Okay, the thought of a pregnant woman being tased not once, not twice, but a mind-boggling three times is a thought that totally makes me shudder. No really, I read about how that had happened to this woman in Washington and I actually shuddered.
When I heard that this pregnant woman had been tased, I figured perhaps she was on the war path, maybe chasing someone with a knife or trying to bomb a building. But no. She was speeding. She had allegedly been driving 35 mph in a 20 mph zone. Really. That’s why she was tased THREE TIMES. Why did the police opt to use what many would consider excessive force?
According to the blog Above the Law (via Jezebel), Malaika Brooks, who was seven months pregnant at the time, was driving her 11-year-old son to school. She was caught speeding in a school zone and was pulled over. The New York Times adds:
“The police say she was going 32 miles per hour in a school zone; the speed limit was 20. Ms. Brooks said she would accept a ticket but drew the line at signing it, which state law required at the time. Ms. Brooks thought, wrongly, that signing was an acknowledgment of guilt. Refusing to sign was a crime, and the two officers on the scene summoned a sergeant, who instructed them to arrest Ms. Brooks. She would not get out of her car.”
The police officers thought the woman was just “large” (read=overweight) but she informed them, “I am pregnant. I’m less than 60 days from having my baby.” Did that slow them down in their quest to force her out of the car? Hells no! They opted to tase her, once in the thigh, once in the arm, and once in the neck. But they were considerate enough to put the taser in what is called “drive stun mode” which delivers a “localized pain compliance option,” which they were told is safe to use on the knocked up criminals of the world.
Oh, but that’s not all. When the case went to court, the officers received ” immunity from Brooks’s claims,” but it was found that the officers had used excessive force. Do they think they did? No siree. And they are fighting that claim and have actually appealed to the Supreme Court! Why? As Above the Law states, they pretty much “won the case.”
But they are arguing that the claim of excessive force, “effectively strips officers of the authority to use any pain compliance technique to control an actively resisting arrestee.” And that’s a bad thing? For these officers to have the tools to tase another pregnant woman for such small crime, that’s a scary, scary thought.