Set Tasers to KILL!

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Reader Mr. Nice Guy sends in this charming tale from BusHitler's Amerika–or maybe ClinTojo's Amerikkka. Or just Jeb Bush's Florida, where life is cheaper than orange juice and old ladies in wheelchairs ought to think twice before threatening police with knives and a hammer.

Couldn't they have just put a police fence around her and waited until she went to sleep?

Or just taunted her, a la Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, that "but cha are in that wheelchair, cha are!" Instead the cops killed her with the coldheartedness of a pack of super-chimps hopped up on Angel Dust and reruns of Quincy, M.E.

Anyhoo, excellent product placement for Taser Inc.:

Tasers deliver a 50,000-volt jolt through two barbed darts that can penetrate clothing. About 7,000 of the nation's 18,000 police agencies had them last year, and they were used by police more than 70,000 times.

Amnesty International counted 61 U.S. deaths following Taser use last year. Taser International officials disputed that count, saying it linked some deaths to Taser use when there had been no such official conclusion.

Whole account here.

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  1. 61 taser deaths is bad, but not as bad as a few hundred suspects killed by police when they don’t have tasers. I would much rather be shot with a taser than a real pistol. Non-lethal alternatives trump deadly force every time.

    Which is not to excuse poor decision making when it comes to use of force as in the case of a 56 year old woman in a wheelchair.

  2. 61 taser deaths is bad, but not as bad as a few hundred suspects killed by police when they don’t have tasers. I would much rather be shot with a taser than a real pistol. Non-lethal alternatives trump deadly force every time.

    The problem is, Tasers aren’t just being used as a pistol substitute, but increasingly in situations where no cop within shouting distance of sanity would draw his gun. I recall one case where an unarmed man was tasered multiple times for refusing a cop’s order to step away from an all-you-can-eat salad bar.

  3. Non-lethal alternatives trump deadly force every time.

    I’d say it’s more like occasionally lethal force trumps guaranteed lethal force, and both are trumped by good judgement about when such force is necessary. Unfortunately, force at the first hint of defiance seems to be becoming SOP.

  4. I recall one case where an unarmed man was tasered multiple times for refusing a cop’s order to step away from an all-you-can-eat salad bar.

    Are you sure that wasn’t a Reno 911 episode or something?

    Lt. Dangle: “Sir, step away from the croutons. No, put the croutons down. Now!”

    Dude: “[Bleep] off you [bleep bleep bleep].”

    Lt. Dangle: “Sir, I’m warning you. This is your last chance.”

    Dude: “I paid for this salad and I’m going to eat it you [bleep].”

    Dangle: “Oh no, you did not just call me a [bleep]!”

    ZAAAPPP!!!!

    Dangle: “Oh, man, when he convulsed he flung the ranch dressing everywhere. The department better reimburse me for drycleaning my shorts.”

    Dep. Junior: “That Tazer made a nice zapping sound, though!”

  5. I sense a gig for plaintiffs lawyers when they get done with Merck.

  6. Unfortunately, it was reality, Thoreau.

  7. I used to have a stun gun. I zapped myself in the arm to see what it felt like. It wasn’t that bad really.

  8. I recall one case where an unarmed man was tasered multiple times for refusing a cop’s order to step away from an all-you-can-eat salad bar.

    Was this guy’s first name “Homer”? 🙂

  9. Here, Lurker Kurt, you can read about it yourself:

    http://www.newsnet5.com/news/4245190/detail.html

  10. Old Ladies?

    I beg your pardon, but 56 isn’t old, Jr.

  11. She was in a wheelchair, and the cops couldn’t just back away for a few minutes until she tired herself out? What kind of comic-book wheelchair was this?

  12. There is something suspiciously reverse-psychologicical about the carefully-crafted “pox-on-both-houses-Tribune-Media” style here… I wanted to buy that lemonade-stand book after reading his review; now I want to move to GCS, inspired by this galvanic display of the thin electric-blue line

  13. 56 is an old lady? Is Jane Pauley an old lady? Hell, isn’t Cher older than that? The relevant fact here is that she was a cripple, not that she was old, but I guess Reason succumbs to PC sometimes as well.

  14. Sheesh, how hungry do you have to be to rip off the salad bar at Chuck-E-Cheese?

  15. Tasers are a way of saying something is wrong but not saying what.

    It’s like sarcasm.

