On Friday (2/25) the Pensacola Police Department announced at a press conference its new Taser policy. Of course, the Independent wasn’t invited – but our presence was definitely felt.

The new policy

  • Limits the use of Tasers to incidents of “active resistance,” during which suspects take actions to escape or avoid arrest.
  • Requires each use of a Taser to be reviewed by a supervisor
  • Doubles Taser training to twice a year
  • Mandates that officers not take Tasers into correctional facilities – the key reason we got involved.
  • Mandates special caution on using the Taser on the elderly, very young or on individuals in obvious poor health

Special thanks needs to go to WEAR and Mollye Barrows for helping get our Taser abuse story out. The combined pressure from both media made the difference.

Now let’s see how Sheriff McNesby responds………..

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Willie Junior’s demise

February 24, 2005

Did Willie Junior really commit suicide? We can’t find stats on how many people off themselves by drinking anti-freeze. In the hills of Mississippi – antifreeze is sometimes used to make moonshine.

The other bothersome point is why would Junior be depressed and suicidal over a short jail sentence? Junior’s friends were willing to a pay his way to a minimum security pokey. Marion Berry become cult hero and was re-elected after his drug conviction. Junior could have achieved the same status.

Tasers

February 20, 2005

The PNJ has finally caught on to the Taser issue in Pensacola…three weeks after we broke the story. The Southern Leadership Conference is serious about getting law enforcement agencies around the country to look at uses and abuses.

What we know is local officers are using the taser as toys and as a means of punishment. The video tape we got of Police Officer MacPhail tasering Koch (see WEAR.com & Inweekly.net) while he was in the Escambia Co. Jail is hard to ignore.

Hell, the Escambia Co. Sheriff has a deputy that has used his taser so much (over 100 times last year) he’s called “The Shocker”.

Word has it – MacPhail is leaving the Pensacola Police Dept to go work for Sheriff McNesby – looks like “Shocker” might get some competition.