Tasered 86-Year-Old Wins Excessive Force Trial

Thursday, March 31, 2011
Lona Varner
Three police officers from El Reno, Oklahoma, will face trial for repeatedly shooting an 86-year-old woman with a Taser gun, a local judge has ruled.
The officers went to the home of Lona Varner on December 22, 2009, after her grandson and a healthcare provider called 911 asking for medical assistance. Varner, according to police, threatened them with a knife from her bed, allegedly proclaiming to have “killed four Japs in World War II” and “would not bat an eye killing” them.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot, however, decided the officers who attacked Varner, Thomas Duran and Joseph Sandberg, used excessive force on the elderly woman in Tasering her, in light of the fact that she was bedridden and on oxygen. A third officer, Frank Tinga, is accused of ordering Duran to begin firing.
Judge Friot also gave the go-ahead for Varner’s grandson, Lonnie Tinsley, to pursue his claim of unlawful arrest against Tinga, after he tried to protect his grandmother, shouting, “Don’t Tase my granny.”
The trial is expected to begin on April 11.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Granny Tasered by Police Gets Excessive Force Trial (by Matthew Heller, On Point News)
Oklahoma Police Taser Bedridden 86-Year-Old Woman (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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