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In the Media

Pregnant woman subdued by stun gun for parking in disabled spot

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By Melissa Horrocks
Jun 8, 2012 in Health
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Police officers use a stun gun on a pregnant woman and drag her from her car because of a parking offense. According to officers, they were acting in self-defense.
Policemen nowadays seem to jump to any excuse to use their stun gun. Well, now they have used their weapon on a pregnant woman. In fact, she was just days away from giving birth. The police defended themselves by saying that they cannot always tell if someone is pregnant or not.
According to CBS Chicago, Tiffany Rent who is eight months pregnant, says that she would have thought her condition would have been obvious to the officers. When the officers arrested her on Wednesday morning outside South Side drug store, she was standing close enough to the squad car for the police to see that she was pregnant. The police department says there was nothing wrong with the way that the officers behaved.
Apparently Rent tried to drive away after she had been ticketed for parking her vehicle in a space that was specifically reserved for disabled people. Rent was outside of a Chicago Walgreens when officers shot an electric pulse from the stun gun.
Rent was not violent towards the police and didn't pose any threat to them. The only crime she committed was parking in the disabled place and refusing to pay the maximum Chicago fine of $350.
Rent tore up the citation that was given to her and swore at the police officers. However, according to the police, that was enough to warrant being tasered.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says that it's not always possible to tell if someone is pregnant and in the end it's a matter of keeping the law.
"Well, first of all, you can’t always tell whether somebody is pregnant. So, you want to use it where you are overcoming assault or preventing escape. That’s what it boils down to,” Supt. McCarthy tells the Tribune.
Rent was shocked by the stun gun, dragged from her car, forced to the ground and then handcuffed. All of this happened in front of her two young children and her boyfriend. Joseph Hobbs, father of the child, also suffered from injuries. When Hobbs tried to intervene he was arrested by the police and received a dislocated elbow.
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