November 7, 2007 in Nation/World

Chicago woman, 82, Tasered by cop

Don Babwin Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Lillian Fletcher, 82, describes her encounter with police. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

CHICAGO – Chicago’s Police Department is investigating an officer’s use of a Taser last month on an 82-year-old woman who police say was swinging a hammer when they arrived.

Lillian Fletcher was rushed to the hospital after being jolted by the Taser last week but has been released, police said Tuesday.

Officials with the city’s Department on Aging went to her home Oct. 29 to make a welfare check and called police when they saw Fletcher in a window swinging a hammer, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said Tuesday.

Officers arrived and in an attempt to subdue Fletcher, one of them used a Taser, Bond said.

The department is trying to determine whether the officer violated department policy on the use of stun guns.

Fletcher said Tuesday that officers pushed their way into her home. “They shocked me,” she said.

Fletcher at times sounded confused during the telephone interview.

Her granddaughter Traci Taylor said that her grandmother has schizophrenia and dementia.

“My grandmother is easily confused,” Taylor said, adding that the woman can be belligerent but is about 5 feet 1 and weighs no more than 160 pounds.

“I just don’t think they should be Tasing 82-year-old women. That’s ridiculous,” Taylor said.

Touted by law enforcement officials as less lethal than other ways of subduing combative people in high-risk situations, the weapons have come under criticism nationwide after they were blamed for several deaths.

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