Suspect tasered by Linden Police

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

LINDEN &045; An individual that was tasered and arrested for disorderly conduct by the Linden Police Department is contemplating suing the department.

Delendra Peterson of Faunsdale has plead not guilty to the charge and said she is considering whether or not to sue the department for using excessive force. Police Chief Jeff Laduron said that the he and other officers on the scene responded as they were trained to react with the taser.

The series of events that lead to Peterson’s tasing began as a routine traffic stop in the old Trimart parking lot on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Mainstreet by deputy Steve Aultman. Deputy Scott McClure said that Aultman pulled the vehicle over for a headlight that was out. As Aultman was running the license of the driver of the vehicle, Peterson got out of the vehicle and walked over to a payphone.

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The patrol car video shows that when his backup, Laduron and deputy Rob Bost, arrived the officers asked the subjects to get out of the vehicle. Peterson tried to shake off the officers trying to get her to move toward the back of the vehicle and began yelling at members of a church across the street to get her father.

Peterson said that she was cooperating with the police and that she was tasered for no reason in the head and back and that officers pulled up her coat to taser her in the butt and back area and as she struggled to get to the ground police pulled up her pant leg to taser her leg.

The video shows that Peterson was unresponsive to police orders and that she was not shocked by the initial shot to her back, which hit her coat and Peterson failed to even notice it.

Aultman then put the taser behind Peterson’s knee &045; the officers were trained to shock at pressure points such as the neck, wrist, inner elbow and behind the knee &045; and shocked the subject. Peterson began struggling with the officer and another shock behind the knee finally put her on the ground.

Peterson said that Laduron struck and pushed his foot in her back as she was handcuffed but the video shows that the chief had no contact with her other than her hands as he put on the cuffs.

Peterson and the driver of the vehicle were arrested and Peterson’s children who were in the back of the vehicle during the entire episode where picked up by a family member said Peterson.

Peterson pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct at her court appearance yesterday, and Laduron said that the court date has been set for Jan. 5.