Better Police Training Needed on Signs of Hypoglycemia

More and more instances of needlessly excessive police force with taser guns are coming to light when it comes to dealing with members of the public who have gone into diabetic shock as the result of a low blood sugar level, or who suffer from other conditions or disabilities that may affect their physical appearance or behavior.

The collection of stories below, including an instance of a blind woman who is suffering from cancer being tasered because police didn't realize she was blind, show the need for additional police training to better evaluate the behavior of individuals and the level of response required, including being able to recognize if someone's 'strange' behavior may be the result of a medical condition:





Police in Oklahoma Taser Man in Diabetic Shock


An Oklahoma driver ended up on the wrong side of a police taser because a medical condition left him helpless.
El Reno police officers approached a vehicle that had spun-out on the interstate. Inside was a man who they thought was drunk or on drugs.

The man was wrestled out of his truck on Interstate 40 because he wasn't cooperating with police. Moments later police tased the man.


After several attempts officers were finally able to get the combative man into custody. What they don't realize is the 53-year-old wasn't drunk or on drugs. He's was in severe diabetic shock. In fact, his blood sugar level at the time was 11.

> Read the full story and watch the video here

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Police in Alabama Taser Man in Diabetic Shock

Police in Ozark, Alabama, Tasered and arrested an unconscious, sober man who was having a diabetic seizure on November 6, then charged him with drunk driving and resisting arrest.


James Bludsworth, 54, was pulling a trailer in his black Nissan truck when he began to have a diabetic seizure. Bludsworth promptly pulled over to the side of the road, where he passed out.

> Read the full story here


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Police in Ohio Taser Blind Woman Suffering From Cancer


In Dayton, Ohio, citizens are upset over an incident where a blind woman, Denise Harris, 49, suffering from cancer was tasered by police — apparently while she was on the floor. The police insist that they needed to taser her “to control her hand movement.”

Family and neighbors insist that they told police that she was sick and was afraid. The initial police statements indicate that she was hit with the taser to facilitate cuffing — a very problematic rationale.

The police were reportedly trying to arrest Harris’ son on suspicion of robbery when things got ugly. In fairness, police often face hostile relatives in arrest situations, but it remains unclear why a taser was needed to be used for cuffing a blind cancer-victim (who is also suffering from diabetes).

The story will add to the controversial use of tasers as a routine matter by officers, including recent incidents of such use on a disabled man and pregnant mother and an 82-year-old woman and routine ticket violater. This is not to mention the case where the police entered the wrong apartment and then tasered a deaf man who was in his bathtub, here.

For the full story, click here and here.

> CNN Video Report of this story

> CNN Report on 'Cops Go Too Far?' on Taser Use

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Police in London Taser Man in Diabetic Shock

A diabetic in a coma and in need of urgent medical attention was shot with a stun gun by police who feared he was a suicide bomber. 



Nicholas Gaubert's bizarre ordeal happened just six days after the July 7 bombings with the country in a state of high alert. But apart from wearing a rucksack and being on a bus, he is bewildered as to how he could be mistaken for a terrorist.

Last night he accused police of using him for "target practice".

> Read the full story here

An interesting Taser case was filed by Norfolk, Va, attorney Stephen Smith. Steve, who has made a career out of representing clients with brain injuries, filed suit in the Norfolk Circuit Court seeking 5 million dollars against a city police officer.

Seems his client who previously suffered a serious head injury was accosted by the officer as she hoola-hooped in the median. She did this as recreation and carried with her paperwork explaining her condition. As the officer refused to heed her attempts to explain her behavior with her papers, Steve’s client became more agitated. The officer then decided to Taser this hapless soul.

Read more at:

http://hamptonroads.com/2009/01/attorney-officer-felt-he-had-taser-hula-hoop-lady

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RCMP Taser Disabled Man in British Columbia

Recently uncovered video of a disabled British Columbia man being shocked with a taser by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer has sparked controversy and once again brought the use of such weapons into the limelight.

John Dempsey suffers from a condition similar to Parkinson’s disease. However, two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in British Columbia still felt that he had to be tasered — even though there is no evidence of resistance in this booking room scene.

The video was shot in 2004 but only released recently. Of course, they can be given credit for even preserving the video, as opposed to a recent story out of New Orleans.

The video shows Dempsey taken to a booking after he was arrested for objecting to the rough treatment given to a friend who was being arrested. He was already handcuffed when the police used the taser.

This video follows a series of Canadian and American abuses of this widely distributed weapon. Here and here.

The Russians have also shown such abuse, here.

For the video, click here .

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Police in Kansas Taser Deaf Man in Bathtub In Wrong Raid

Donnell Williams had just gotten out of the bath tub, wearing only a towel around his waist, when he turned the corner to see guns pointing right at him.

"I ain't never been so scared," says Williams.

Police forced entry into Williams home while responding to a shooting, but it turned out to be a false call.  They had no idea at the time the call wasn't real and that Williams is hearing impaired.  Without his hearing aid he is basically deaf.

"I kept going to my ear yelling that I was scared.  I can't hear!  I can't hear!"

> Read the full story here

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