The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that police officers may not use tasers on individuals unless the person is creating an “an immediate safety risk.” The decision applies to five states: Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
The court found that the extreme pain caused by the taser was excessive force and a violation of an individual’s rights under the 4th amendment to the United States Constitution.
Officers will now have to use other tools such as their hands, pepper spray, and batons in order to gain compliance from an individual who is not posing an immediate safety risk.
Ronnie Mitchell, an attorney for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, has argued that this ruling will likely lead to “more injuries to individuals,” officers and civilians alike.
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