man tasered by cop in his own home

cop taser

Check this out. This article popped up in my Digg today:

FBI reviewing Tasering of sleeping man; no charges file
The Associated Press, 11/03/07 12:53 PM EDT
UPDATED: 11/03/07 12:57 PM EDT

Two North Braddock police officers won't face criminal charges for Tasering a man who was asleep at home. But the FBI will review the incident for possible civil rights violations.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. says county police determined Officers Gerard Kraly and Lukas Laeuricia (loo-REE'-see-uh) didn't commit a crime when they Tasered Shawn Hicks, who was sleeping on his couch.

Police came to Hicks home because they were alerted by a silent security alarm at his home about 2 a.m.

Hicks says the officers Tasered him again after he woke up and showed them ID to prove he lived at the home. Hicks' attorney says he will pursue civil action.


Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

What the fuck is the world coming to? A man can't even fall asleep and feel safe in his own home anymore? What the fuck?

This article is kinda short, so I decided to Google it for more information, and I found this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which is kind of a weird name for a newspaper. How are they are Post and a Gazette at the same time?

Tasered at his own home: the Shawn Hicks story
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
By Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
When Shawn Hicks returned to his North Braddock home on Stokes Avenue after a Saturday night out on the town with friends, he didn't bother turning on the lights.

Who would? Once you are drunk, lights can be irritating. That's why, when you are drunk, you become like the Daredevil. Your other senses sorta kick into overdrive. You don't really need to use your eyes. Your sorta rely on your other senses more. You sense where your car is. You sorta jam the key into the ignition (touch), and the next thing you know, you are already home. When you get home, you jam your key, yet again, into the door, and somehow you manage to take off you clothes, and stumble to bed (you smell your bed, don't deny it). And then waking up the next day, for those who are unlucky, with a fucking hangover, without knowing how you accomplished all that.

It's just like when men pee at night. We don't really use the sense of sight when we wake up in the middle of the night to take a piss. We get up from bed, stumble to the toilet, pull the hose and commence peeing. If we hear water splashing, good. If we feel our feet getting wet, no good. If we hear water on the floor, no good. We adjust the hose till we hear water splashing. Then we stumble back to bed. It's the hard truth. If you are a female reader, haven't you ever wonder why most men's apartment don't have a shaggy carpets near the toilet bowl?

Instead of heading to his bedroom, Mr. Hicks, a 29-year-old business major at Point Park University, plopped himself face down and fully dressed on his cream-colored leather sofa in his living room. He also neglected to deactivate his home security system, which has a silent alarm.

Surrounded by the darkness and familiar comforts of his home, Mr. Hicks was asleep within five minutes. He didn't know it at the time, but he was not destined to have sweet dreams that night.

I guess the "Daredevil thing" just doesn't work if you have a home security system. It's clearly designed for people who are sober because no drunk person can key in the sequence of number correct (points to the drunk if they can key in the number correctly with their limited motor function capability, double points to them if they can even remember the password to the home security system).

And how the fuck did he know that he fell asleep within five minutes? I guess he wasn't drunk enough.

"I felt a lot of voltage going through my body," Mr. Hicks said recalling the events of that late July weekend. "That's what woke me up."

Jumping to his feet, Mr. Hicks was aware of an intense sensation between the shoulder blades of his 150-pound body. It didn't stop there. His whole body felt as if it were on fire.

"I felt a lot of voltage going through my body,", not the good way I guess. I wonder what's it like to be tasered.

When his eyes finally adjusted to the light, his heart skipped yet another beat. Two North Braddock police officers, Gerard Kraly and Lukas Laeuricia, were standing in his living room. To this day, Mr. Hicks still doesn't know which is Kraly and which Laeuricia.

The shorter of the two officers did most of the talking. His mustached partner was a burly over-6-footer in his late 30s or early 40s. He held the Taser, the prongs of which were sticking in Mr. Hicks' back.

What, only one taser? Where's the fucking mace? Where's the pepper spray? The guy, Hicks, sleeping on the couch could be carrying a fucking weapon. Maybe a fully loaded cushion. My god! Imagine the damage the cushion could have caused. Imagine how dangerous it is to get projectile vomitted by a drunk guy!! Imagine that!

The polite family newspaper version of what Mr. Hicks said in response to being electrified translates roughly as "What's going on here?"

The shorter cop, whom Mr. Hicks remembers as blond, asked him to calm down. The officer said that North Braddock police received a call from the security company monitoring Mr. Hicks' home. They believed a break-in was in progress.

The cops had entered the home, turned on the light and found Mr. Hicks asleep on the sofa. If they identified themselves or ordered him to get up, Mr. Hicks said he did not hear it. He said he wasn't aware of their presence until he was shot in the back with a Taser.

Imagine that..asking someone who's pissed drunk to wake up.

According to Mr. Hicks, the cops were skeptical. "How do we know that you're who you say you are?" the shorter of the two cops asked.

