Police were reluctant to release video that shows handcuffed and hog-tied woman being tased

Two years ago, police officers in Chariton, Iowa handcuffed and hog-tied a 34-year-old woman (The police had pulled her and her boyfriend over because they thought the woman might be the victim of domestic abuse). After being placed in the squad car, Police Sergeant Tyler Ruble then shocked the shackled woman with a taser while Lucas County Sheriff Jim Baker held her down.

The woman never filed a complaint because she figured it would have been her word against the sergeants. But when it was discovered that the tasing had been videotaped, a TV station requested the tape. The police department refused to hand over the video, explaining that they were bound by regulations to protect the medical privacy rights of "non-City personnel." The TV station got hold of the tape anyway and ran it.

When the video aired, the Lucas County Law Center issued a statement, saying that the tasing was necessary to prevent the handcuffed and hog-tied woman from leaping from the squad car and injuring "children present at the scene."

VIDEO PROOF: Tasing Victim Speaks Out (Via Reason)


  1. You have no idea how much damage a hog-tied woman surrounded by armed men can do.  DIDN’T YOU SEE THE AVENGERS?

  2. “The incident was thoroughly reviewed by the Department and the City of Chariton” If true, and if no one found any problem with this, then it’s time to throw everyone in the Department and the City of Chariton out on their asses and hire some actual human beings to replace them. 

      1. Sure!

        If “they” behave like inhuman idiots, let “us” behave like even bigger monsters.

        1. Every single person involved tacitly approved of these actions. The police failed the public. The police review board failed us (and lied rather badly) Even the city failed us.

          It’s yet another example of systemic corruption in local police forces (and collusion with the city)

          What America has been doing thus to deal with corruption far has not worked, as clearly evident here. Corruption must be dealt with, swiftly and with resolve.

          To do otherwise risks this country becoming a place where the people will dispense their own idea of justice. If the system fails the people, the people will inevitably seek justice on their own terms.

    1.  The fact that police departments are responsible for investigating their own misconduct would be laughable if it weren’t so depressing.

  3. Two years ago, police officers in Chariton, Iowa handcuffed and hog-tied a 34-year-old woman (The police had pulled her and her boyfriend over because they thought the woman might be the victim of domestic abuse).

    After being placed in the squad car, Police Sergeant Tyler Ruble then shocked the shackled woman with a taser while Lucas County Sheriff Jim Baker held her down.

    Well, I mean, obviously; now they’ve CONFIRMED she was a victim of abuse.

  4. Victim of abuse? No. We can fix that.

    Reminds me of a joke:
    “Hello, 911, I’ve accidentally shot my friend and  I think I’ve killed him!”
    “Calm down sir. First make sure that your friend is actually dead.”
    (gunshot in the background)
    “Okay, now what?”

    1. Thats old, usually a hunting joke. “911 I think I killed my hunting partner”. Operator, “Ok, make sure he is dead.” Blam! Hunter, “Ok, now what?”

      Then there is the State Trooper pulls over a vehicle with a human roped to the hood. State Trooper says, “Well ok you killed him accidentally, but did you have to gut and skin him too?”

  5. Every single person involved in this despicable coverup ought to be banned from EVER wielding any kind of judicial power over another human being for the rest of their lives. We all put our trust in our nation-states and the violent gangs (cops) they use to impose order, even though we regularly see in the news just how misplaced that trust is… they could let justice prevail, just this one time, instead of these cops getting a slap on the wrist or no punishment at all, as is the norm…

      1. I think they are implying that in an ideal world our governments and police would be outstanding organizations of trust and respect.  Obviously reality is far from ideal.

        1. That’s the thing. The cops should be a respected institution. Instead they’re feared. That’s because it’s well known that they’re stupid, violent, and prone to railroading innocent people. All I can do about this is tell people never to say anything to the cops when detained and participate as much as possible in initiatives to champion alternate forms of governance and enforcement. (The Leaderless Revolution by Carne Ross is a good read on that topic) Unfortunately, until such time as we all wake up from the capitalism/”democracy” dream, I need a social insurance number and an employment/tax history in order to have  the best balance between freedom and safety in our current society and that means I answer to government and police, even though they are obviously lying to me about looking out for my best interests. 

