Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Man calls paramedics, gets tasered by police instead

Discussion in 'Legal' started by TargetTerror, Jun 17, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TargetTerror

    TargetTerror Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Stalingrad, MA
    http://www.waxahachiedailylight.com/articles/2007/05/20/dailylight/news/01-05-20-taser.txt


    Waxahachie resident Allen Nelms says a call to 911 to get medical attention for his diabetic seizure got him Tasered by police instead.

    He said he still has no answer as to why police broke down his door with their guns drawn before shooting him multiple times with a Taser as he lay in bed.

    “One of the officers said I ‘lunged’ at him. I asked him, ‘How can I lunge at you from my back and on my bed?’ ” Nelms said in an interview with the Daily Light.
    All he’s received, he said, is a one-paragraph statement from police that indicates the department concluded an investigation into his allegation of excessive force in less than five days, with Assistant Chief Brett Colston saying the officers operated within policy guidelines.

    The 52-year-old partially disabled man - who also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis - was having a diabetic seizure during the early morning hours of April 28 when his girlfriend, Josie Edwards, called 911 to request paramedics.

    “I respect the law and police but on this day I was a shooting target for them when I needed help,” Nelms said in his May 3 written complaint to the police department.
    The couple’s statements indicate an officer came to the residence on Perry Avenue and inquired as to what was going on - and then called for backup.

    Nelms told the Daily Light that he was in his bed in the couple’s bedroom when officers burst in with their guns drawn and yelling at him to get on the floor.

    He said he told them he needed medical help, not the police, but officers continued yelling at him to get on the floor. He said he went to roll over to his right, with photographs indicating he was struck by Taser barbs on his left side, his back and his shoulder. He said he was handcuffed, with paramedics intervening when the officers began trying to yank the Taser barbs from his skin.
    Paramedics removed the Taser barbs and then checked his blood sugar, with officers then releasing him from the handcuffs.

    In her statement, Edwards, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease and is on oxygen, said an officer came to the door and asked her what was the matter before calling for backup and the paramedics.

    She said about six or seven police officers kicked the front door in and stormed the back bedroom where she said she could hear one telling Nelms to get on the floor.
    “Allen was shouting, ‘Please don’t do me like this. I just need help.’ Next thing I heard some ‘zing’ noise and Allen was shouting,” she wrote in her statement. “I asked what were they doing to him. One policeman replied, ‘We just took care of him.’

    “After they did their shooting and laughing, they came out (of) the rooms. The paramedics had to pull out the Tasers,” she said.

    After Nelms was Tasered, Edwards said officers asked her what she was doing there, with Edwards telling them it was her home and she lived there. She said the officers then questioned her about what time Nelms came home and if he was drunk or on drugs, if he ever got into fights or if he had hit her.
    In her statement, Edwards said she told officers Nelms did none of that and that he was sickly. She also said she told the officers they had called for paramedics in the past because of his seizures.

    Nelms told the Daily Light he has never had a problem in calling for paramedics before, and there is no history of his becoming violent when he is having a diabetic seizure.

    Edwards noted the same in her statement, which was taken as part of Nelms’ complaint.
    “Of the 16 years that we (have) lived here and called for paramedics, police decide to come and take over and try to almost kill the man,” she said in her statement. “They never asked any questions (like) did he have a heart pacer, they just wanted to have fun by shooting Tasers and handcuffing the man after he was shot,” she said.

    Nelms said after he was checked over, the police and paramedics left. He was not transported, there was no arrest made nor charge filed.

    After his complaint was closed, Nelms said he was referred by a city council member to Waxahachie attorney Rodney Ramsey, who told the Daily Light he has filed notice with the city on Nelms’ behalf to preserve all documentation and evidence relating to the incident.
    “This police department has a bad history of disparate treatment on the east side,” Ramsey said. “They’re not treated fairly. They’re not treated justly.

    “I bet the police wouldn’t kick in a white man’s door on Spring Creek at 4:30 a.m. and Taser him three or four times,” said Ramsey, saying he will seek justice on Nelms’ behalf.

