If Cops Can’t Taze a Pregnant Woman, The Terrorists Will Win – Cops Taze Pregnant Women, Teenage Girls, Blind Women, Kick Women In Stomach, What’s Next??!!!??!!

Pro Libertate Thanks to a misbegotten ruling from a divided Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, police in nine states have been left at an insurmountable disadvantage when dealing with criminal suspects. At least, that’s what we’re told in a legal brief submitted to the Supreme Court by a coalition of police unions. “It won’t be long before the word spreads through society’s criminal underworld that the Ninth Circuit hasn’t simply given them a `get out of jail free’ card, but a `never have to go to jail in the first place’ card,” warns the amicus brief. Rather than subduing criminals, “police officers will now be forced to walk away from people they have arrested.” The ruling that is fraught with such awful implications, Brooks v. City of Seattle , involved a patently unnecessary Taser attack upon a woman who was seven months pregnant . The unarmed woman, who was not suspected of a violent crime, posed no threat to the three – yes, three – valiant officers who assaulted her. She was uncooperative, but did not offer any violent resistance. Her sole “offense” was to refuse a demand that she sign a traffic ticket that was eventually dismissed. In March 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court found that Seattle Police Officers Steven Daman, Juan Ornelas, and Donald Jones used excessive force when they committed their attack on Brooks and her unborn child – but that they were entitled to “qualified immunity” because the legal precedents dealing with the use of electro-shock torture on a pregnant woman were ambiguous in 2004. The assailants were thus left in the clear — but unsatisfied with their victory. With the support of organizations representing tens of thousands of police officers (including some 30,000 SWAT operators), the officers are appealing that ruling to the Supreme Court, claiming that any limitation on the discretionary use of tasers against non-violent “suspects” constitutes an unacceptable restraint on police discretion and a dire threat to that holiest of social considerations, “officer safety.” An unarmed fourteen-year-old girl is tasered in Philadelphia. In its brief on behalf of the officers , the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association (LACPCA) and the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) insist that refusing to allow police to use electro-shock torture against a pregnant woman would fatally undermine the principle of “pain compliance” on which social order – as they pretend to understand it – depends. On November 23, 2004, Malaika Brooks was taking her son to school when she was stopped by Officer Ornelas, who claimed – wrongly, as it turned out – that she had been speeding. When he presented Brooks with a traffic ticket, she refused to sign it out of the concern that doing so would constitute an admission of guilt. She had done the same during a 1996 traffic stop in which the officer, who possessed some residual decency, simply handed her the little extortion note and walked away. Ornelas, unfortunately, chose to escalate the encounter by calling for “backup.” A few minutes later, Officer Jones and Sgt. Daman arrived on the scene and began to threaten and berate Brooks. None of this was necessary: The officers were engaging in a tribal display of primate dominance, rather than carrying out a function related in any way to protection of person and property. When they threatened to kidnap – or, as they called it, “arrest” – Brooks, the woman informed them that she was “less than 60 days from having my baby.” After huddling briefly, the three officers attacked Brooks. Ornelas seized her right arm and — in the course of less than a minute – inflicted three “drive stun” charges to Brooks’s neck, shoulder, and thigh, an assault that left her with permanent scars. The three officers then dragged Brooks – who had been desperately clinging to the steering wheel, honking the horn, and screaming for help – from the car, threw her face-down and pinned her to the ground. She was handcuffed and then booked on charges of “Refusing to sign” a traffic citation – a misdemeanor – and resisting arrest. A jury eventually found Brooks guilty of the first “offense,” and acquitted her of the second. The speeding citation was thrown out before Brooks went to court. Brooks filed suit against the officers for assault and violating her civil rights. The officers responded by invoking the well-established – and utterly specious – doctrine of “qualified immunity,” seeking a summary dismissal. The District Court dismissed the assault charge but found that the officers had committed a civil rights violation that nullified their claim to qualified immunity. The Ninth Circuit reversed that holding as it applied to the defendants, ruling that the officers were protected by qualified immunity and could not be sued by Brooks . However, the Court offered notice that in the future similar taser attacks on non-cooperative but non-violent subjects would constitute excessive force. In his dissent, Judge Alex Kozinski maintained that Brooks “had shown herself deaf to reason, and moderate physical force had only led to further entrenchment…. Brooks was tying up two line officers, a sergeant and three police vehicles – resources diverted from other community functions – to deal with one lousy traffic ticket.” Who was responsible for this “diversion” – Mrs. Brooks, who was merely being uncooperative, or Officer Ornelas and his comrades, who needlessly escalated a disagreement over “one lousy traffic ticket” to the point where potentially deadly force was used against someone accused of a trivial traffic offense, rather than an actual crime? “The officers couldn’t just walk away,” complains Kozinski. “Brooks was under arrest.” There was no substantive reason why the police couldn’t walk away – if they had been acting as peace officers, that is, rather than as armed enforcers of the revenue-consuming class. If a police officer has the option of deploying a reliably deadly weapon in a situation of this kind, he also has the option of backing down and letting the court deal with the merits of the citation. But the position claimed by the officers – and accepted, in a qualified sense, by the Ninth Circuit Court – is that anything other than immediate and unqualified submission by a Mundane justifies the infliction of summary punishment by a police officer. The amicus brief by the LACPCA and NTOA lament that the Ninth Circuit Court, while upholding the unqualified “authority” of police to arrest people at their discretion, “has deprived officers of any lawful way of enforcing that authority, at least when the suspect is not engaged in violence directed towards the officers ” and has “unnecessarily limited the amount of force that can be used against a suspect who refrains from using violence against the police ” (emphasis added). For more on this fatal Taser attack, go here. What the police unions who filed that brief are demanding is an open-ended grant of unlimited “authority” to use “pain compliance” against people who passively resist abduction by police. The question of using violent means to subdue a violent criminal suspect is not implicated in any way by this case. In their petition for certiorari , the officers – whose actions, remember, were upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court – complain that the ruling could “prohibit the use of any low-level physical force against an actually resisting suspect who does not present an imminent threat of harm to the officers, a result that could strip law enforcement of any reasonable and pra

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