KC changes policy after Taser stun gun used on grandmother

Sunday, August 22, 2004

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police said Friday two officers have been disciplined and department policy changed following an investigation into the officers' use of a Taser stun gun when arresting a 66-year-old grandmother who honked her car horn at a police cruiser.

Louise Jones was arrested in June on charges of misuse of a car horn on a city street, resisting arrest and intentionally inflicting bodily harm on an officer. Her husband, Fred Jones, 74, was also arrested and charged with interfering with an arrest.

Police said Louise Jones tussled with officers when they tried to give her a ticket for honking the horn. One of the officers used the Taser, which is capable of issuing a 50,000-volt shock, to stun her. The officers said Fred Jones then came downstairs and jumped on one of the officers' backs.

Louise Jones said she pulled away from the police when one of the officers grabbed her arm, and her husband said one of the officers had his knee on his wife's chest.

As a result of an internal investigation, the department has raised the threshold for when Taser use is appropriate and now requires a field commander to look into each Taser deployment. Police also have developed a task force made up of community members and department personnel to look into the department's current Taser-use policies.

"This was an unfortunate incident that I believe could have been avoided if there would have been a less confrontational environment," said chief Richard Easley in a statement.

Police didn't indicate how the officers were disciplined.

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