KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A man is suing Knox County and two sheriff’s deputies after he was tased earlier this year.
Paul Branch filed the suit in August after the incident in January in which Branch was tased by two sheriff’s deputies. They said he was being arrested for public intoxication and was not cooperating.
Branch claims they were using excessive force. The county and officers have filed a response saying the deputies followed the law.
Both officers were cleared by the Office of Professional Standards and are still on patrol.
Chris Jones with the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center says Tasers are a less lethal weapon used by law enforcement to get a suspect under control.
“It shoots two electrodes into the suspect and it sends a current through that, which, is typically 50,000 volts,” said Jones. “The purpose or the goal is neuromuscular incapacitation which basically locks them up and prevents them for further harming you or anyone else.”
Jones didn’t want to talk about the incident with Knox County Sheriff’s Office but says Tasers are generally used in violent situations. He also says they are usually effective with the first shot if the probes make correct contact.
Typically you can have two or three and after that if the suspect still isn’t incapacitated they usually move on two something else.”
Jones says with most agencies officers do not use more than three shots. If more than three are used, the suspect is usually taken to the hospital to make sure no injuries were caused. According to the lawsuit Paul Branch was tased a total of 10 times.