Saturday, September 23, 2023
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Fired Deputy Says Sheriff Can’t Demand|That He Be Tasered as Part of Training

INDIANAPOLIS (CN) - Hamilton County Sheriff Douglas Carter fired a deputy for refusing to be shot with a Taser as part of mandatory training, the deputy says in a constitutional claim in Federal Court. Ray Robert says his doctor had advised him against it, and points out that though Sheriff Carter ordered the "training" when he ordered all his deputies to carry Tasers, "Carter has not required that deputies who carry firearms be shot as part of their training."

Robert says that in November 2008 Carter ordered that all Hamilton County deputies carry Tasers, "and that as part of training that each deputy had to actually be tazed. Plaintiff objected and refused to being tazed on advice of his physician. The requirement that plaintiff be tazed in order to keep his job is arbitrary and without rational basis. Tazing is inherently dangerous and could result in death or bodily injury. Carter terminated plaintiff's employment effective Dec. 1, 2008 because plaintiff refused to be tazed."

Robert says his firing was unconstitutional. He demands reinstatement, back pay and punitive damages. He is represented in Federal Court by Mary Jane Lapointe.

(Taser International has been sued more than 135 times since 2005, according to the Courthouse News database. At least one of those complaints came from a law enforcement officer who claimed to have been severely injured by being shot with a Taser stun gun as a requirement of training.)

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