        2. I could ring my lawyers neck every time he says “In a perfect world…” .

  6. Yes! Think of the children!!! She could even have given them the evil eye!

    Thank goodness the officers could foresee all the horrible things that could have happened, they might otherwise have had to resort to tasering the children… and the dog… and the squirrel, never ever underestimate the carnage a squirrel on a rampage can do, especially with children around.

  7. It is a sad statement about our society when this is the best lie they can be bothered to come up with and it still flies.

  8. There’s a significant detail that I’m sure I’m missing, and I’d appreciate it if someone would explain it to me. According to the report the woman was placed in the squad car and “the tasing was necessary to prevent the handcuffed and hog-tied woman from leaping from the squad car and injuring ‘children present at the scene.'”

    Why was the tasing necessary if she could have been prevented from “leaping from the squad car” by closing the squad car doors?

    Or are the police in Chariton so incompetent they’re incapable of closing doors? 

    1. If she had tried, she could have hurt one of the children or officers present, not to mention herself. /s

  9. The worst part of stuff like this is that everyone is so damn desensitized –it’s just reality TV now, indistinguishable from anything having a real consequence.
    It’s too easy to let them off the hook.

    Change the channel. Click another YouTube clip. Like another Facebook video.


  10. Here’s the really sinister part ( I mean it’s all sinister, but this is EXTRA sinister):

    “The police department refused to hand over the video, explaining that they were bound by regulations to protect the medical privacy rights of “non-City personnel.””

    They didn’t want to turn over the tapes. . .  because they wanted to protect her privacy!

    AWFULLY decent of them, I say. . .

  11. This really hurts to see. After reading and thinking about the fact that people are still being executed for “sorcery” in Saudi Arabia, I was already in a lot of pain. Then this tazing (and just as bad, everyone acting like it was just your average traffic stop) once again reminded me of the trampling of the constitution in our own country. Then that got me thinking about the greed of our own super rich willing to ruin a nation to make more money, the military-industrial complex (see Eisenhower’s speech please!), companies having all the rights of people….well you know the rest. It really really hurts, and it’s only getting worse. The only thing I know I can do is to keep spreading the word, tell my friends, coworkers, relatives, anyone I meet, but all that seems far away when seeing someone get tazed like that.

    1. That is the only thing we CAN do.  When the Internet is censored, we will create a NEW Internet, and keep showing the videos, explaining our positions, organizing and standing against tyranny!

      1. Right. That or order in some Domino’s and watch the season finale of Game of Thrones one more time.

        1. We’ll make it out of shoelaces, broken bits of mirror and soda bottles.  Just you wait!  It’ll be fun!

    2.  I’ve been thinking about companies having the same rights as people. If corperations are people, then why aren’t they limited to the same contribution limits as the rest of us? http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/contriblimits.shtml
      I’d be OK with corporations being people if they didn’t get ‘extra’ privileges that everyone else does not get.

      1. I’d find the proposition of corporations, a legal fiction, being granted the rights of human citizens more palatable if they were also subject to the same consequences for illegal/immoral behavior.  

    1. We see that kind of shit all hte time here in oh-so-liberal Oregon, so it seems that worshipping these evil thugs is just ingrained in our national psyche. 

      1. Oregon isn’t as liberal as you think it is.  Get out of Portland or Eugene and it’s an entirely different story.  And, wherever you live, it probably isn’t the most liberal citizens that become police officers.

  12. The officer used the tazer in compliance with guidelines established in the Use of Force policy which is unavailable and being revised because it says nothing about the use of tazers?

  13. If you watch the first report from that news site, they found out the tasering cop had a domestic abuse complaint against him from his wife and even though it’s state law to arrest someone in a domestic disturbance he got away.

