NY Police May Now Taser Suspects in Order to Collect DNA Evidence
By: John Russell

It is now legal for the police in New York to “drive stun” suspects with a taser in order to collect DNA evidence from them. A judgment issued by the New York Supreme Court Judge Sara Sperrazza ruled that the police in Niarga Falls who shocked Ryan Smith into compliance to gather a DNA sample was ruled Constitutional.

Smith was grabbed on the street by two detectives and brought to police headquarters.
He refused to give another sample, objecting to the authority of the court order. He told the officers that they would have to “Tase” him to get another swab.
Police considered holding him down and forcing open his mouth. A Niagara Falls detective lieutenant called an assistant district attorney, who told him they could use the “minimum” force necessary to obtain the sample.
A video shows Smith handcuffed, seated on the floor with his shirt pulled up over his bare shoulders. Police can be heard telling him that the Taser would be “painful and unpleasant,” but he persisted in his refusal, according to the judge.
The officer applied the Taser to Smith’s shoulder area, which caused him to cry out and pull away. The data record for the device showed it was activated for 4 seconds.
“The video recording indicates that the defendant did yell out as if in pain and then agreed to comply with the order,” Sperrazza wrote.
Smith allegedly was unconscious when the swab was taken, and was arrested for refusing to submit to a court order.

“It’s terrifying,” Balkin said. “You should never use force to collect evidence. We’re headed down the wrong way if we’re going to do that.”

Is this how we are going to be treating people who are supposed to be innocent until proven otherwise? If you were wrongly accused of committing a crime (which I think has happened at least once before in history) and the police kidnapped you, handcuffed you, and brought you to a police station where they forced you to give DNA evidence by lifting up your shirt and shocked you with a stun gun until you complied - would this be considered proper administration of justice?

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View Comments Posted in Justice, Law Enforcement Series, Police, The State
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