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In Los Angeles, after some initial concerns private conversations between officers would be recorded, the police officer’s union has embraced the technology.

“In the vast majority of cases, the public is going to see the police officers being very restrained and very professional, and that’s a positive,” Los Angeles Police Protective League president Paul Weber said.

Another piece of high-tech evidence came from Cicinelli’s Taser. By downloading information on the weapon, investigators determined he used it three times in “drive stun” mode, pushing the device directly into Thomas. Then he used it a fourth time, firing darts from weapon and shocking Thomas for about 12 seconds.

Cicinelli then allegedly smashed Thomas about the face with the Taser. Cicinelli’s attorney Bill Hadden said he had not received any discovery in the case but claimed prosecutors had gotten a lot of facts wrong. He said he would be making a fuller response in the coming weeks.

Ramos’s attorney, John Barnett, has disputed prosecutors’ account of the confrontation with Thomas. He says when his client made the threat about his fists, he was using a subtle type of force to get a suspect to comply. Ramos was responding to a transit hub in the suburban college town after someone reported seeing a homeless man breaking into cars.

In all, six officers were at the scene but the other four were not expected to be charged. Cicinelli’s device and that of one other officer were not activated, though police say it’s not unusual for an officer to forget to switch on the mechanism if they are responding to an unfolding emergency.


Thomas Watkins can be reached at