    1. A spokesperson for Chariton PD subsequently stated that the incident demonstrated the police department’s commitment to what he described as ‘application of specialist expertise’. “The officer who was assigned to this case has extensive experience of domestic violence issues, and was able to bring his own unique knowledge to bear on the situation. At Chariton PD, we are aware that domestic abuse is a particularly difficult and complicated area, and that’s why we made sure that the case was handled by an officer who had relevant qualifications in this field.”

        1. A friend of mine once noted “The thing is, reality is indistinguishable from well written satire..”

  14. Ugh. That must have been horrible for her to watch. It’s easy enough to detach, but then to sort of watch yourself while being forced to empathize with yourself… ugh.

  15. Ad for  “Beattie law firm” comes up before video played.  I’m probably just seeing things I shouldn’t in that…

  16. This is absolutely horrible, and my sympathies go out to Ms. Storm as I cannot imagine the pain, humiliation and trauma she must have suffered.

    On the face of it, the police’s story seems incredible and unbelievable.  They claim the use of force was necessary, yet there appear to be several police officers present for the single victim.  Also add the fact that Ms. Storm was THOUGHT TO BE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC ABUSE and this situation makes no sense.

    Does anyone know where a complete copy of the video if?  It would help to know the circumstances; I find it unlikely that the police tasered Ms. Storm for no reason, although I cannot for the life of me guess as to what could possibly be a justified reason.  It would put this in better perspective; so many of these instances of police abuse seem to be avoidable with competent ‘use of force’ policies.  

    I find it telling that the Police Department was “revising” their policy, as it apparently did not include use of tasers.  This points to a larger problem; Police Departments seem to consistently lack training or policies on how to NOT brutalize the citizens they are supposed to be protecting.  Now obviously policies can and often are ignored, but how is an average officer even supposed to know what to do without some sort of guidance? There are obvious idiocies like this, but I’m sure there are a ton of ‘grey area’ abuses that we don’t even hear about, and the taser seems to me like an effective way of pacifying a rowdy civilian by torturing them into compliance. It’s obviously better than (completely) lethal force, but still terrible.

    Fucked up system = repeating abuse.

    1.  I find it unlikely that the police tasered Ms. Storm for no reason

      Well, it depends on what you mean by a “reason.”

      If you mean the police used a taser because no other method short of a gun would have protected innocent people, the answer is, “No, of course there’s no possible reason.”

      If you mean that the police actually made a decision to use the taser, there probably was a reason. That reason was probably, “We haven’t worked through all of our anger at this particular moment yet.”

      1. There still seems to be something missing between ‘answering a call about a possible victim of domestic violence’ and ‘hog tying and tasing the same victim’. It’s obviously a MASSIVE overreaction to whatever happened, but I find it hard to believe all of this is just because  she denied that she was being abused and then sat on the ground (which is what she claims). What are the charges against her for? Why is the department still defending the officers’ actions despite the video being out there? I’m willing to believe a certain amount of police brutality and failure to apply the law to themselves, but the department essentially saying “we’ve looked at the video, and we’d all have done something similar in the circumstances” doesn’t sound like the way they would brush off something this bad. I’d expect something more like “the officers in question have been disciplined while the internal investigation is underway, they have now been given training in… we take these matters very seriously…”

        On the other hand, if this is true, why cover up the video and give ridiculous excuses for refusing to release it? I don’t know, I’d like to see a bit more of the footage before I feel I have any real idea of what’s going on there.

        1. Police are not mental health professionals. If she was having a breakdown and behaving in a way they didn’t like (which could really mean anything including “she won’t shut up” or “she won’t get up when we told her to”) then they’d have a *reason* to use tazers  on her. What’s worse is that depending on her psychological state at the time mutual escalation can result in more reaction from the victim (and in this case I don’t think that’s the police). In a hospital at this point you might see some one get sedated, sincerely for their own good. You really can’t make that argument for the tazer. Notice that they do not say they think she posed a threat to them, suggesting that they truly do think of tazing some one who is already restrained as a way of pacifying them through violence. 

