Court: Seattle Police OK to Taser Pregnant Woman

March 26, 2010 - 5:35 PM
A federal appeals court says three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket.
Seattle (AP) - A federal appeals court says three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket.
 
Malaika Brooks was driving her son to school in 2004 when she was stopped for doing 32 mph in a school zone. Rather than give her the ticket and let her go on her way, the officers arrested her. They used a Taser three times when she refused to get out of her car.
 
A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Friday that the officers were justified in using force because of the threat that Brooks could have picked up her car keys off the floor, started the car and driven away erratically.
 
The dissenting judge called the ruling "off-the-wall," and said the police officers had no authority to arrest Brooks - let alone the authority to use a Taser on a nonthreatening woman who was seven months pregnant.