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Officer granted qualified immunity after using taser to effect arrest

In Hagans v. Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a wrongful death claim against a Deputy who tasered Hagans' decedent during an arrest.  Hagans' autopsy showed that he died of a cocaine overdose, probably exacerbated by the Taser electric shocks received by his heart.  He had been prone on  the ground, surrounded by officers, when he was Tasered.  So far as the officer who Tasered Hangans knew, he had not struck any blows at officers surrounding him, and was not a threat to escape.  He did, however, resist being handcuffed. 

The Court concluded that since 99.7% of Taser victims are not permanently injured, the Deputy should be immune for using this relatively new technology to effect Hagans' arrest, even if by hindsight it inflicted fatal force on a an unwarranted, intoxicated individual.

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