by German Lopez
Posted In: News
at 09:51 AM | Permalink
At least 16 county agencies deploy outdated Tasers
A study on Taser use in Hamilton County released Oct. 1 by a local law firm that has represented Taser victims in the past four years seeks
to shed light on the problems behind Taser use in the county and
The study, which looked at 39 law enforcement agencies around Hamilton County through public record requests, listed a few key findings:
Out of the 39 agencies, 33 use Tasers.94%
of agencies’ materials do not adequately warn that Tasers can capture
the heart rhythm of the subject, possibly leading to death.67% of
policies permit upper chest shots despite the manufacturer’s warning
moving the preferred target zone away from the upper chest.70%
of policies do not instruct officers to consider the seriousness of the
crime before deciding whether or not to use the Taser.33%
policies do not specifically instruct officers to consider the risk of
secondary impact of falling from an elevated surface subsequent to Taser
of policies do not restrict Taser use on vulnerable populations such as
juveniles, elderly individuals, or the visibly pregnant despite the
increased risk associated with those populations. 100%
of policies fail to require that Tasers output be tested to ensure that
the actual performance of the device is within manufacturer’s
of policies do not require an investigation that includes a data
download from the Taser’s memory chip after use to independently verify
the number and duration of shocks delivered to the subject. 15%
of policies explicitly authorize officers to use their Taser on a
fleeing subject, regardless of the crime or the threat to the public. At least 16 of the agencies deploy Tasers that are older than their estimated useful life. Two agencies that deploy Tasers maintain no Taser-specific policy.One agency deploys Tasers even though the agency’s policy prohibits their use
The study also pointed out that the tension behind Taser
use “does not exist only in the abstract,” referencing the more than 500
deaths involving Taser use in the United States.Al Gerhardstein, the local attorney behind the study, hopes the findings will lead to a change in Taser policies around the county.Tasers, which get their name off the company that manufactures them, are supposed to be nonlethal weapons. They work by firing two barbs into a subject. The barbs then penetrate the target's skin and deliver a shock of high voltage, causing temporary paralysis. The weapons are supposed to allow police officers to subdue a dangerous target without resorting to potentially lethal force. The most common Taser model is the X26.
On Sept. 18, the Cincinnati Police Department established
new guidelines for Taser use, which the department now says are adequate
for dealing with the problems found in Gerhardstein’s study. The new
policy disallows the use of frontal shots except in situations involving
self-defense and the defense of others, reinforces the fact officers
need to make sure force is necessary and specifically points out people
have been injured due to Taser use in the past.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
An internal police investigation determined that officers
acted improperly in a July 10 car chase that ended up with one child
seriously injured and four teenagers hurt.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 9, 2012
In an attempt to better understand
the effects of probiotics found in yogurt, and whether they have
something to do with weight loss, the researchers fed one group of mice a
normal food and gave another group the same diet plus a
mouse-sized serving of vanilla yogurt. Male mice that were given yogurt
became slimmer and had shinier coats then those that did not, and the
yogurt-eating mice also became more desirable to all the hot lady mice.
In fall 1973, UFO hysteria gripped the Queen City
3 Comments · Tuesday, January 31, 2012
In mid- to late-October of 1973, just days
before tens of thousands of costumed kids were to hit the streets of
Cincinnati and surrounding communities for Halloween night, southwest
Ohio was under invasion — an invasion that seemingly came from the
heavens, and police and government officials across the region were on
by Kevin Osborne
Councilman: It’s needed to offset retirements
Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld wants his colleagues to approve a police recruit class for next year, the first since June 2008.There currently are 1,022 sworn officers in the Cincinnati Police Department, along with 115 non-sworn staff. The high-mark during the past decade occurred in 2008, when there was a total of 1,148 sworn officers and 229 non-sworn staff.By November 2013, based on department retirement projections and without the addition of a new recruit class, the Police Department's complement will be down to 964 sworn officers — 184 fewer sworn officers than in 2008.“By the end of 2014, without the addition of a recruit class, our police force will be 197 officers below the authorized complement level,” Sittenfeld wrote in a memo to his colleagues.“The Police Department has communicated the importance of a recruit class as a simple reflection of the numbers,” he added. “In the same way that council has needed to be realistic about our highest police staffing levels being financially unsustainable, we must also be realistic about how low we can allow staffing levels to fall and still provide the service that is expected.”Other council members haven’t yet weighed in on the issue, which is a topic that likely will be brought up during budget hearings later this year.
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 25, 2012
More than a decade after Cincinnati voters
decided they wanted to change the way the city’s Police Department
operates, they’re finally seeing real, significant results.
by Danny Cross
Posted In: 2011 Election
, 2012 Election
, Occupy Cincinnati
, Occupy Wall Street
, Social Justice
, County Commission
at 11:23 AM | Permalink
The Hamilton County Commissioners' stadium funding failures have caused County Auditor Dusty Rhodes to describe a “dream world” where politicians think their inaction doesn't affect anybody. Today's news that the stadium fund will be bankrupt by March without additional funding has not deterred Republican Chris Monzel and Democrat Todd Portune from giving property owners the tax credit that convinced them to vote for the 1996 sales tax increase."It would be the height of irresponsibly to commit funds they knew were not there," Rhodes said. "I've long criticized various governments for living in dream world. "This takes it to a whole new level," Rhodes said.
by Danny Cross
One of the judges overseeing the Occupy Cincinnati trespassing cases says there's nothing in the city charter that gives the Park Board the authority to dole out misdemeanors. Several other municipal court judges either declined comment or said they would consider the point Stockdale makes in his letter if it is raised during the hearings.Attorneys for the protesters said they intend to do just that. They already have asked judges to dismiss the charges on grounds the park board rules violate the free speech rights of the protesters.They say Stockdale’s letter raises another weakness in the city’s case against their clients. “Whether it’s a violation of the First Amendment or an over-reach by the park board, they are clearly relevant questions,” said Rob Linneman, an attorney for the protesters.
by Danny Cross
An organization called Citizens' League Against Subsidized Sports is gathering signatures for a ballot measure that would add a tax on Reds and Bengals tickets. Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann says he knows that the county's lease doesn't allow it to institute a ticket tax but that it doesn't say anything about a citizens' initiative.Police costs are rising even though the force is shrinking, partially because it hasn't hired any new officers since 2008 while the top ranks have held steady. The SB 5 debate is expected to draw a high voter turnout, which could bode well for school levies as voters come out to vote "no" on Issue 2.
by Danny Cross
Streetcar proponents have spent considerably more on their campaign than the anti-streetcar people, probably because Issue 48 is so wide-reaching it has brought out people concerned with things way more important than the streetcar such as regional planning, commuter rail and making Cincinnati not look like it totally sucks. Also being outspent are the SB 5 supporters, who have seen support decline dramatically in recent weeks as people look around their neighborhoods and see a bunch of regular people whose rights would be taken away. And Building a Better Ohio does unethical things like this, which makes people think they are meanies. Here's a blog about City Council candidate Chris Smitherman arguing against all the legal experts who say Issue 48 will block all rail construction through 2020.