George Kirkham, a former police officer and a criminologist at Florida State (FSU) states his initial impression, "I've got to wonder what kind of moron would Taser an adult holding a baby. It does not take rocket science to realize the baby is going to fall...The taser is a legitimate law enforcement tool. The problem is the abusive use of them. They're supposed to only be used to protect yourself or another person from imminent aggression and physical harm. They are over used now..."
Lewis claims his daughter now "shakes a lot and cries a lot and is not real responsive." He claims that something is definitely wrong with his daughter. (It was not clear whether Karla (the baby) received any electrical shock.) Karla is currently in the custody of Child Protective Services because of a history of domestic violence between Lewis and his wife, Jacqueline Gray. Estella Olguin (C.P.S) apparently has not noticed any abnormalities in the child she associates with the fall.
David Boling is an off-duty Houston police officer who was working security at the hospital.
He claims that Lewis was hostile and uncooperative. Lewis was arrested and charged with endangering a child; however, a grand jury refused to indict him on that charge. The grand jury did charged him with retaliation apparently based on making threats against Boling. Lewis has also been charged with a second count of retaliation after he allegedly made a threatening phone call to Boling. Lewis denies all charges and is considering suing the hospital.
Does a patient and/or a parent have the right to leave a hospital? Or is hospital like jail?Update 2-21-08 A new L.E.D. bright light which temporarily disables would be criminals may make tasers obsolete!
Update 4-14-14: TMZ reported a man tried to use an umbrella against police tasers. Guess who won?
follow the link to watch the confrontation. Taser V. Umbrella
Update 6-25-14: Are laws limiting the use of Tasers appropriate? As you may recall, Tasers are "electronic control weapons." Inspired by the 2012 Taser death of MacAdam Lee Mason in 2012, Police in Vermont now have stricter rules when using electronic stun guns under bill H.225, The bill requires a police oversight committee to develop a policy for how and when police should use Tasers. It also requires police to attend Taser additional training. Under the law, Tasers may only be used against subjects who exhibit active aggression or actively pose a risk of injury to others or themselves. Seems like a good law. However, should police have to also wear a camera when they carry Tasers? Tasers can be deadly!
Update 7-12-17: The debate about the use of Tasers has changed little since the original story. Recently, Zachary N. Bearheels was allegedly Tasered 12 times by the Omaha police before he died. Bearheels was an Oklahoma man with a history of mental illness. Granted, Bearheels was apparently resisting arrest on June 5, 2017. Ironically, the electric shocks apparently failed to incapacitate the 29-year-old Bearheels and therefore an officer pulled Bearheels to the ground, grabbed his ponytail, and dragged him to the police car. Supposedly, another officer also punched Bearheels in the head several times. While the incident apparently violated Omaha Police procedure, the actual cause of death is still not known. The community in Omaha did not take the death of Bearheels well. Bearheels was a bipolar, schizophrenic who may not have been accountable for his actions.
An autopsy will determine the cause of death and a grand jury will investigate whether the officers’ used excessive force. Omaha World-Herald There apparently are video clips of some of the confrontation but they will be sealed for the grand jury's review. The officers involved all had less than five years of experience which may have been a factor in how this matter was handled.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska released a statement saying in part that the incident served as “a reminder that Tasers are lethal weapons and that they should only be used as a last resort.” The officers names have been withheld from this story. They are to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.