Woman left brain-dead after being hit by police taser
Published 22/02/2012 | 12:26
A 20-year-old American woman has been left brain-dead after being hit with a police taser from just a couple of feet away.
Danielle Maudsley was flung to the ground in September last year after Trooper Daniel Cole fired his stun gun at her as she attempting to flee arrest. She was still wearing handcuffs as she made the escape bid.
Footage of the incident, which happened outside a Florida Highway Patrol Station, show Trooper Cole firing the weapon despite only being an arms distance away. The video was recorded by a camera in nearby police car.
As the electric prongs struck the young woman, her body tensed, spun around and smacked the ground, her head hitting the asphalt hard.
Moments later she held her hands to her bleeding head and was heard crying before police instructed her to “lie down”. After the footage ended she is said to have blacked out and remained unconscious ever since.
Doctors have said she is unlikely to ever wake up.
Trooper Cole claimed he had reached for his taser as he was worried Miss Maudsley would be hit by a passing car. As to why he hadn't tried to restrain her physically, he said he had been concerned they both would be injured if he tried to tackle her to the ground.
He later added that he would not have done anything differently in light of the outcome.
The police officer was cleared of any wrongdoing by the US Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Miss Maudley’s mother Cheryl said she intends to launch legal action against Florida highway patrol over the incident.
“Tell me that’s not excessive force. I’m not saying she was an angel, but she didn’t deserve that,” she told local paper the Tampa Bay Times. “He couldn’t just reach out and grab her? He was an arm’s distance away. My daughter is dead because of this. She won’t come back.”
Miss Maudley had been arrested after allegedly leaving the scene of two traffic accidents. She was later found to have had cocaine and oxycodone in her body.
Experts in use of force expressed shock at the footage saying: "It just doesn't make any sense. I don't see where it's going to be that hard to apprehend her." Another expert called the police tactic "inappropriate".