ACLU: Police Used Taser On Unarmed Man

A federal lawsuit in North Carolina contends that police in the town of Elon improperly used a stun gun on a man who was unarmed and standing on his porch clad only in his underwear.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

The lawsuit says police shocked John Wayne Paylor last June while they tried to arrest him for using profanity on a public highway and reckless driving.

Elon Police Chief LaVell Lovette wouldn't talk about the matter because the lawsuit is pending.

The ACLU of North Carolina helped found a project to promote safety in use of Tasers and to establish uniform rules for their use.

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  • by Coach M Location: Rocky Mount on Apr 10, 2009 at 01:14 AM
    If this man was deemed to be a possible threat and/or had a history of violent actions, he should have been tased, PERIOD. This has been done in cases to protect the perp along with authorities. If you think that an unarmed man should NEVER be treated as being a serious threat, I hope that some of you are never faced with protetcing your own family.
  • by Hello Location: NC on Apr 6, 2009 at 02:17 PM
    If he would have complied with commands from law enforcement officers, the officers would not have used Tasers.
  • by andy on Apr 5, 2009 at 10:33 AM
    This case is no slam dunk. I don't know what video you watched, but the video of this incident shows Paylor offering no resistance whatsoever (unless you characterize the use of the WORDS "now hold on just a minute" as "resisting arrest," which of course is preposterous). As for the profanity statute, once again, you are wrong. It's not a disorderly conduct arrest -- he was charged under NCGS 14-197, which is a separate statute in and of itself, something I would have expected you to know seeing as how you claim to be so up on the law. As for jealousy -- hardly. I'm just sick of small town police treating minor incidents such as this as if they were executing a search warrant on a major drug kingpin. This is not to say there aren't fantastic police officers working in small towns - you only need to look to what Officer Garner in Carthage did last week to know that. That guy's a genuine hero. These clowns, on the other hand, are an embarrasment to the profession.
  • by To Andy on Apr 4, 2009 at 11:46 AM
    Self important frat guys? Who sounds self important now. If you were a cop and I doubt you were, you would know that profanity on a public highway falls under the disorderly conduct statute. How would it have looked if all six fought this guy, because if you watch the video, he was resisting and they would have had to fight them. Your whole post stinks of envy for a job you could not hack it in. As for your 4th circuit comment, this case is a slam dunk for the cops. Watch and learn.
  • by ~ALPHA female~ Location: O84P on Apr 3, 2009 at 04:02 PM
    Joe.. who is "we"? ...Don't speak for me! ..I don't think it's OK to tase an unarmed man, on his porch, on his land, in his underwear because he allegedly used profanity and drove recklessly while on the highway. ...LOL@Anonymous... Don't tase me Bro... I have that tee shirt... not to many people have heard that saying..
  • by Barry on Apr 3, 2009 at 10:26 AM
    If they hd gone old school and started hitting him with a baton they would have screamed police burtality. Yeah the taser hurt, but once its over, its over.
  • by Retired Marine E-9 Location: Jacksonville on Apr 3, 2009 at 09:31 AM
    Giving the criminals more rights again. police officers have to make a judgement call, dont know if a culprit has a weapon or not, sudden move would cause the officer to either use lethal or nor lethal tactics. All a judgement call.
  • by Joe on Apr 3, 2009 at 09:04 AM
    Just another racist who hates the police trying to get even more tax money and ruin the career of the officers. We support you EPD
  • by Anonymous on Apr 3, 2009 at 08:27 AM
    Don't tase me, bro!!!
  • by andy on Apr 3, 2009 at 08:08 AM
    Actually, I left law enforcement because the pay was crap and I was tired of working alongside so many self-important frat boys who saw their job as more of an opportunity to mess with people than one to actually contribute positively to their community. The reality is that in a lot of these small towns like Elon there just isn't that much to do, so you end up having cops with too much time on their hands arresting people on b.s. offenses like Mr. Paylor (using "profanity on a public highway? - seriously??). I've used tasers and been tased. This was not an appropriate use and these officers are cowards for resorting to force when they had him outnumbered 6-1. I'm just sick of the rubberstamp approval for any and everything they do even when they're wrong. IMO, one of law enforcements biggest problems is a propensity to reflexively resist any sort of self-examination. As for the 4th circuit, take another look: qualified immunity isn't as guaranteed as it used to be.

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