Tasered….to Death by the police

Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer
Peter D Aiken
941-366-3506

March 23 2017

Almost every week you read or see a media report about someone dying from and encounter with the police where a Taser is used.

Many times the police are called by a relative concerning a family member who is off his or her medication and acting strangly. Sadly, the police do not receive a lot of training in dealing with mentally ill people. Sadly, some police only know , or claim to know, how to use “force”, when often, there is a better way to deal with the situation. What we need is more police training when it comes to the mentally ill. That is a particular problem when it comes to the homeless here in Sarasota. Many are truly mentally ill and helpless. They simply do not understand.

Taser death statistics are alarming.

If a person has a heart condition or is on drugs, being Tasered can result in cardiac arrest (a heart attack) and often death. The police will always claim that the use of force (the taser) was justified but often, it was not. The police justify using a taser claiming that it is better than some other form of force like a billy club or a gun. The problem may have been solved however without any form of force. If you are curious, go on Google and do some homework on taser deaths.

You can form your own opinion.

What you do not hear about are the deaths in jail or prison where a taser has been used. As a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer, I often come into contact with people who have been the victim of police excessive force. A dead giveaway is when you look at their booking picture. I you see the face bloodied or black and blue, chances are that person will have been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer. The police make that charge to justify the beating. I have had clients who were allegedly “taken down” with a leg sweep and slammed head first into the concrete. There are some great dedicated cops that with experience have learned to properly use force. There are some others that took the job because they are bullies or were themselves bullied early in life, and have copped an attitude. A badge and a gun in the hands of a policeman with “little man syndrome” is a dangerous thing.

If you or a close relative have been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer or were the victim of excessive force and want to talk, call me at 941 366 3506

Sarasota Prostitution Sting on the North Trail

Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer Peter D Aiken 941-366-3506
Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer
Peter D Aiken
941-366-3506

Is this the way you want your police dollars spent?

We have only limited police resources. It is all a matter of priorities. It takes quite a few officers off the streets to run one of these stings. Generally, the police put an undercover female officer on the North Tamiami trail making eye contact with passing drivers. The female officers will flirt and give off subtle signals to the passing men. If the men pull over, the female detective will walk up to the car and engage in suggestive comments and questions. Just pulling over and talking is enough to get you arrested. The men who are arrested have their cars seized and are subject to a $5000 civil penalty. The operations have “back up” in the form of uniformed officers and this generally ties up a half dozen policemen for several days.

Is it really worth it?

Prostitution is the oldest profession and has been around since the beginning of time. These operations target the “street walkers”, and the men who pull over, and not the high end prostitutes that work the hotel bars blocks away. Most of the real “hookers” are drug addicts and borderline homeless people who in desperation are selling sex to survive. These operations rarely go after the women hanging at the bar in the Ritz Carlton or Hyatt Regency or the downtown late night bars. Just getting arrested will result in your name in the paper and being placed on Mugshots.com. After that a Google search of your name will almost always result in a “hit” and prospective employers in the future will see and read of your arrest. Many men simply will not bother to fight this kind of entrapment and end up with a misdemeanor conviction, fine or civil penalty. My comment to the police is “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. These stings can destroy a person’s future forever. The same resources should be devoted to helping the “hookers” get off drugs, get off the streets and find a place to live. These women are desperate and need help. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.