          1. You’re right – there seem to have been at least a couple of squad cars, so it shouldn’t have needed to get to this even if she was being uncooperative or even violent. There just isn’t much context to go on. The story and video suggest there was some kind of conflict in the car, at which point we see a short clip of the officer talking with the woman in a fairly calm way. She also doesn’t seem particularly uncooperative, but denies that there’s any abuse going on. She’s asked to talk to another officer, but instead sits on the ground and is tased repeatedly and handcuffed by the officers who seemed fairly reasonable a minute before. I’m not denying serious police abuse, it just seems like the sort of weirdly truncated story that I used to tell about my brothers when I was younger. “…and then he hit me for no reason!”

        2. Really, you don’t need to have come to this particular rodeo very many times before you can recognize “The use of the taser as a non-lethal weapon was necessary to prevent injury to the officers, the subject and the public including children present at the scene” as a traditional bullshit line. It’s like “It’s for security reasons.”

  17. It’s amazing how the most innocuous event that you are not part of can get the wrong person arrested and violated. I don’t blame the police so much because are many factors that make them crazy, insensitive and as paranoid as the average American including…

    We all have guns legal or not
    We are paranoid culture here in the USA
    Our average IQ has to be going down…the people of Walmart are everywhere…
    Even your grandma will make the highlight real of Cops with the way we act in public

    We’re fugged.

    1. Every use of a taser should be reviewed by an independent oversight committee.

      1. That or we go back to a “gun only” force and forget this non-lethal murk. 

        Half-joking, half not… On one hand I would wish that an officer would be more hesitant to use a lethal weapon unless absolutely necessary… on the other hand, there’s their track record with firearms to think about…

      2. Heck, it shouldn’t be this hard. A Taser(tm) is a firearm, it shoots barbs; heck, it was originally marketed as a nonlethal* replacement for a bullet-firing pistol. It ought to fall under the same amount of review and paperwork as discharging any other firearm.

        I refuse to call these things “stun guns”. To the Trekkie in me, these are Klingon agonisers.

        EDIT: Forgot my footnote that we all know that they are not nonlethal, but the marketing claimed they were.

  18. Of course the police will say they obtained the video illegally and try to have it thrown out…I’d hope that the victim has right to their own video. Were they actually trying to quote HIPA in this video?

    You want to know how to avoid this? Dont’ be poor or look like you might shop at Wal-Mart, it’s getting uglier by the day here in the USA. 

    1. Have you never been to rural America?  It’s exceedingly difficult to look like you shop somewhere else when there is nowhere else to shop.

    1. Heh. I was expecting some kind of struggle that would make the officers look for a way to subdue her (hey, a tazer’s not a tranquilizer and we’re not doctors, but it’s what we’ve got), but with the extra footage it actually looks worse than in the first video. When they tazed her first she wasn’t flailing around or anything, just (naturally) protesting verbally to being treated like a criminal. Mentally disabled or not, many people would have reacted like cornered animals at that point.

      What did I do? Tell me, what am I under arrest for?
      Interference and assault. Now sit.
      Assault? Assault? Who’s assaulting who?


  19. The thing to do is file a civil suit against the individual officers, not the city or county. There’s no huge money in it, but it REALLY punishes the officers…

  20. God bless and keep the police – far away from me. I am quite certain that I wold not like to live in an unpoliced Los Angeles, but life is difficult enough without someone who is paid with your tax dollars lighting you up like a Christmas tree.

  21. I dunno about this lady. Crocodile tears…

    Nonetheless tazing a bound arrestee is unnecessary.

    1. It was basically sadistic of this officer. She was on her back in the backseat of the police car. They could have just closed the doors if they didn’t want her to leap out of the car . Instead, he pushed her face down while he tasered right into her chest.

      Imagine going through that, somewhat moving on, and then having to relive it again 2 years later? I assume being repeatedly tasered isn’t a fun experience.

      1. Not to mention that whatever was going on at the time was probably unpleasant for her in the first place, and therefore not a nice memory to be faced with.