    “I don’t care if I make a dime on this case. I don’t care if this costs me money,” he said. “I want to know what policy says you can kick somebody’s door down and Taser them for asking for medical help. This is not going to happen in this town anymore.”
    Ramsey said he wants the names of the officers involved in the incident and that he will renew his efforts to see a citizens review board of police established in the city of Waxahachie, saying that while the majority of the department’s officers are good officers, there are some whose actions are questionable.

    In addition to what Ramsey cites as Civil Rights violations, he said what really disturbs him about the incident is that the officers were laughing about what happened.

    “They better have everything they have on this,” he said. “There had better not be one piece of evidence that is shredded in this case.”
    Nelms filed his complaint with the police department at 2:05 p.m. Thursday, May 3.

    An internal affairs investigation was conducted, with Colston informing Nelms of its conclusion in a written response dated Wednesday, May 9.

    “A review regarding your written complaint dated May 3, 2007, was conducted,” Colston wrote in a one-paragraph response. “After careful consideration of your allegations we have found that the officers were within our departmental policies regarding the use of a less than lethal force option (TASER) on you during an event at your residence on April 28, 2007.”
    Because litigation has been threatened, little if any information is available for public release. A provision of the Open Records Act allows governmental agencies to withhold otherwise releasable materials under an exception of pending litigation.

    As a result, in this case, such materials as dispatcher and radio communications and the use of force report in all likelihood will be withheld - as allowed by prior rulings of the state Attorney General’s Office.

    A brief synopsis of the incident that is releasable by the department says only that officers responded to 720 Perry at about 4:30 a.m. April 28 in reference to a 911 hangup.
    A Waxahachie Fire Department call record indicates a fire squad responded to the address on a “medical assist, assist EMS crew.” Fire personnel were notified at 4:44 a.m., arriving at 4:47 and clearing at 5:25 a.m.

    “We acknowledge an incident occurred and allegations of excessive force made,” Police Chief Chuck Edge said. “We have looked into the incident and (because of Civil Service rules and the pending litigation Open Record exception) cannot talk about it any further.”

    The Daily Light has requested a copy of the department’s policies on use of a less than lethal force option.

    The Waxahachie Police Department acquired Tasers in late 2004. The weapons fire two small probes from up to 21 feet away and administer a 50,000-volt shock. The electrical charge disables a person’s ability to control his muscles, making coordinated activity all but impossible during the five-second duration of the impulse.
     
  2. pacodelahoya

    pacodelahoya Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    911
    Location:
    SW PA
    Don't you believe it!

    On a side note, just another isolated incedent, nothing to see here folks move along.
     
  3. Elza

    Elza Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    692
    Location:
    North Texas
    Well, that certainly settles this matter. After all, we KNOW that the police would never lie about the situation. I’m certainly satisfied. (The words dripping with sarcasm!!)
     
  4. FeebMaster

    FeebMaster Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    275
    Why do you guys have to bash the police?

    They made the best decision they could under the circumstances.

    They just want to get home safe to their families.

    Let's hear both sides of the story before we judge.


    We're doomed.
     
  5. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,617
    Location:
    Alabama
    There's obviously a WHOLE lot more to this story than what that newspaper write-up is telling.
     
  6. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cumming, GA
    +1

    Police in Atlanta shot and killed a 92 year old woman after breaking down her door, this guy should consider himself lucky he was only tazered.
     
  7. pacodelahoya

    pacodelahoya Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    911
    Location:
    SW PA
    Ok McCall, what do you know that we don't?
     
  8. tepin

    tepin Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    562
    Location:
    AZ
    ALL GOOD!
    exigent circumstances
    Emergency conditions. 'Those circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry (or other relevant prompt action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of a suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts.' United States v. McConney, 728 F.2d 1195, 1199 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 824 (1984).

