You are not going to believe this video! I was alerted to it by a post on attorney Eric Turkewitz’s blog. Eric practices personal injury law in New York City, but “Minivan Mom Tasered in Syracuse” hits close to home here.
Apparently Syracuse mom Audra Harmon, a school bus driver and mother of three, was pulled over by Deputy Sean Andrews in January for talking on her cell phone. Except she wasn’t. And that’s provable with the cell phone records – so I think at that point the deputy was stuck.
Deputy Andrews changed the charge to speeding – 50 in a 45 mph zone. Harmon argued the charge (as a school bus driver, she’s likely to know and obey speed limits). She got out of the car to see the radar recording – Andrews ordered her back in the car, then decided to declare her under arrest and demanded she get out of the car. When Harmon resisted getting out again (she was frightened at that point) he forced her out and Tasered her – twice.
There is no way this cop was under any threat of harm from this mom and it’s clear that he Tased her only because she was asking him some questions he did not want to answer.
A Taser is a dangerous and potentially fatal weapon (over 200 people have been killed by Tasers). Its use should be reserved for those times when it is necessary to protect the officer or a third party. In this case it was a dangerous tool in the hands of somebody without the judgment or temperment to handle it.
You can watch what happened in the video here:
|Deputy Tasers Mom In Minivan|
The video is courtesy of the Syracuse Post-Standard. The newspaper’s story “Mom in minivan tasered twice in Salina traffic stop; camera captures deputy’s rough roadside arrest,” (O’Brien, 8/13) was originally printed on Aug. 13. That was also the day Harmon planned to file lawsuit against the police department over the incident, she told the Post-Standard.
I have a high degree of respect for most police officers, but sadly there are a few rotten apples who spoil the entire bushel. The Post-Standard also reported that Deputy Andrews, at first just taken off road duty, has recently been suspended without pay (“Deputy in Tasered mom case is suspended without pay” (O’Brien, 8/19)
Thanks for reading,
James B. Reed, Esq.
New York Accident Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529