WATCH: Woman Suffered Miscarriage in Jail After Being Tasered by ‘Sadistic’ Guards

A woman suffered a miscarriage after ‘sadistic’ prison guards used their Tasers on her, as a new investigation opens up serious questions about deaths and serious injuries in US jails.

Martini Smith, who was 20 at the time, is one of several inmates who were stunned for not following orders.

Now video has emerged which appears to back up their claims.

News agency Reuters has identified 104 deaths involving Tasers behind bars, nearly all since 2000 – 10 percent of more than 1,000 fatal law enforcement encounters in which the weapons were used.

The Taser was listed as a cause or contributing factor in more than a quarter of the 84 inmate deaths in which the news agency obtained autopsy findings.

Of the 104 inmates who died, just two were armed.

A third of them were in handcuffs or other restraints when stunned. In more than two-thirds of the 70 cases in which Reuters was able to gather full details, the inmate already was immobilized when shocked – pinned to the ground or held by officers.

Smith, who was at the Franklin County Jail in Columbus, Ohio, in 2009 when she claims it happened, has previously been awarded $27,500 – which works out at around £20,500 – after the US Justice Department intervened.

In footage which has now surfaced, a prison guard is seen warning an inmate: “Stand up dude or I’m gonna Taser you again.”

The prisoner responds: “I can’t feel my legs man, I can’t.”

These videos, some of which have never been seen before, illustrate the claims.

Some inmates who were tasered for not following commands were impaired by drugs or alcohol, and one man was deaf

The sheriff’s office said each incident was a justified use of force and denied all wrongdoing.

Smith’s case is one of hundreds cited by Reuters of alleged Taser misuse in U.S. jails.

Eric Balaban, senior staff counsel with the National Prison Project of the ACLU, said: “It can be a recipe for disaster.”

He said without proper oversight, Tasers can often be misused in a correctional setting.

He stated: “There’s a place for Tasers, but it has to be extremely well-regulated. Officers have to be well trained in their use and their use has to be effectively audited by correctional professionals and supervisors.”

When that doesn’t happen, Reuters found it can lead to accusations of torture or abuse and in some cases death.

Axon, the weapon’s manufacturer says Tasers are an effective tool for jail and prison guards who typically do not carry guns.

They say the weapons also provide another option for controlling combative inmates.

In Franklin County, Ohio, officials declined to comment on the incidents of alleged Taser misuse.

After settling the lawsuit in 2011, the county prohibited guards from using Tasers on prisoners who pose no reasonable threat or those not resisting with physical force.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5645 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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