Woman Shocked with Stun Gun Sues Police

Tiffany Rent's attorney said she was eight months pregnant when police used a stun gun on her during a dispute over a parking ticket

Thursday, Jun 14, 2012  |  Updated 9:35 PM CDT
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Lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a change to the Chicago Police Department's policy on the use of stun guns on pregnant women. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

Lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a change to the Chicago Police Department's policy on the use of stun guns on pregnant women. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

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A pregnant woman who was shocked with a stun gun last week has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in Chicago's U.S. District Court.

Tiffany Rent's attorneys say she should not have been shocked with a stun gun in a dispute with officers over a parking ticket.

"I was so scared," she said tearfully. "I was afraid because the officer showed no lack of concern [sic]... I'm almost sure he knew I was pregnant."

Rent, whose attorneys said enduring a high-risk pregnancy when police shocked her, was ticketed June 5 for parking in a handicapped spot in the Walgreen's lot on the 110 block of South Michigan Avenue.

Rent said she pulled into the spot while her fiance ran into the store, then got out of the car to re-seat her 3-year-old when a Chicago police officer began writing her a ticket.

Police said she tore up the ticket and threw it at the officer. When the officer asked her for identification, police said she refused to comply.

Police said the officer deployed his stun gun when Rent tried to put her car in gear and drive away.

Both Rent and her attorney say law enforcement officials went too far in using the stun gun, and Rent fears she is not alone.

"I don't think that it should have went this far," she said. "It just makes me afraid of the Chicago Police Department because there's other women that may have went through this or that's going through this."

Attorney Keenan Saulter further argued a parking ticket is not a reason to use a stun gun.

"A parking ticket," he said. "Not even a moving violation, but a parking ticket should not involve someone pulling out a Taser."

Rent's attorneys want a review and investigation of the Chicago Police Department's policy on the use of stun guns on pregnant women. They say Rent's children, ages 3 and 9, witnessed the incident.

"No child should ever have to watch their parent be hurt by someone they are supposed to trust," Rent said.

Her attorney wants more training for officers on appropriate stun gun use.

"What we're asking is that officers are trained to use more discretion, that officers are trained to only deploy a Taser when the situation warrants it," Saulter said.

The entire incident has Rent regretting her shopping trip.

"I wish I never even went to Walgreen's," she said.

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