Shot By A Cop With A Stun Gun In Pennsylvania: Can I Sue?
Police often claim that they use “non-lethal” weaponry to subdue suspects, but these weapons can be surprisingly harmful in many situations. In fact, a stun-gun, baton, or bean-bag round can be fatal under the wrong circumstances – and this is why the term “non-lethal” gives the wrong impression to the general public. What happens if you were harmed after being shot with a stun gun in Pennsylvania? Can you sue the police department?
Pennsylvania Police Officer Sued for Use of Taser
On October 11th of 2023, it was reported that a Pennsylvania police officer had been sued for using a taser on a DUI suspect. The incident was apparently captured via bodycam footage, and the victim is apparently claiming that this constitutes a constitutional violation and use of excessive force. This is hardly the first time such a lawsuit has been filed, and it almost certainly won’t be the last.
When Are Police Officers Allowed to Use Stun Guns in Pennsylvania?
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, police officers may only use tasers in certain situations. First of all, only officers who have been specifically trained to use these weapons safely should have permission to discharge them. In addition, the ACLU states that all tasers should be clearly marked – allowing members of the public to see that these are not the same as traditional firearms. This is why tasers are often brightly colored.
Assuming that all of these requirements are met, the ACLU goes on to say that officers should take various steps before discharging their stun guns. First of all, they should provide clear verbal warnings. For example, they may warn a suspect that if they do not comply, they will be fired upon with the taser. In addition, they must warn bystanders and other officers that they are about to discharge their tasers before ultimately pulling the trigger.
In addition, the ACLU recommends that the officer in question “displays the electrical arc” of the taser before firing in a further attempt to warn the suspect of what is about to happen. This is essentially a “dry fire” of the weapon, and it shows the suspect that the officer is serious. The ACLU stresses that if the officer fires the stun gun, the suspect should be violent, physically resisting, or threatening others.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Pennsylvania?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Scranton personal injury attorney, look no further than the Needle Law Firm. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs in the Keystone State – including those who have been harmed due to police brutality or excessive force. If you have been harmed by a “non-lethal” weapon such as a stun gun and you believe that your constitutional rights were violated, get in touch with a qualified attorney today. We can help you determine the most appropriate course of legal action.