Cop Uses Taser on Pregnant Woman

Independent Police Review Authority, police superintendent aware of incident

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tiffany Hobbs and her unborn child are said to be OK after an officer shocked them with a stun gun on Tuesday night. Christian Farr reports. (Published Wednesday, Jun 6, 2012)

    Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority is looking into a complaint filed by a pregnant woman who was shocked with a police Taser on Tuesday night.

    Tiffany Rent, who is eight months pregnant, left the hospital Wednesday afternoon after being checked by doctors. She and her unborn child are OK.

    At about 8 p.m. Tuesday, Rent and her two young children, as well Rent's boyfriend, Joseph Hobbs, pulled into the parking lot of a Walgreens on the 110 block of South Michigan Avenue. Rent pulled into a handicapped parking spot while Hobbs went into the store.

    Rent said she got out of the car to re-seat her 3-year-old when a Chicago police officer began writing her a ticket.

    "He gave me the ticket and I threw the ticket on the ground," Rent said in a telephone conversation with NBC Chicago.

    Rent said she then got back into her car and closed the door. That's when, she said, the officer told her she was under arrest and used a Taser on her through the window.

    Hobbs came out of the store and tried to intervene, he said.

    "[The officer] stuck the Taser in the window," Hobbs recalled. "She's screaming. The kid's were screaming. ... I just reacted because I thought she was going to be hurt. I didn't want to hurt no police. I didn't swing at no police."

    Hobbs said he received a dislocated elbow and a bruise to the face when the officer placed him and Rent under arrest.

    Rent was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was treated and released. During a Wednesday morning court appearance, Rent's mother said her daughter began having pain. The family drove her to University of Illinois Hospital.

    At an unrelated press event, police Supt. Garry McCarthy said he was aware of the incident and would "take appropriate action"

    "You can't always tell if somebody's pregnant," he said. "So, you know you want to use it where you're overcoming assault or preventing escape, that's what it boils down to. That policy has been in effect for quite some time. Whether or not the policy has been adhered to is going to be examined separately for the investigation of the use of force."

    Rent and Hobbs were each charged with resisting arrest and simple assault. Rent also was ticketed for parking in a handicapped space.