US Marijuana Party

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Lawsuit: Cop used Taser for no reason

Indianapolis Star

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- When a sheriff's deputy warned Jennifer Marshall to take a sobriety test or face a trip to jail, her first thought was to call her lawyer.

When the deputy thought she showed illegal resistance by refusing to drop her cell phone, he proclaimed "Taser time" -- and dropped her with an electrical jolt from his stun gun.

After cooperating with a series of physical sobriety tests and giving inconclusive breath tests, the trouble begins when Lockhart, who is more 6 feet tall and weighs more than 250 pounds, tells Marshall that she will be taken to jail if she does not submit to a blood draw.

"Do you want to take a chemical test?" he asks.
"I don't know what that means," she replies. "I need to make a phone call, and I deserve that."

As she leans into her car to get her phone, the officers simultaneously deny her permission to make a call. When she persists, Horine grabs her as Lockhart announces "Taser time" and reaches for the weapon.

As Horine pushes her to the back of her Honda Accord, Marshall screams for help, is bent over the trunk of her car by Horine, and then slumps toward the ground after Lockhart commands her to "Drop the phone," puts the Taser against her pinned arm, and applies an electrical jolt.

"I was tasered for trying to call my attorney," she said, defending her lawsuit and describing herself as a guinea pig for Lockhart's first use of the Taser after he received the weapon. "I did not resist arrest in any way."


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