NEWS

Outrageous! 87-Year-Old Tasered By Police While Cutting Dandelions With A Knife In Her Garden

August 21, 2018 16:11

Recently, police officers in rural Georgia took down an 87-year-old woman with a Taser. The incident happened at a lot owned by a local a Boys and Girls Club. An employee of the club called 911 complaining that an elderly woman was walking around the property with a knife in her hand and refusing to leave.

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READ ALSO: Off-Duty Ohio Police Officer Is Under Fire For Using His Taser On An 11-Year-Old Shoplifting Suspect

Chatsworth Police say the woman, later identified by her daughter-in-law as Martha Al-Bishara, refused to comply with directives to drop the knife. Police Chief Josh Etheridge was one of the officers at the scene.

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In a statement to CNN affiliate WTVC, Etheridge says he even removed his knife from the belt and dropped in on the floor, expecting Al-Bishara to drop her knife. Instead, the woman walked toward the officers. One officer then fired the Taser after which Al-Bishara was handcuffed.

She was not dangerous

Speaking about the incident, Martha Douhne, granddaughter of the elderly woman explained that Al-Bishara suffered dementia and was only out looking for dandelions. The flowers were a special addition to a salad native to Syria which her family enjoys on a regular basis.

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She also argued that the police officers could have restrained the woman without resorting to using a Taser on her.

Obviously, my grandma did not look violent. With the three, four officers that were here, I think they could have controlled her in other ways.

The electronic control device (ECD) popularly known as Taser became popular in the 1990’s in law enforcement. It is an alternative to guns and can transfer hundreds of volts of electricity through metal darts into the human body, effectively subduing a person in seconds.

While the effect of tasers are more severe when the darts are exposed to skin, they are equally effective when in proximity to the skin or if they make contact with clothing.

READ ALSO: People Called The Police On Black Boy Who Was Just Delivering Newspapers

Despite the seeming advantage of tasers over guns, taser-related deaths and health complications are still a major concern. Delirium has been identified as the major cause of death in most cases involving tasers.

Was it necessary?

Meanwhile, many people on social media have questioned the use of a taser on an elderly woman, suggesting the police officers should have found other ways to subdue her, especially as she was not threatening to begin with.

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An excerpt from the 911 call suggested the woman was looking for something, probably a plant, and not attacking anybody.

It looks like she’s walking around looking for something, vegetation to cut down or something. She has a bag too.

In addition, the caller made it clear that the woman was not in any way violent and she also indicated she did not understand English.

...she just brought the knife onto the property in her hand, she didn’t try and attack anybody or anything.

Al-Bishara will appear in court on September 19 to answer charges of criminal trespass and obstruction of a police officer.

READ ALSO: Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. Says Police Officers Who Beat Philadelphia Woman “Were Doing Their Job"

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