A federal appeals court says three Seattle police officers did not employ excessive force when they repeatedly tasered a visibly pregnant woman for refusing to sign a speeding ticket.
You know why the court overturned a lower court's ruling that her rights had been violated? Because the taser was set on "stun" instead of "dart." It seems that "temporary, localized pain" is okay in this sort of situation, while to qualify as excessive it would have had to cause "neuro-muscular incapacitation." This reminds us a great deal of the arguments made by certain members of the Bush Administration, who proposed that it wasn't torture until the organs failed.
To answer the sort of suspicious questions that Egg readers naturally ask: No, refusing to sign your ticket isn't the sort of thing they arrest you for. Yes, the tasered woman was black. And by the way, she was taking her kid to school.
For those whose curiosity is runs deeper, here's the answer: 50,000 volts each to the thigh, shoulder and neck. No word on amperage.
We sincerely hope that Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall and Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain are someday given the opportunity to judge firsthand whether "dart" is really that much worse than "stun."