      2. Yeah that’s the word for it: sadistic.

        I totally sympathize with why she would be emotive, but she didn’t seem genuine. I just got a bad vibe from the interview. But it doesn’t matter because the tazing is still wrong.

        They killed a man at the airport in Vancouver just like this; restrained him (with four cops) and tazed him to death.

        1. I understand what you are saying. You would expect someone to be really distraught about it, while she seemed more annoyed. But again it was 2 years ago and she had already moved on from it, as most people would need to do if they thought the cops would get away with it and need to move on with their lives.

          But it’s not like we don’t know whether it happened to her or not. We do know that it happened, we have video of it happening to her, and she did go through that horrible experience. Give her a bit of slack, eh?

          A similar thing happened in Sydney a few months ago. A Brazilian student stole a packet of biscuits, ran, was tasered by 3 officers and died of a heart attack… Over a packet of biscuits… awful

        2. *Please* stop trying to judge people’s emotions and their credibility from their tones of voice, ‘facial expressions,’ ‘body language,’ etc. It doesn’t work. Not everyone has the same range of tones of voice to begin with. And trauma survivors often have to dissociate to talk about what we’ve been though.

          1. And trauma survivors often have to dissociate to talk about what we’ve been through.

            Mass media has convinced us that the way that people act in films is realistic, when it’s nothing like that in real life.  cf. Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, who went to prison for murdering her child (actually killed by a dingo) because she appeared unemotional when talking about it.

  22. the police in the USA have become paramilitary forces that are out of control.
    everywhere they feel they are above reproach

  23. Many police forces are indeed trained to deal with mentally ill people.  My step-son is bipolar and autistic  and walked toward a police officer with a butcher knife raised to stab the guy.  The police officer didn’t pull his gun, taze the kid, or hurt him in any way.  He assessed the situation quickly, disarmed the boy, and took him firmly but gently to the ground where he handcuffed him.  Then he talked quietly to him until my step-son calmed down, he got him to his feet, and took him out to the squad car.  He even reassured the boy that he was going to be safe and nobody was going to hurt him.  The officer credited his training for how he was able to handle the situation.  Like so many parents of bipolar teens, we had several visits by the police over the years.  They were great every time. 

    One of the things that infuriates me the most about police officers who are bad is how easily it makes us all distrust and fear ALL police officers.   Bad cops make good cops’ jobs ten times harder and more dangerous. 

    1. That’s a great story, and it’s refreshing to hear about your positive experiences with law enforcement.

      I’d say the reason why bad cops are so destructive to the whole policing system is because cops have been charged with the right to use force, both lethal and non.
      They’re called to be witnesses all the time, and whenever it’s your word against their’s the jury either will side with the cop, or dismiss the case.

      Bad cops show that anyone with the condoned use of violence in their job dealing with the public could just snap.  It’s not like we can pick and choose which cops we deal with, it’s always a crapshoot whether you get someone who relies on their training and conscience, or someone who relies on their desire to fuck around with you.

      I don’t like dealing with cops, but that’s not to say they’re all bad or mostly bad.  I just don’t have any faith in people generally.  I believe that the most natural state is selfishness, since people are basically selfish, and it takes work to do good, that holds true for anyone else.  But when you are put in a position of power, the incentive to do good can be outweighed by the fact that your homies in the department will tell any lie in order to keep you out of trouble as long as you do the same for them.

  24. Police were reluctant to release video that shows handcuffed and hog-tied woman being tased

    Of course they were.

  25. Ugh, sadists. But even worse are the people that protect these sadists. The City of Chariton really needs to speak-out about this. Can you imagine how many other people these cops have “non-lethally” tortured over their years of service?

  26. I think everyone has completely missed the point here.  This poor young lady is mentally disabled.  That’s indeed why she appears a bit wooden in the interview.

    The officer involved has a history of abuse.  Not two weeks after this incident the sheriff was called to his home on a report of domestic abuse.   The same sheriff in this video.   No charges where filed for this incident.

    Chariton, a great place to be… tased.
    Yes, we know your city motto.

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