Nsenga K. Burton
May 17, 2012

Next week the U.S. Supreme Court will be meeting to decide whether to hear an appeal from three Seattle police officers on the future of “a useful pain technique,” commonly known as the use of a Taser.

You may recall the case of Malaika Brooks, a woman in the third trimester of her pregnancy, who had Seattle police use a stun gun on her while she was driving her 11-year-old son to school. Brooks was stopped for a moving violation and agreed to accept a ticket but refused to sign it, thinking that it would be an admission of guilt.

Failure to sign a ticket for a moving violation is a crime in Washington, so the police officers placed Brooks under arrest. Brooks refused to get out of the car, telling police officers that she was pregnant and had to use the restroom. Because Brooks posed no immediate threat, the officers actually had time to discuss how to handle the situation.

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