Jonathan Turley with another heartbreaking Taser tale, this time in Baltimore. I keep saying this: Police departments will stop the indiscriminate use of tasers when citizens insist on it. Speak up in your town!
A disturbing lawsuit has been filed against the Baltimore County Police Department by Linda Johnson over the death of her husband, Architect Carl D. Johnson on May 27, 2010. Johnson was pepper sprayed, tasered, and beaten before his death on the way home from Bible study class.
Linda Johnson is suing the Maryland State Police, Baltimore County Police, individual commanders and six officers. Her lawsuit claims that her husband suffered a diabetic attack after calling a friend and crashing on I-795. First to the scene was State Trooper Davon Parker who pepper sprayed Johnson after he lowered his window of his car, which had crashed into the median. When Johnson got out of the car, Parker clubbed him on the knee and then allegedly another officer (Loss) clubbed him. When Baltimore County Police Officer Nicholas Wolferman arrived, he also allegedly beat Johnson. Three more officers arrived and one, Baltimore County Officer Andrew O’Neill tasered Johnson twice. Officer Loss then allegedly punched him in the face. Eight more officers then arrived — leaving one wondering if there were any officers left at headquarters. The complaint states that “there were approximately 52 individuals that responded to the scene.”
We have been following cases involving the use of tasers and excessive force by police. However, Baltimore has been cited as a standout jurisdiction in the use of tasers — leading to calls for investigation.
Johnson was only 48 and lives behind his wife of 27 years. Their son, Darren Johnson, predeceased his parents and Linda has now lost her husband.