Indiana cop repeatedly tasers elderly Alzheimer's patient

The police officer kept tasering the naked 64-year-old in his nursing home, even after the patient was handcuffed

By Jodie Gummow
September 14, 2013 5:00PM (UTC)
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Police-issue Taser gun (Wikimedia)

This article originally appeared on Alternet.


In Indiana, a police officer tasered a naked, nursing home patient who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, Courthouse News reported.

The officer, Doug Martin had been called to Miller’s Merry Manor nursing home after a 911 call was received requesting help in transporting a patient who had hit his roommate, a nurse and nurse assistant.


Martin and his partner, Officer Jeremy Brindle entered the Alzheimer's ward to find 64-year-old James Howard sitting in a chair, stark naked and wearing only socks. The officers commanded that Howard lie on a gurney. When Howard refused and advanced towards the officer, Martin yelled, “taser” and zapped Howard five times for 31 seconds on his naked torso.

Following complaints by Howard’s wife, Martin was fired for excessive force and conduct unbecoming of an officer. Martin then took the case further to the Miami Superior Court who overturned the decision. Subsequently, the city of Peru, Indiana, and its police department appealed.

In another reversal last week, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Martin had been properly fired on the grounds that Martin had been specifically instructed and trained on the risks of death or serious injury associated with exposure to a taser for over 15 seconds.


Judge Lloyd Baily said it was noteworthy that Howard was handcuffed after Martin deployed the third taser upon him. The Judge also scolded the lower court for wrongfully misstating the evidence regarding the scope of Martins’ training.

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.

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Alternet Alzheimer's Patient Cop Indiana Nursing Home Police Taser