After a guard tased a mentally ill woman in October 2013 to compel her to change her clothes, officials at the Muscatine County, Iowa, Jail are considering requiring less Taser training for guards rather than more.
That's what Muscatine County Chief Jailer Dean Naylor told the Des Moines Register after the newspaper obtained records in January 2014 showing that Sgt. John Crump had not completed a jail-mandated annual refresher course on using his Taser in more than three years.
Crump is seen in jail surveillance video tasing mentally ill prisoner Marie Franks four times with 50,000 volts of electricity, including several times when she was handcuffed or in leg restraints surrounded by as many as six other jail staffers.
The last time Crump received annual Taser training—as required by Muscatine County jail policy—was March 27, 2010. Naylor said Crump's refresher training "just got missed" and, when pressed by the Register about it, added that Muscatine County Sheriff Dave White might nix mandatory refreshers "because obviously you wouldn't be able to question me about it if it wasn't in our policy."
"It's not necessarily a bad thing, but at the same time, do you want to hold yourself to that standard if it's difficult to maintain?" Naylor said.
"Why apply a standard to yourself that's hard to ensure that you're getting everybody done all the time?"
Neither federal nor state law mandates training guidelines for Taser use. In Iowa, as in many other states, the only Taser training provided to law enforcement and correctional employees is conducted by the device's maker, Arizona-based Taser International, which does not provide use-of- force instruction.
White himself refused to answer questions about Franks, but reportedly decided that no jail policies were violated by Crump. Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren also refused to criminally charge Crump in the incident.
Three weeks after Crump tased Franks, Muscatine County Cpl. Ryan Dreyer tased another jail prisoner. The Register learned that Dreyer had also failed to get Taser training.
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