Court Backs Police in|Protester Taser Case

     (CN) – Vermont police did not use excessive force when they repeatedly Tasered two protesters who had chained themselves to a barrel drum, the 2nd Circuit ruled, affirming dismissal of the protesters’ lawsuit.




     The federal appeals court in Manhattan affirmed a federal judge’s ruling for Brattleboro police, who used the stun gun to subdue and arrest protesters Jonathan Crowell and Samantha Kilmurray on charges of trespass and resisting arrest.
     Crowell and Kilmurray had chained themselves to a barrel drum in July 2007 to protest the proposed construction of a gas station.
     “Plaintiffs admitted that the officers at the scene considered and attempted several alternate means of removing them from the property before resorting to use of their Tasers,” the court ruled.
     The officers warned the protesters that getting Tasered would be painful and “gave them another opportunity to release themselves from the barrel after this warning,” the ruling states.
     “While we do not suggest that the use of a Taser to effect an arrest is always, or even often, objectively reasonable, under the circumstances here … we conclude that it was.”

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