Monday, July 02, 2012

Driver in diabetic shock killed by cops with pepper spray and Tasers

The widow of a Baltimore, Maryland man that died after being assaulted by cops and repeatedly stunned with Taser guns is hoping that a just-filed lawsuit will bring justice following the slaying of her husband.

Linda Johnson is seeking more than $10 million in punitive damages stemming from a May 27, 2010 run in with the law that left her husband, a 48-year-old, dead.

Carl D. Johnson was driving home from a Bible study class two years ago, his wife says, when he suffered a severe diabetic reaction. Several 911 calls were placed by automobile drivers who witnessed Johnson drive erratically on the shoulder of a Baltimore-area highway after he allegedly went into shock. When cops made it to the scene to investigate the incident, though, things took a turn for the worst.

Responding officers say Mr. Johnson did not cooperate with them as they approached his vehicle, but his wife writes in a court filing that things were different. According to the complaint, State Trooper Davon Parker arrived on the scene first, tapped on the window or Mr. Johnson’s car and then blasted the man with a burst of pepper-spray.

Still suffering from the diabetes-related episode, Johnson exited the car only to be clubbed at least once in the knee. Police accounts attest that Johnson tried to fight off the officers, but the just-filed lawsuit insists that a second officer then arrived and assaulted Johnson similarly with his own nightstick.

According to the complaint, Baltimore County Police Officer Nicholas Wolferman then arrived, struck Johnson “at least three times” with his baton and then, along with another officer, “grabbed Mr. Johnson and threw him over the guardrail.”

His widow says she believes five cops were present when Officer Andrew O’Neill fired his Taser gun at Johnson twice. Then, reads the complaint, another officer punched the man in the face before he was handcuffed.

By the end of altercation, 52 individuals in all were believed to be dispatched to the scene. More than a dozen were on the scene, says Mrs. Johnson, when cops removed the man’s wallet — which included a medical alert cart explaining his condition — as he laid dying on the ground.

Johnson then went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead an hour later.

More at


Bob said...

The police officers that commit these sorts of acts have demonstrated beyond a doubt that they are incapable of self-control in situations where self-control is vital.

The excuses that have been so often to justify their conduct seldom - if ever - hold water, such as: "I thought he was reaching for a gun", or "he tried to take a swing at me", or "He was refusing my orders to (whatever)", or "he was resisting arrest".

None of those usual excuses justify the murder of a citizen that is not being suitably pliant or submissive in the offiers eyes.

When a citizen acts unexpectedly - such as one in a diabetic coma - far too many offciers react like cornered animals, reaching for their tazer or their weapon, resulting in tragedies like the one in this story.

These kinds of officers need to be removed from the streets and disarmed, since they have proven they do not have the mental capability to correctly access a situation without resorting to violence.

Police officers hold the power of life or death in their hands. They must be held to a much higher standard of conduct than the ordinary unarmed citizen. They need far better emotional control.
They need to have enough mental acuity to read a situation quickly and correctly.

Individuals who cannot control their emotions in stressful situations should never become police officers, or allowed to hold any position that lets them carry a deadly weapon.

Who was it that said," an armed society is a polite society"?

They may have been more right than they realized. If a policeman knows that everyone he meets is armed and has the right to protect themselves from assault, the conduct of that policeman will be far different than that of the fifty or so officers that responded to the above tradegy.

Look closely at the picture in the article. The officer is ready to shoot and kill a man who is reacting unexpectedly and almost unconcious because of a diabetic coma. Eventually, the officers present did beat him to death.

Suppose that citizen had been you?

texlahoma said...

Bob - Well said, I have nothing to add.

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