Police at UFL are guilty of assault

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As we know, police at UFL tasered a nonviolent student who was trying to walk away.

I give you Florida state law:

776.05 Law enforcement officers; use of force in making an arrest.

--A law enforcement officer, or any person whom the officer has summoned or directed to assist him or her, need not retreat or desist from efforts to make a lawful arrest because of resistance or threatened resistance to the arrest. The officer is justified in the use of any force:

(1) Which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary to defend himself or herself or another from bodily harm while making the arrest;

(2) When necessarily committed in retaking felons who have escaped; or

(3) When necessarily committed in arresting felons fleeing from justice. However, this subsection shall not constitute a defense in any civil action for damages brought for the wrongful use of deadly force unless the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by such flight and, when feasible, some warning had been given, and:

(a) The officer reasonably believes that the fleeing felon poses a threat of death or serious physical harm to the officer or others; or

(b) The officer reasonably believes that the fleeing felon has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm to another person.

I've bolded the most relevant portion. Here's what we need to know:

(1) Police are only acting legally in the use of force if an exemption is permitted by this statute;
(2) The police had no reason to believe that a handcuffed student, on the ground, with 6 police and 1 student, represented any threat whatsoever to them or anyone.

Consequently, those police are not justified in the use of the taser.

If the police declared they intended to arrest him, then they were justified in physically restraining him to cuff him. Once he was cuffed, and outnumbering him 6:1, there is no possible justification for the use of force. So to my reading, the officer using the taser was committing battery, and each other officer holding him down was an accessory to the crime.

The State attorney should immediately file charges against them. The tape alone is sufficient evidence to merit a trial.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt published on September 18, 2007 11:19 PM.

Non-violent student tasered at political event was the previous entry in this blog.

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