The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued new rulings on the use of the Taser. In both cases the court seemed to indicate that they want a suspect to provide both active resistance to the officers and perhaps even pose some sort of threat to the officers involved in the incident.
The courts were vague in my opinion and I think that will cause officers to limit their use of the Taser. In the past when someone refused verbal commands to comply with an officers direction, say to put their hands up or behind their back to be handcuffed, the officer may have used a Taser to overcome the passive resistance.
Now the court seems to be saying the even active resistance may not be enough to use the Taser if the officer is not in any danger or the suspect is not trying to flee or there are no exigent circumstances. I would suggest that any use of the Taser be documented in a written report. The use of the Taser should be fully explained as to why the subjected needed to be Tasered, mentioning the suspects refusal to obey verbal commands, the danger the suspect posed to the officer or others and any exigent circumstances present. Continue to use the Taser, but explain it’s use more carefully so we can keep this excellent tool in the inventory; that’s what the SGT Says.