Nephew Of Justice Thomas Beaten, Tased At New Orleans Hospital

An odd story out of New Orleans:

The nephew of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says he was tased and beaten at West Jefferson Medical Center.

24 year old Derek Thomas was admitted to West Jeff Thursday afternoon. Shortly after arriving, he was asked to put on a hospital gown. Thomas says he refused, and wanted to leave the facility. Within minutes, Thomas says things got very ugly, very fast. “The guy asked me, you’re either going to do it or we’re going to tase you” Thomas says.

Before being tased, Thomas says he was punched in the lip and had a fist full of his hair pulled out. To make matters worse, he is epileptic, and says he suffered a massive seizure as he was being tased. His sister Kimberly says he could’ve died. “This was not only put on his chart letting them know he already had a health condition … this should not have happened at a hospital” Kimberly Thomas comments.

Minutes after the incident allegedly happened Kimberly called her uncle. She says he was completely shocked and outraged. Justice Clarence Thomas will be coming to New Orleans this weekend to investigate what happened at the hospital.

This isn’t the first incident of hospital abuse, of course, but perhaps it will bring more attention to the issue considering who’s involved.

Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Dave F says:

    Ok, this sounds bad, but let’s get a little more information before we pass judgment here. Under what circumstances was he brought to the hospital? For what? How combative was he with hospital personnel (or were there also cops/security personnel involved?)? Far as I know, hospital workers don’t routinely punch people in the lips, rip out fistfuls of hair, or taze people just because they want to leave the hospital. There’s clearly a lot more to this story.

  2. JKB says:

    Man, they sure are rushing the Obamacare, aren’ they. Would you like your medicine with or without a tasing.

    Seriously, someday there will be a taser case before the Court and the unfettered use of taser crowd are going to have a tough row to hoe. I wonder if the notoriety of this will cause lower court judges to take a more critical look at taser use?

  3. An Interested Party says:

    Perhaps Thomas should be grateful that he was in a New Orleans hospital rather than an Oakland BART station, otherwise, he might not be around to tell his uncle what happened…

  4. Franklin says:

    Man, they sure are rushing the Obamacare, aren’ they. Would you like your medicine with or without a tasing.


    Agree with everything else said above, too.