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Taser Constitutes “Intermediate Force”; Law not Clearly Established on Taser Use, Ninth Circuit Decides

The development of a Taser constitutes “intermediate” force, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided June 18, 2010.

Carl Bryan sued a Caranado, California cup, the city of Caranado after he was Tased on July 24, 2005. The cop Tased Bryan after he allegedly took “one step” towards him. As a result, Bryan fell to the asphalt fracturing four teeth and suffering facial contusions. Bryan sued, arguing that the cop used excessive force. The district court denied qualified immunity. The cop appealed and the Ninth Circuit reversed.

The Court of Appeals agreed with the district court that the cop’s use of the Taser was excessive use of “intermediate force.” However, the court held that the law concerning Taser use was not clearly established. The judgment of the district court was accordingly reversed.

See: Bryan v. MacPherson, 608 F. 3d 614 (9th Cir. 2010).

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Related legal case

Bryan v. MacPherson