Death by Taser

Via Hot Air:

FHP trooper cleared in use of Taser, which put woman in vegetative state

One day last September, Danielle Maudsley, clad in handcuffs, bolted out the door of a Florida Highway Patrol substation after she had been arrested in a hit-and-run case.

A dashboard video camera in a patrol cruiser in the parking lot captured Trooper Daniel Cole chasing her. Cole was only a few feet behind her when he pulled out his Taser and fired its electric probes into her back.

Maudsley spun, fell backward and smacked her head on the asphalt parking lot. She lay there, bleeding and crying as Cole stood over her. Then she went unconscious.


“Tell me that’s not excessive force,” Cheryl Maudsley said. “I’m not saying she was an angel, but she didn’t deserve that. He couldn’t reach out and grab her? He was an arm’s length away.”

Cole had arrested Danielle Maudsley after she was suspected of leaving the scene of two traffic crashes. She had a suspended license and blood tests later showed she had cocaine and oxycodone in her system, the report states.

While she sat in the back of his cruiser, Maudsley removed her right hand from the handcuffs, the report said. When Cole opened the door to take her out, she told him, “I took this off.”

Maudsley was placed back in handcuffs and Cole took her into the substation, according to the report. As he worked on paperwork in a conference room, he sensed that Maudsley was moving, turned, and saw her at the main exit. He asked where she was going and got up from his seat before she ran out the door.

She’s now in a persistent vegetative state – effectively dead. The official verdict?


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11 Responses to Death by Taser

  1. HELENK says:

    bad judgement on both parts.
    Her for the drug use and him for using the tazer

  2. JeanLouise says:

    If the cop had tackled her, she still could have hit her head on the asphalt. There have been a number of uses of a taser that appear to be inappropriate but this doesn’t seem to be one of them.

  3. 1539days says:

    That was not death by TAZER. It was death by blunt force trauma. If you want to look at proximate cause, you can go back to the woman who could have killed others with those car crashes or the drug use.

    • myiq2xu says:

      In the law, a proximate cause is an event sufficiently related to a legally recognizable injury to be held the cause of that injury.

      It’s sometimes referred to as the “but for” test. But for the officer tasering the woman she would not have fallen and struck her head.

      The issue isn’t causation, the issue is whether the officer’s action was justified.

  4. yttik says:

    I hate to defend cops because I’m really tired of them abusing their authority, but we don’t know enough about this case to really pass judgment. She was allegedly on drugs and involved in two hit and run traffic accidents with a suspended license. We don’t know if she hurt anybody in those accidents. What was the cop supposed to do when she fled? Let her go? He said he was 265 pounds and afraid he would injure her if he tackled her. That’s probably true. Him slamming her into the pavement would have also been bad. He also said he was worried she was going to run into traffic and get hit by a car.

    • myiq2xu says:

      He could have handcuffed her with her hands behind her back and not let her be in a position where she could attempt to escape.

      Not to mention a tackle isn’t the only way to stop a fleeing suspect. Drug addicts typically run out of gas pretty quickly.

  5. DandyTiger says:

    I think that was excessive. Police need to be trained better in the use of that weapon. First and foremost, so they understand it’s a weapon. And that the weapon all by itself can kill. In this case of course it was the fall as a result of the taser, but that’s also something to take into consideration.

    I’m not sure if police all have too, but they should have to fill out all the same paperwork and go though the same reviews when they fire a taser as when they fire a gun. That might make them take it more seriously.

    In this case it seems she could have easily been chased down and subdued without a taser. How sad and unfortunate.

  6. Karma says:

    It looks like lazy police work which turned to excessive force to save face. He is 267 lbs and sorry it doesn’t really fly that getting hit by traffic that was the main concern. The real problem was that she could get away and that he would have to run in the heat after her. Or worse, getting teased by the boys that she jack-rabbited out of there and be forced to go on a diet to save his job.

    And since they don’t have 90lbs weakling settings on those. He knew she would hit the ground hard and he wouldn’t have to get sweaty in his uniform. As an extra bonus, the concrete would give that troublesome girl some bruises to suffer with during the week.

    I doubt he thought she would be injured so severely, but justified, no. He drew and fired a weapon on an unarmed girl. She didn’t charge him, she didn’t hit him, she ran. While he took the lazy way out hoping to plant some concrete bruises on her face to teach her a lesson.

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