The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled on December 28 that police officers need sufficient reason to believe a suspect is dangerous before shooting them with a taser... The ruling sets judicial standards for police to follow, standards that people who are tasered may refer to when claiming they were victims of excessive force. When a suspect simply disobeys orders or acts erratically without posing an obvious danger, taser use is not justified.
"The objective facts must indicate that the suspect poses an immediate threat to the officer or a member of the public," Judge Kim Wardlaw declared in the unanimous ruling by the three-member court. ...Wardlaw noted that the stun guns cause a "painful and frightening blow" to the suspect. Taser use must therefore be restricted to situations where this level of substantial force is justified and there are no other options available. ... [LINK]
On the other hand:
Taser International spokespuppet Steve Tuttle said the California ruling applies only to that case. "The court's holding does not establish any new law for use of a taser..." electro-torture device, Tuttle said in an e-mail message. [LINK]
So, ah, go ahead - taser away like a lunatic. Nothing has changed.
Assuming that you still have faith in the high priests of The Church of Taser. They're never wrong...