NEW ORLEANS – The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is demanding answers about an incident in which a Winnfield woman suffered serious injuries and reportedly lost sight in her right eye after being tasered by a police officer. In an open records request, the organization demanded the Winnfield Police Department turn over all complaints and disciplinary records for the officer involved as well as the Department’s policies and procedures regarding use of force, the deployment of Tasers, de-escalation and racially-biased policing.
“Tanisha White’s grievous injuries demand an immediate and thorough investigation and accountability for the officer involved,” said Alanah Odoms Hebert, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, in a statement. “Excessive use of force by police, especially against people of color, is a systemic problem that destroys trust, hinders public safety and devastates Black and brown communities. While marketed as an alternative to the use of deadly force, Tasers can cause serious injury and even death – and should never be used punitively or for the purpose of coercion. Tanisha White and the Winnfield community deserve answers, and a police department that protects the people it serves.”
A copy of the letter and open records request is available here.