CHELSEA, Vt. (Thursday, November 26, 2009) - The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has paid $40,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a man who claims he was tasered in 2006 by state police as he was having a seizure that was mistaken as an attempt to resist arrest. Lawrence Fairbrother of Fairlee, 57, said he’s been unable to work for years because of a disorder that causes sudden, random seizures. He was shocked by an electric stun-gun by police who had been called to assist him with a medical problem. He was charged with driving under the influence, which was later dropped. ... State police deny wrongdoing, state assistant attorney general J.J. Tyzbir told the Valley News. ... [LINK]
An attempted Thanksgiving Day news burial. LOL.
Take a moment to think about the denial of wrong-doing that accompanies the $40,000 check. Is the VT AG seriously claiming that the police did nothing wrong, but that they folded like a cheap lawn chair and settled anyway? WTF? In other words, he is claiming that even in cases where they "did nothing wrong", they will issue five-figure settlements for any taser incidents?
Let's assume for the moment that his denial isn't the normal rubbish, toss-away garbage statement often made in these circumstances. If it is true, then it makes the taser one heck of an expensive way to conduct police business. There are many other approaches that wouldn't cost $40,000.
Other subjects that might have been tasered in similar circumstances should form an orderly queue.
Personally, I'd suggest that the amount of the settlement be adjusted to account for the lack of an explicit apology. Denial of wrong doing should be a very expensive option.
Update - See the BigBaldwin blog. [LINK]
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