Police Taser and Target the Disabled
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Cops Taser Man in Diabetic Shock

ABC 27 | February 17, 2005

n June of 2003, Carlisle police were called to the Sheetz convenience store on Route 11. There, 53 year-old Tom Gruver was incoherent and attempting to get into his car. To stop him, police used a Taser gun. The problem is Tom Gruver wasn't drunk, he was in diabetic shock. Tom Gruver is a local mechanic. And he's also a diabetic. Tom, "It literally burns the skin."

He was in diabetic shock in June of 2003, when he was approached by Carlisle police at the convenience store. He was so incoherent, police say he told them he had been drinking. To prevent him from getting into his car, police zapped Gruver with a Taser gun. Tom Gruver, "Like kinda grabbing ahold of a bare electric wire." After he was shocked, police saw Tom's diabetic necklace and helped him get treatment.

But Tom says the pain didn't end there. "I couldn't pick my granddaughter up for 3 months, it seemed like every joint in my body hurt." Carlisle Mayor Kirk Wilson says the borough and the Cumberland County district attorney reviewed the case and found the police did nothing wrong. "Both of those investigations concurred that the actions of police were appropriate and there wasn't any use of excessive force in attempting to control the situation."

The mayor also says the Taser probably prevented Tom and the officers from being injured in a physical fight. "I think we're all sorry the incident occurred. I'm not certain we're sorry we had to take the step that we did." But Tom is certain, police should not be using Taser guns. He says 1 1/2 years later, he still has nightmares. "I would love to see the Tasers thrown away, cops have too many toys now, they don't use their heads, they think they can use a stun gun to cure it all." Tom says he has no immediate plans to sue the borough, he simply wants an apology and compensation for his medical bills. A police video camera caught the incident on tape. The mayor denied our request to see the tape. He says he will not release a piece of evidence that "could" later be part of a legal action.

Woman with cerebral palsy sues police over arrest

AP | Feb 15, 2005

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) -- A woman who has cerebral palsy has sued the Dubuque police department, claiming officers abused her when they mistakenly believed she was drunk and arrested her.

The lawsuit, which was filed last week in federal court, says officers erroneously believed 18-year-old Carrie A. Bills was drunk when three officers physically restrained her at an apartment two years ago.

Bills says her medical condition causes her to walk with a limp, talk with a slur and leaves her with limited use of her left arm and hand. Bills claims that officers violated her civil rights by assaulting her and imprisoning her on February 11th, 2003.

Bills has requested a jury trial. Damages are unspecified.

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911:  The Road to Tyranny