    Exigent circumstances may excuse failure to make an announcement or to wait for the occupant to refuse entry. United States v. Mendonsa, 989 F. 2d 366, 370 (9th Cir. 1993). The existence of exigent circumstances is a mixed question of fact and law reviewed de novo. Id.

    A search is reasonable, and a search warrant is not required, if all of the circumstances known to the officer at the time, would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry or search was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officer or other persons/the destruction or concealment of evidence/the escape of a suspect, and if there was insufficient time to get a search warrant.

    The federal 'knock and announce' statute, 18 U.S.C. S 3109. Section 3109 requires 'police officers [to] knock, announce and be refused entry before they break into a residence. Exigent circumstances excuse noncompliance.' United States v. Turner, 926 F.2d 883, 886 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 830 (1991). Specifically, the court found that immediate entry was necessary 'for [the officers'] protection and the protection of others inside as well as to prevent the destruction of any drugs in defendant's possession or in the home.'

    A simultaneous, no-refusal entry is permissible if at least 'mild exigent circumstances' were present. See United States v. McConney, 728 F.2d 1195, 1206 (9th Cir.) (en banc) (mild exigency is sufficient to justify simultaneous knock/announce and entry if entry does not require physical destruction of property), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 824 (1984); United States v. Whitney, 633 F.2d 902, 909 (9th Cir.'80) ('only a mild indication of exigency is required to excuse noncompliance with the `refusal of admittance' requirement of section 3109'), cert. denied, 450 U.S. 1004 (1981).

    When police have a reasonable and sincere fear that someone is in jeopardy and contraband might be destroyed, this usually constitutes sufficient exigency to justify a simultaneous, no-refusal entry. See McConney, 728 F.2d at 1206; Whitney, 633 F.2d at 909-10.

    Exigencies created by the government cannot be the basis for excusing compliance with the warrant requirement. See, e.g., United States v. Hackett, 638 F.2d 1179, 1183-85 (9th Cir.'80), cert. denied, 450 U.S. 1001 (1981); United States v. Curran, 498 F.2d 30, 34 (9th Cir.'74). The rule has been applied only in cases where exigencies arose 'because of unreasonable and deliberate [conduct] by officers,' in which the officers ' consciously established the condition which the government now points to as an exigent circumstance.' See, e.g., Curran, 498 F.2d at 34 (emphasis added); Hackett, 638 F.2d at 1183; United States v. Calhoun, 542 F.2d 1094, 1102-03 (9th Cir.'76), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 1064 (1977). an honest miscommunication is not a case where the government purposely tried to circumvent the requirements of section 3109. Cf. Hackett, 638 F.2d at 1184-85; Curran, 498 F.2d at 33-34.
     
  9. Elza

    Elza Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    692
    Location:
    North Texas
    Allow me to clarify my statement. I agree with McCall911 that there is more to this. But a “less than 5 day investigation” sounds a bit too quick. Sort of like “get rid of this quick and hope that it goes away.”
     
  10. tepin

    tepin Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    562
    Location:
    AZ
    Cops were fishing for something in order to cite "Exigent circumstances"

     
  11. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,617
    Location:
    Alabama
    About this case? Not a thing!
    I'm just like everybody else here--expressing an opinion.
     
  12. runfrumu

    runfrumu Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    87
    i was feeling bad for them until she played the race card.
     
  13. pacodelahoya

    pacodelahoya Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    911
    Location:
    SW PA
    Ok, cuz what I read said that ther was a 911 hang up call. tTe police showed up, called for EMS and backup,kicked in the door, tased the diabetic and interogated theguys common law wife.


    Then laughed about it.


    I thought you had read a different account, as this is the only account I have seen, this is the only account that I have to comment on.

    Maybe the Waxahachie PD should release a copy of the investigation to the media so that the people(you know the ones they work for) could be reassured that the officers were

    I find it odd that they called EMS before they tased him which would lead me to think that they were aware it was a medical problem.

    Again, I can only go by the report given since
     
  14. jselvy

    jselvy member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    518
    Jeff White,

    Was this man involved in "Criminal Activity" or was it yet another meteorite?

