Is it the Taser or the mindset? part 3
I received an email about today’s post (“Three cheers for Yukon Taser moratorium“, November 24-07):
I don’t ever recall being so enraged over a police incident nor have I ever emailed the cbc and the bc solicitor general. Your note nails, head on, this issue and the even more shocking attitudes that seems to have infected the RCMP.
It got me thinking. Average Canadians are about as outraged as they can get on the topic of Tasers (see posts ending with “Is it the Taser or the mindset? part 2“, November 4, 2007). And I think I know why. After watching this YouTube video, they don’t want to be the guy at the traffic stop who gets Tasered for refusing to sign a speeding ticket.
I understand the thought process: if I sign the ticket, does that mean I agree with the charge and can’t fight it in Court?
He’s asked to step out of the vehicle for not signing the ticket. The officer asks him to put his hands on his head with the Taser drawn; obviously the cop isn’t worried about the guy pulling a gun, or else he’d have drawn his pistol. The subject says “what is your problem?”, which seems to be a fair question. But he continues with his quizzical look and walks 4 feet away as the officer tells him to put his hands on his head twice more; no fast moves, no lunges, just a look of disbelief.
The mistake was not to put his hands on his head.
Having been Tasered, the officer proceeds to arrest the fellow “for not listening”, according to the audiotape. That’s probably a crime, even if it sounds silly in print. No Miranda rights, though. You’ll find it hard to figure out what his original crime was; his pregnant wife certainly couldn’t. The cop threatened to Tase her if she didn’t get back into the truck “asap”. What would a Taser do to an unborn child? Hmmm.
10 years ago, this police officer would have had to shoot his suspect if he didn’t have the Taser to torture him with; obviously, that wouldn’t have happened. So he’d be left to beat on him, but that might leave bruises or broken bones, and he’d have to explain why he beat a suspect lying prone on the ground in broad daylight on a busy highway. Too much paperwork and questions from his superiors.
The Taser is “perfect”. No bruises, no bullet discharges.
And if the subject dies from the Taser bolt, it must be due to the faux-medical condition of “excited delirium” or the result of drugs in his system or a previous medical condition that was triggered by the Taser’s 200,000 volts.
Had this fellow died from a bullet or a beating the cop would possibly lose his job. But the Taser, well it’s the safest way to subdue suspects who might be a threat. This from this morning’s Globe and Mail:
Police say medical evidence shows that, without tasers, prolonged and dangerous struggles occur with people suffering from what they term “excited delirium.” It prompted the force to release new rules in August allowing officers to use tasers multiple times to more quickly gain control.
The RCMP define excited delirium as a potentially fatal “state of extreme mental and physiological excitement that is characterized by extreme agitation, hyperthermia, hostility, exceptional strength and endurance without apparent fatigue.”
However, the force’s belief that excited-delirium symptoms can escalate and cause death outweighed their worries about the impact of multiple shocks.”
Where in the video did you see any exceptional strength or enduance? Looks like an expectant father, now wanting to sign a speeding ticket.
Sound cynical? Watch the video.