I'm guessing at that point, even Hicks doesn't know who he is.

At that point, the cop holding the Taser squeezed the trigger, sending Mr. Hicks into paroxysm of agony. It was not a short jolt like the first one he received. He fell to the floor. His screams woke the neighbors.

"What do you want?" Mr. Hicks asked. "Please stop [shooting] me." The shorter cop helped him to his feet. Swaying unsteadily, he offered to show them his identification. They searched him and found his wallet. After inspecting it, they threw the wallet on the coffee table.

Cop 1 (to Cop 2): Gee, this fucker looks nothing like the picture ID. Maybe if we tasered him one more time, ...
Cop 2 (chants): Ta-ser! Ta-ser! Ta-ser! Better be safe than sorry!
Cop 1: Maybe it's really him.
Cop 2: Let's taser him again, just to be sure.
Hicks: Fuck!

"I told you I lived here and that I'm the legal resident," he shouted, believing he finally had justice, common decency and the angels of heaven on his side. A staff member at the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, Mr. Hicks counts himself on the side of the law-abiding citizen.

A brutha? Holy shit, this makes it interesting. Is it a racial thing now? Is there some sort of racial stereotype stirring? Is the guy's pants hanging a little too low below the ass-cheeks?

The cop with the Taser squeezed the trigger again, anyway. Mr. Hicks flapped his arms wildly, but didn't fall. All he could do was scream loud enough to be heard all over the Mon Valley.

Cop 1: Dance for me monkey, dance for me!
Hicks: Fuck!

After removing the pellets from his bloody back, the cops handcuffed Mr. Hicks and led him out his front door to a police van. They did not read him his rights, Mr. Hicks says. The back of his shirt was soaked with warm, sticky blood.

How did sleeping in your own house become a crime? When did accidentally forgetting to shut off your own home security system a crime?

And apparently, the cops don't have to read you your rights at the point of the arrest. They just need to do it when you are being questioned for the crime. Who knew.

Meanwhile, cops from six neighboring boroughs searched the house for other "burglars."

How many fucking cops does it really take to search one house?

Mr. Hicks' mother, Arlene, arrived just as her son was being escorted out the door. She had Mr. Hicks' 11-year-old daughter and a niece in tow. "Why are you arresting my son?" she asked. The taller of the two cops answered that he "didn't have to tell her anything."

When Mrs. Hicks persisted, he said her son was being arrested for "being belligerent."

Holy shit. "Belligerent", that's a big word for a cop. How the fuck does a drunk and tasered person become belligerent? The fucker probably couldn't even stand up straight without toppling over. He's more likely to be slurring something indecipherable rather than telling the cops to "Fuck off".

In the van, Mr. Hicks said he told the cops he needed medical attention. He says they told him he would wind up in county lockup if he insisted on it. "Never mind," Mr. Hicks said.

WTF? Seeking medical help constitutes as a crime? The taser probably sobered him up for a second when he said "Never mind".

Mr. Hicks sat in a holding cell until 5 a.m. The cops returned. "We're not filing charges," they told him. "You're free to go, but if you get into trouble in the next year, we will file charges."

Mr. Hicks staggered into the parking lot and began walking the 10 minutes to the Braddock hospital, refusing another officer's offer of a ride home. He was examined and released that morning. Mr. Hicks filed a detailed police complaint the following Monday, but the case didn't come to public attention until the New Pittsburgh Courier's front-page story last week.

Hicks was probably thinking, "What the fuck just happened? How did I go from sleeping on my couch to a holding cell?"

And the cops said, ""We're not filing charges, you're free to go, but if you get into trouble in the next year, we will file charges." Which is another way of saying "Oops, my bad".

The North Braddock police department referred inquiries to the borough solicitor, John Bacharach, but he declined to give the officers' side of the story. "I know about the incident," Mr. Bacharach told me. "I don't want to comment because I am not confident enough in the facts to say one way or the other." He promised that "the matter will be investigated."

The police department's lawyer is probably thinking of a way to cover this up. "Ooops, my bad" just doesn't sound convincing enough to the judge when they bring it to court.

Mr. Hicks will be moving forward with his legal strategy if he doesn't hear from North Braddock soon. You don't have to be Johnnie Cochran to know what's going to happen next.

First published on September 11, 2007 at 12:00 am
Tony Norman can be reached at: or 412-263-1631

Even if they issue a fucking apology for tasering the guy, which I doubt they will, the damage has been done. What the fuck's an apology going to do to those holes at the back of his body? The trauma that they caused to his mom and niece?

I say, hire Johnnie Cochran. Let him sue their asses. Let him use his rhyming Jedi-mindtrick on them (excerpt from the OJ trial-here). If he can get OJ Simpson acquitted of murder-I still think he did it-, he can sure get the North Braddock police department to pay for the wrongful use of a taser.

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