.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit train system late Wednesday announced the settlement over the killing of Oscar Grant, 22.

“It’s been a little over a year since we experienced the tragic death of Oscar Grant,” BART Board President James Fang said. “No matter what anyone’s opinion of the case may be, the sad fact remains this incident has left Tatiana without a father. The $1.5 million settlement will provide financial support for her.” Grant’s daughter, Tatiana, is 5.

The video showed then-Officer Johannes Mehserle, 27, pulling his gun and shooting Grant in the back as another officer kneeled on Grant.

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First Appearance of Oscar Grant murderer in Los Angeles Court

LOS ANGELES — Protesters have gathered outside a downtown Los Angeles courthouse where a former Bay Area Rapid Transit Police officer charged with killing an unarmed man at an Oakland train station is scheduled to make his first appearance.

Dozens of demonstrators lined the street, awaiting the arrival of 27-year-old Johannes Mehserle, who was scheduled to attend a pretrial hearing. The protesters were being monitored by about two dozen Los Angeles police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

Mehserle is charged with the murder of 22-year-old Oscar Grant on an BART station platform on New Year’s Day 2009.

Witnesses captured the shooting on cell phone video. Grant was in custody at the time of the incident and was shot in the back after being ordered to lie on his stomach.

Mehserle’s lawyer has said the officer mistakenly pulled out his Taser instead of his handgun.

An Alameda County judge ruled in October that Mehserle’s trial should be moved out of Oakland because of excessive media coverage and racial tensions.

One protester who traveled to Los Angeles from the San Francisco Bay area told KTLA that they’re seeking justice not only for Grant, but for others like him across the nation.

“It’s not just an Oakland thing, it’s not just Oscar Grant. There have been many people killed in Los Angeles and in fact, police brutality is an epidemic across the country,” she said.

Mehserle has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Grant’s family is also expected to attend the hearing.

The trial is expected to begin in about six months.

Federal court restricts Taser use by police

A federal appeals court this week ruled that a California police officer can be held liable for injuries suffered by an unarmed man he Tasered during a traffic stop. The decision, if allowed to stand, would set a rigorous legal precedent for when police are permitted to use the weapons and would force some law enforcement agencies throughout the state — and presumably the nation — to tighten their policies governing Taser use, experts said.

Michael Gennaco, an expert in police conduct issues who has conducted internal reviews of Taser use for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies, said the ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit prohibits officers from deploying Tasers in a host of scenarios and largely limits their use to situations in which a person poses an obvious danger.
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POLICE BRUTALITY: Blind woman Tasered

Experts discuss TASER’s new advisory

Following TASER International‘s recent bulletin advising officers to avoid shooting a suspect in the chest, PoliceOne staff spoke with leading TASER experts and trainers about how this announcement affects training and deployment of TASERs in the field.

Man at San Bernardino mental health dies after being stunned with a Taser

A 19-year-old man died late Friday after San Bernardino Police Department officers used a Taser on him at a residential mental health facility, authorities said.

Police were called to Orchid Court, 307 S. Arrowhead Ave., around 11:30 p.m. regarding a fight involving three people, according to a news release.

Officers separated the three, but one of them became combative and was “tased,” police said.

Following standard procedure, officers called paramedics to treat the unidentified man. Paramedics started to examine the man, who stopped breathing, police said.

The man was taken to a St. Bernardine Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, according to the San Bernardino County coroner’s office. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death.

Friday’s fatality occurred at a residential mental health center listed as one of the partners of the county’s Office of Behavioral Health. Orchid Court is a state-licensed assisted living facility.

The incident marks the third time in less than three months that a suspect has died shortly after being stunned with a Taser by police in the Inland area. Jonathan Nelson, 27, of Rancho Cucamonga was stunned twice on July 30, once by deputies in Hemet and again in a Riverside County jail cell.

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