Annapolis, MD – A federal court recently put police on notice: They could lose on-the-job immunity from civil lawsuits if they use a Taser to shock suspects in the face of nonviolent resistance.

In a ruling this year from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which includes Maryland, a panel of judges found it unlawful to use a Taser on an unarmed, mentally ill man who was holding on to a pole to avoid being taken into custody. The man died afterward. That was one of several rulings in recent years in which judges deemed it excessive force to use a stun gun on suspects who are resisting arrest but pose no immediate danger.


Baltimore Sun