The NYPD is conducting an internal affairs investigation after an officer used a Taser on a pregnant teenager.
The chaotic situation in the hallway of a Bronx apartment building was captured on cell phone video and then made its way to social media and the news media.
Dailene Rosario, a 17-year-old who is fourteen weeks pregnant, allegedly refused to allow cops access to her apartment without a search warrant. Officers then called for backup. (RELATED: Read more about the right to privacy at Liberty.news.)
“I was resisting them because I didn’t do anything wrong,” Rosario explained to News12. She also can be heard on the video screaming at officers that she’s pregnant before a plain-clothes cop uses a stun gun on her at what seems almost point-blank range. A bystander also tells the officers that woman is pregnant.
Officers were responding because two men, one of whom reportedly was the woman’s boyfriend, were allegedly fighting over a video game. The boyfriend was already gone by the time officers arrived, however, according to news accounts.
Rosario was taken into custody on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct but was later released.
Sustaining some bruises in the encounter, Rosario told the New York Daily News that “It’s like your whole side is on fire and you’re being stabbed at the same time. The hook was embedded into my skin so they had to cut it to take both the Tasers (barbs) out.” Her family plans to sue New York City over the incident. (RELATED: Read about more at excessive force at PoliceState.news.)
After being released from custody, she went to the doctor who fortunately assured her that the baby is going to be okay.
To make matters worse perhaps, the sergeant who deployed the stun gun was apparently too close for the device to immobilize someone, the New York Daily News separately reported. A distance of 7 to 15 feet is recommended by the manufacturer “so the Taser darts are far enough from each other to create a charge that can incapacitate the subject.” Moreover, NYPD policy cautions officers against knowingly using a Taser on pregnant women, kids, or those in ill health.
A police union official denied that any wrongdoing took place in the altercation. “I can tell you that from what I’ve seen, I really don’t see any issue with using the stun gun. She’s failing to comply with arrest. I mean, how do you know somebody is pregnant unless they absolutely look pregnant?” he remarked.
The NYPD has recently stocked up on stun guns, specifically the 50,000 volt X26 model, with about 12 distributed to each police precinct. The New York Times detailed last July that the NYPD lifted restrictions on Taser use as a way to minimize police shootings, and that about one-third of the force is trained to operate the device. “But some police watchdog groups and civil rights lawyers argue that with wider access to the weapons, officers may use Tasers even when they face little danger,” the Times noted.
A November 2015 Washington Post report claimed that about once a week, someone dies after being tased during a confrontation with police.