Terrible Cops Tase a Pregnant Woman Three Times for Speeding

Illustration for article titled Terrible Cops Tase a Pregnant Woman Three Times for Speeding

Have you ever thought about how many times it would be acceptable for a police officer to use a taser on a pregnant woman? Probably not, because doing it even once sounds totally insane! And yet the Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to hear a case that involves a very pregnant woman who was tased not once but three different times. What would lead the cops to take such action? Oh, she did something truly terrible: She got stopped for driving 32 miles and hour in a 20 mph zone. Jesus F-ing Christ.


Here's what went down. Malaika Brooks was seven months pregnant and taking her 11-year-old son to school in Seattle. The police pulled her over for speeding, and she said she'd accept the ticket, but would not sign it—which the state law required she do. She thought signing it was an acknowledgment of guilt, which it actually wasn't. Of course, instead of asking why she wouldn't sign it and clearing the situation up, the cops called a sergeant, who showed up and told them to arrest Brooks. She refused to get out of the car, so one of the officers flashed his taser at her and asked if she knew what it was. She said no, and said, "I am pregnant. I'm less than 60 days from having my baby."

That didn't faze the cops, however, because they didn't believe her claim. They just thought she was fat. Classy. So they put the taser in "drive-stun mode," which delivers a "localized pain compliance option," which they said they knew was safe for pregnant women from their training. They then tased her once in the thigh, once on the arm, and once in the neck. Can you say "excessive force"?

Would it have been better for her to get out of the car when asked? Probably. But did she really present such a threat that she needed to be tased multiple times—or even once, for that matter? Uh, no. What's odd is that the police ultimately won the court case that ensued, but they've appealed to the Supreme Court because the lower court ruled that while they did use excessive force, they were immune from Brooks's claim. That's not good enough for them because they feel the ruling restricts their ability to use a taser on other people in the future. I guess the Seattle police are really desperate to keep tasing pregnant women. Beware, anyone with child in the area: Obey all traffic laws unless you and your unborn baby want to be on the business end of a taser.

How Many Times Can You Tase a Pregnant Woman Before Your Case Winds Up Before the Supreme Court? [Above the Law]



I hate cops. Hate them. I hate that there's some sort of imaginary set of rules you have to follow with them and way you have to speak to them. Why the fuck do I have to automatically respect them while they can talk to me any way they want? And if I don't, they get to do shit like this.

ETA: Don't even get me started about situations where I didn't even do anything "wrong", like when the cops ask to check my bags before allowing me on the subway or make me stop at one of their check points while driving.