    Jefferson
     
  15. pacodelahoya

    pacodelahoya Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    911
    Location:
    SW PA
    Runfrumu, she probably thinks that police wouldn't kick in a white dudes door and tase him.

    She probably never heard of Sal Culosi either. http://www.justiceforsal.com/
     
  16. ebd10

    ebd10 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    South Dakota
    I grew up in the city of Detroit, so I've collected an entire deck of race cards from one source or another. However, in my observations of the police, there is definitely a difference in how they deal with black people in the ghetto and white people in suburbia. For that mattrer, there is a difference in how they deal with black people in the ghetto and how they deal with black people in the suburbia.

    Like the old real estate dictum says, "Location, location, location."
     
  17. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,617
    Location:
    Alabama
    Like I say, I don't know anything about the case but it could be that the above may apply.
    It's sad and unfortunate but diabetic problems can cause the sufferer to be combative and violent, even when very sick. The police may have arrived at the request of the medics or even the 911 dispatcher, if the call generated some sort of uncertainty.
    But, again, I don't know.
     
  18. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,617
    Location:
    Alabama
    Okay, as a retired 911 dispatcher, I can tell you with 99.9 percent certainty that a 911 hangup call will bring the police every time, especially if the dispatcher does not make contact with the number after callback.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
  19. jselvy

    jselvy member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    518
    He has a history of Diabetic difficulties for which he has called 911 before.
    Why did this particular incident trigger the Thug Squad?
    That in and of itself is odd.
    How can Tasering a sick man in bed be an acceptable use of force? By this same token, if the Thug Squad went into a hospital and Tasered a Comatose patient because he "did not respond to orders" it would be an acceptable use of force.
    Let the LEO apologists commence.


    Jefferson
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
  20. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,617
    Location:
    Alabama
    :rolleyes:
     
  21. pacodelahoya

    pacodelahoya Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    911
    Location:
    SW PA
    I fully understand where police will show up for a 911 hangup. They will also show up as a medical assist if there are officers available. What I don't understand is why did they show up, ask what was going on then call for backup and EMS at the same time(according to the article). Then they kicked in the door before the EMS arrived.

    I was a police dispatcher for a period of about three months before I transferred into corrections. Why do you think I am wary of the police?

    I have spend plenty of time around them in a noncivilian encounter capacity to know where thier mindset is.
     
  22. win71

    win71 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    693
    Well something is not right. Either that or the coppers need to turn up the juice on their tasers..........
     
  23. Bailey Guns

    Bailey Guns Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    381
    Originally posted by: ebd10
    And as a long-time police officer I can tell you there's definitely a difference in the way black people in the ghetto and white/black people in suburbia deal with the police.

    I'll also state without hesitation that there is another version of the story...that of the police. Unfortunately, they can't really defend themselves in the court of public opinion because of the pending/potential lawsuit. Their side of the story will have to wait until the case makes it's way to court.

    Been there, done that, too, and it wasn't fun even though I won. For 2+ years I had to listen to all the BS, lies, innuendo and falsehoods from people in my community about what happened in my case and just keep my mouth shut. It paid off in the end but it was not something I'd wish on most people.

    I, for one, will not pass judgement on either side until a jury has heard the case and those of you that are should hope you're never placed in that situation.

    There are lots of people out there that see a quick way to make a buck by suing someone and they'll say/do almost anything to get what they want. Not saying that's the case here...just saying it happens every day.
     
  24. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,617
    Location:
    Alabama
    Beats me what happened and why. That's why I said there was obviously a WHOLE lot more to the story than what appeared in the newspaper. (Which probably hasn't been the first time, and won't be the last.)

    I am just sorry it happened to the poor man.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
  25. Powderman

    Powderman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,626
    Location:
    Washington State
    For all those reading, there is something very wrong here. Let's see if everyone who is so quick to bash the cops can catch it....

    Here's the first one. I'll even emphasize the points to concentrate on.

    1.
    2.
    So, for all you experts out there--what's wrong with this picture?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page