2005-12-09

How'd you like YOUR grandma to be tasered? [Police Brutality] / rant against cops

<rant mode=on>
 
So I watched this video on CNN of a 68-year-old grandmother being tasered in the police station lobby while waiting to make a statement.  She was not yet charged. I'm not sure if she was actually arrested or not.  She got sick of waiting and decided she wanted to leave, they told her no, and tasered her.  Course, as an old lady who had just been tasered, she couldn't get up, so when the officer told her to get up and she didn't/couldn't, he tasered her again. And again. And again. And again. All on camera. Real Smart.
(They charged her later.)
I could possibly be persuaded to agree with the 1st tasering.  Possibly.  But the 5th??  Because of course, <sarcasm=on> a whole police station of cops can't wrestle a 68-yr-old lady to the ground.............................
 
I saw the video interview of her on CNN.  Decided to google for "taser grandmother" to read more (which is how I got the ABCLocal link above).... I didn't find what I was looking for at first, though, because other grandmas have been tasered too:
 
Grandma tasered.  She accidentally hit the horn of her car in her own fucking driveway.  4-months-on-the-service-so-far rookie cop came to give her a ticket.  [I've been pulled over for using my horn to beep at jaywalkers as well!  Now I make it a point to beep every time I see a police car. I can't believe horns aren't considered free speech.  What if I beeped in morse code? -Clint] 
He grabbed her, she pulled away, he claimed she assualted him and tasered her and let her fall to the ground (she was recovering from knee surgery).  She got a year's probation for the incident.
 
On the subject of assaulting an officer, I also find it disgusting that you could get in a fight with someone who hasn't told you he is a cop, but be charged with assaulting an officer just because the person you got in a fight happened to be an officer. But I digress.
 
Oh, and let's not forget the cop that pointed his gun at my head for me trying to ask directions.  Or the one that assualted me in the RennFest parking lot in October.  Or the ones that lied in court to get my college roommate's car forfeited.  Or the ones that slammed my 16-year-old friend's head into their cruiser repeatedly.  Or the one who shot a bullet throught he window of a house during a holiday party (called on a noise violation) because there was someone inside dressed as a robber waiving a fake gun around. (On the subject of fake guns, how about the kids killed for playing Laser Tag?)  Or the elementary school children that have been tasered this year.
 
Oh and in other news, Air Marshals finally killed their first American Citizen civilian.   While not innocent, the man was crazy, would have freaked the hell out of me, and may have deserved a beating.  However, hindsight is 20/20 -- and what happened was the summary execution of a mentally disabled person who did not have his medicine, in front of his wife while she was telling them this.  He wasn't even on the plane.  He probably should never have gotten on the plane in the first place; I'm sure his wife feels terrible now.   Still, does shooting someone guarantee the bomb wont go off?  Gee.................. Can't bombs have these things called, well, timers?   Didn't al queda learn from the shoe bomber's failed attempt that if you have to trigger the bomb yourself, it might not work?  Moot point.  No explosives were found because there weren't any.  I read up on bipolar disorder and saw mention of aggressive and erratic behavior.  Probably he was freaking out, and yelling "i've got a bomb" was to his crazy mind, the fastest way to get off the plane. Because he WAS freaking out.  Still, I don't think summary execution helped anything or made anyone safer.  The plane had landed.  If it was a terrorist with a bomb, he would have already detonated it by now.
 
 
 
Realize we are in a police state.  The patriot act only makes things worse.  Al Queda got exactly what they wanted: Less freedom for us.  The Justice Department did exactly what they wanted.  Sept 11th was a victory for Al Queda because we reacted precisely how they expected.
 
 
I have another interesting question.  If the police want to stop you for, say, a misdemeanor... And you run away in a manner where they cannot catch you...  Should they be able to shoot you?
I say no.
We are innocent into proven guilty in this country. 
Democracies are not supposed to do summary executations; police are not juries.
 
 
More:
 
Traffic stop results in man's death via repeated tasering:
I actually agreed with them using the taser here.  It wasn't until most of the way thru the article that it began to really reek: "He kept saying, 'I don't want to die, I don't want to die,", "Henderson stood in his front yard about 50 yards away. "You could smell the flesh burning from down here," he said."  "He said one of the deputies joked that the man wouldn't be walking away from the crime scene and another was heard laughing."
 
In March, Milwaukee police fired a Taser stun gun at a [4'11'']
63-year-old grandmother who was trying to keep child welfare workers from taking her grandson.  Again, gee, can't officers possibly, say, wrestle her to the ground?
 
Swalheim, of Wauwatosa, was taking pictures of the officers removing others from a scene and said, "I''m exercising my freedom of speech." He struggled with police and was shot by Officer Torrey Lea with the Taser and arrested, the report says.
 
Gee, so using your camera is illegal now? 
 
We need wireless internet cameras that transmits pictures to the internet directly via sattelite.  Then police will be unable to confiscate incriminating videos, and the real level of brutality will be much more publicized. 
 
 
I think this is a quote about the same anecdote:
Swalheim denied ever resisting police. He said he took the pictures because police were roughing up his friends. He said he started to walk away when police tackled him from behind, then stood him up and hit him with a Taser. He said he still has numbness in his hand, which started after he was shot with the Taser.
 
 
 
This is actually much like what happened to me at RennFest.  I saw people being roughed up by RennFest security and was a witness.  They tackled a couple waking away and sat on the girl's neck.  Police came.  I gave my phone # (and was called from the hospital later) to the couple.  I stayed around and told them stuff like "you don't have to answer that question".  I refused to leave the scene when the officer told me, citing my first amendment right to assemble in the renfest parking lot.  Plus I had business being a witness. (Evan & I were separated from Carolyn & Tabbitha and couldn't find the car for about 45 minutes in the parking lot.) 
 
They don't like it when you cite your constitutional rights because they don't want you to have them.  My lawyer warned me of this but also said I could stand in my driveway and curse at officers all I want and that she had successfully defended a case like that.
 
Anyway, the story just flew me into a rant mode.  These "less lethal" weapons merely provide them with an excuse to be even more trigger happy.  A non-civilian is supposed to be willing to sacrifice their life to save a civilian.  Not the other way around.  Last I checked, 10 soldiers would give their life to save one civilian.  But police are somehow more special than that?!?!?  Because as it stands now, a cop could shoot 10 people that he thought were threats to him, and still continue on with his work.
 
I wont personally be happy until every officer has a built-in webcam into his badge and can be watched by citizen activist groups who monitor for brutality, and until every citizen has a sattelite-internet camera to take pictures that cannot-be-confiscated, and until my car has a tape-recorder that records what is being spoken at any traffic stops (for my benefit, not for their benefit). 
 
That badge-with-a-webcam would not be so hot in ongoing investigations, but certainly it would help answer a lot of questions in these cases where police are called to public areas and do illegal things.  (Note: Do public areas actually exist anymore?)
 
 
 
 

2 Comments:

Blogger Dave O said...

To add even more fuel to your fire, I'm surprised you didn't mention the offensive spoof video the cops put together:

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=local&id=3709030

I can see the arguments on both sides, but in the end, it was pretty stupid to do something like that.

12/09/2005 05:48:00 PM 
Blogger ClintJCL said...

Yea, I heard about that. It wasn't on the brain when I happened to be ranting. :)

12/09/2005 06:15:00 PM 

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