The Supreme Court has decided not to hear two lawsuits brought by women who claimed they were unlawfully shot by Tasers.The cases allege the police violated their Fourth Amendment rights by acting with excessive force when tasing both women.
In the first case, filed under Daman v. Brooks or Brooks v. Daman, police tased the seven-months-pregnant Malaika Brooks for refusing to leave her car.
Brooks was stopped in Seattle for speeding in a school zone in 2004. When she refused to sign the citation police ordered her to get out of the car.
She refused and told police she was seven months pregnant when they threatened to tase her, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
Brooks’ lawsuit questioned whether the officer acted reasonably in tasing her three times in less than a minute when the officer knew she was pregnant.
In the second case, filed under Agarano v. Mattos or Mattos v. Agarano, Hawaii police officers tased Jayzel Mattos in 2006 after they had been called to her house on charges her husband was abusing her.
When officers responded to the call, her husband Troy insisted the officers leave. One officer tried arrest Troy, at which point Jayzel put her arm up.
The officer shot Jayzel with his Taser without any warning, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
Mattos’ lawsuit claims she wasn’t resisting arrest, was not a threat to the officers and was trying to calm an otherwise heated situation.
Before the lawsuits reached the Supreme Court, a federal appeals court said officers couldn’t be sued because the law in place at the time didn’t clearly establish the women’s’ rights had been violated.
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