Near the end of Monday’s faceoff at the Capitol, state troopers used their stun guns on demonstrators blocking a law-enforcement bus.
An unknown number of people were stunned — in addition to the previously reported use of stun guns on protesters trying to push their way into the Capitol earlier in the evening.
After that pushing incident, in which several troopers and another state employee were injured, troopers arrested three people on suspicion of felony assault. They put arrested protesters on a bus to be carried to the Thurston County jail, but dozens of protesters blocked the bus.
Sgt. J.J. Gundermann was there and said Tasers were used on an unknown number of people — not to disperse the crowd of perhaps 75 protesters, he said, but only on those who resisted.
“They were definitely pushing and shoving us,” Gundermann said.
Occupy protesters felt police used “excessive force”, said Mark Taylor-Canfield, a demonstrator who wasn’t there but afterward talked to one young man who said he was Tased multiple times near the bus.
“In order to clear the area so the van could get through, they basically said they were attacked by police. One of the things they were upset about was a woman being thrown to the ground,” Taylor-Canfield said.
Taylor-Canfield himself was given a no-trespass order after being removed from the Capitol sit-in.
Troopers hastened to add that protesters Monday were “touch Tased,” as opposed to being shot with electrical barbs. Here’s how the State Patrol described the earlier incident:
The trooper removed the cartridge containing barbs from his TASER and momentarily touched the unit’s contacts to three people. This provides a short duration shock, not the full five seconds associated with a normal TASER deployment.