Wednesday, 23 July 2008

In Slow-Motion It Looks A Lot Like Being Tickled

Well, this all stinks more than just a little.

Louisiana police taser man to death.

There are three things that strike me here. The first, as they point out over at Hullabaloo, is this:

Pikes was already handcuffed and on the ground when first hit with the Taser,
after the 247-pound suspect was slow to follow police orders to get up.
The guy wasn't coming at them with a knife, or even trying to get the Hell out of dodge. He just wasn't getting off the floor fast enough. You don't get to use a taser as a motivator just because it's really not likely to kill someone. I doubt he would have died if they'd kicked him in the testicles, but you'd have a hard time convincing me that that's warranted behaviour when you want someone to put a bit more effort into standing up. Having already been cuffed, at which point you have to figure the point at which he's going to kick off is liable to be passed.

The second aspect to this that bugs me is the response from the one of the police lieutenants:

At some point, something happened with his body that caused him to go into
cardiac arrest or whatever.
"Or whatever"? I think if there's any time at which those two words should not end a sentence it's when you're talking about the guy your men have just killed for no good reason. Or is this just how things are done in Winnfield? "Sorry to disturb you, ma'am, it's just that your husband's fallen into the bijou and mauled to death by an alligator or whatever."

And I've saved the most crazy part for last: the cop hit him with his magic electro-wand nine times. Not that that matters, since he "stopped twitching after seven". What the fuck was he doing for shots one through six? What the hell was so scary about a handcuffed man already on the floor? For that matter, when the eighth shot revealed that the suspect was no longer even responding to being electrocuted, then what are you doing going for shot number nine?

I really don't get what's so hard for the police to understand, here. Tasers are an alternative to deadly force. They are not an alternative to a warning, or to waiting for someone to stand up, or as a check to see if the last eight taser shots did, in fact, do for someone.

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