It’s not a story that has anything to do with marijuana, but considering how many diabetics with peripheral neuropathy I know who use cannabis to treat the pain, this could have happened to one of ours. Once again, police are misusing the taser as an instrument of compliance when it was originally meant to subdue a suspect who is a violent threat to the officer’s life. I’ll say it again: if it wasn’t a situation where you could have legitimately used your firearm, officer, it’s not a situation where you should be using your taser.
(Courthouse News Service) A suburban Chicago police officer Tasered a man 11 times while he was having a diabetic seizure, and the 56 seconds of needlessly inflicted electric shock, “inflicted … while he was lying unresponsive on the floor of his bedroom, permanently scarred [him] and caused him neurological damage that has not abated,” the man claims in Chicago Federal Court.
Prospero Lassi says he suffered a diabetes-induced seizure at home on April 9. His roommate called 911, and police from LaGrange Park and Brookfield responded, with EMTs from LaGrange Park.
Lassi says his roommate explained to police that he was having a diabetic seizure. Lassi “was not alert and could not move his body.”
When the EMTs asked the cops to help them move Lassi from where he was lying on the floor, Lassi says, one of his “arms flailed during his diabetes-induced seizure, striking one of the LaGrange and Brookfield defendants. At no time did Mr. Lassi intentionally strike or offensively touch any of the LaGrange or Brookfield defendants.”
Lassi says LaGrange Park Officer Darren Pedota responded by Tasering him 11 times, for nearly a minute, as he lay helpless.
He was hospitalized for 5 days, and was unable to work for 3 months because of the attack, “and his quality of life has suffered substantially,” Lassi says.
“At no time did Mr. Lassi do anything to warrant the use of force against him. Mr. Lassi was never cited, arrested, or charged with any crime,” according to the complaint.
He seeks punitive damages for battery, excessive force, and failure to intervene. He is represented by Arthur Loevy of Loevy & Loevy.
Officer Pedota must have really thought his life was in danger from the unarmed unresponsive spastic diabetic lying on the floor surrounded by EMTs and police.