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Woman claims excessive force in Taser use

WTHR | June 2, 2005

Police car video of a traffic stop late one night in November of 2003 shows two officers questioning a suspected drunk driver at a gas station at 116th Street and Brooks School Road.

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Minutes later, Hamilton County Sheriff Deputy Greg Lockhart made a declaration as the woman reached into her car for her cell phone. "It's Taser time."

"It felt like he was trying to pull my arm out of the socket. It was an incredible pain, an incredible pain."

Jennifer Marshall, five-foot five and 105 pounds, says she couldn't believe an officer who outweighs her by nearly three times, along with a second deputy, used a Taser. "It was almost like it was a malicious, vindictive movement like, drop to the ground but I am just going to keep pushing this button and I know you can't fall. It was just very horrible."

According to police records obtained by Eyewitness News, before the Taser incident, officers say Marshall's eyes were bloodshot and she failed a series of field sobriety tests as well as registered .09 on a portable breathalyzer, which is above the legal limit.

When asked if she had been drinking that night, Marshall replies, "The alcohol I had consumed was from cough medicine and that was several hours prior to this happening."

Authorities charged Marshall with seven offenses; including felony intimidation, battery, resisting law enforcement and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Marshall says during the stop she got agitated with the officers and cursed at them, but she says nothing rose to the level of officers needing to use a Taser.

"There was no fighting and there was no force applied to that officer whatsoever." Marshall's attorney says what especially concerns him is that at least ten seconds passed between the officer announcing "Taser time" and when he used it. "If you are really faced with a genuine situation where there is an immediate threat to the officer or that person to themselves, you are going to react quickly."

Deputy Lockhart, in court records, states "he had to use the Taser on her left arm to get her to stop resisting." Lockhart also states, concerning the battery charge, Marshall "poked me in the chest three times."

Marshall and her attorney say they are considering suing Hamilton County for excessive force. A jury trial on the criminal charges against her begins next Wednesday.

Hamilton County's chief deputy prosecutor says she can't comment specifically about this case since it is so close to trial.


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