Saturday, August 30, 2008

Broward deputies Taser mentally ill inmate twice in court

A Broward circuit judge had ruled the man, 22, was mentally incapable to stand trial
Joel Marino

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

10:46 AM EDT, August 30, 2008


Upset by a judge's ruling, a mentally ill defendant asked deputies to let him catch his breath before they carted him from the Broward Circuit Court back to jail on Friday, his lawyer said.

The deputies told him he had to go, according to Assistant Public Defender Anne LeMaster, and when he resisted, they shocked him with a Taser -- twice.

The county's Public Defender's Office says the deputies used excessive force and filed a complaint with the Broward Sheriff's Office. David Jones, 22, the inmate, was handcuffed and shackled, LeMaster said.

"It just seems as though Tasering was not necessary in this case," said Doug Brawley, head of the Public Defender's mental health division.

Jones asked for a brief break after Judge Geoffrey Cohen ruled the inmate was mentally incapable to stand trial and ordered transferred to a state mental hospital, LeMaster said.

Jones faces several charges from an April 21 arrest, including domestic battery by strangulation.

Two deputies told him he had to leave. LeMaster said they tried to get Jones to stand up and one punched him in the face when he resisted. She said they then shocked him with a stun gun.

"He told them to remove the prongs and then became very abrasive," she said. "When they didn't, he said 'Why don't you just Tase me again?'"

They did, she said.

Jones was hospitalized, but it was unknown if he returned to the Broward Main Jail on Friday night.

"Any time a Taser is used, it's well documented and we'll look into it," said sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal.

Staff Writer Brian Haas and Staff Researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.

1 comment:

miami said...

Public Defender's Office are taken good decision!
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