  16. Taser releases earnings tomorrow (TASR), I’m looking for a big beat with a nice rally in the stock to follow. Who’s with me?

  17. BusHitler’s Amerika–or maybe ClinTojo’s Amerikkka

    Actually, I believe the closest governmental comparison, if you are counting beans, comes from Facist Italy or Spain of the past, with a Soviet style presidency. To be specific.

    This however, is just plain typical batsh*t cowardice on the part of the cops.

  18. amnesty international has ZERO credibility on this

    note: 61 deaths FOLLOWING taser application

    not CAUSED by taser application.

    even IF tasers HAD caused some deaths, they have still saved many thousands of deaths worldwide, as study after study has shown

    agencies that adopt tasers see officer involved shooting go down, injuries to suspects go down, injuries to officers go down, etc.

    regardless, not ONE death has even been proven to have been CAUSED by a taser

    saying a death followed taser application is like saying a morning arrest followed a suspect eating cheerios

    the causal connection is not established.

    i could also go into the medical issue of excited delirium (cocaine, heart, etc.) which causes MANY incustody deaths, and the fact that these occur WITHOUT tasers, and have for decades.

    tasers are one of the greatest life saving devices invented – for cops, suspects, and victims

    fwiw, this is tangential to the issu of the cops tasering the wheelchaired woman. one can still find that unjustified and/or poor judgment while still recognizing the Amnesty’s claims and inuendo vis a vis tasers is absurd

  19. Once again we must give credit to the true watchdogs of government abuse – the conservative talk hosts of The Sunshine State, who tackled this issue boldly (casting aside such non-issyues as the unveiling of Bill Clinton’s portrait), despite the fact that it all happened on the watch of Jeb Bush, a member of “our” party, and the brother of “our” commander-in-chief.

    (The above is what’s known as sarcasm)

  20. Jennifer, your comment is wrong wrong wrong.

    I will explain why (I teach firearms instruction btw)

    Tasers are NOT, are not intended to be, and have NEVER been a “pistol substitute”

    firearms are placed at the top of the use of force spectrum. they are deadly force

    tasers are placed WELL WELL below that. in most cases, (this varies from agency to agency), well below tertiary (3rd level – the lowest level target for baton strike) below baton strikes, and impact strikes (fists, knees, etc.)

    a taser is a LESS LETHAL DEVICE. it is NOT a substitute for a pistol. tasers are designed (and in the vast majority of the cases – USED) in situation where a pistol is NOT warranted – legally or policywise

    it is a canard that tasers are a “pistol substitute”. they are no more a pistol substitute than pepper spray is a “pistol substitute”

    it IS true that in some cases, officers have been able to use a taser to prevent HAVING to use a firearm, but that is entirely different. usually, that is a case where multiple officers are present (at least one has a firearm drawn), and an officer can get sufficient reactive distance to use a taser without putting himself in danger

    generally speaking, when people have deadly/dangerous weapons, the appropriate response is a firearm NOT a taser.

    in the case here, there is not enough information to know if the taser application was justified. but in MOST cases with deadly weapons, the proper response is a pistol (or shotgun/ar15/etc.) not a taser

    “The problem is, Tasers aren’t just being used as a pistol substitute, but increasingly in situations where no cop within shouting distance of sanity would draw his gun. I recall one case where an unarmed man was tasered multiple times for refusing a cop’s order to step away from an all-you-can-eat salad bar.”

  21. amnesty international has ZERO credibility on this

    note: 61 deaths FOLLOWING taser application

    not CAUSED by taser application.

    even IF tasers HAD caused some deaths, they have still saved many thousands of deaths worldwide, as study after study has shown

    agencies that adopt tasers see officer involved shooting go down, injuries to suspects go down, injuries to officers go down, etc.

    regardless, not ONE death has even been proven to have been CAUSED by a taser

    saying a death followed taser application is like saying a morning arrest followed a suspect eating cheerios

    the causal connection is not established.

    i could also go into the medical issue of excited delirium (cocaine, heart, etc.) which causes MANY incustody deaths, and the fact that these occur WITHOUT tasers, and have for decades.

    tasers are one of the greatest life saving devices invented – for cops, suspects, and victims

    fwiw, this is tangential to the issu of the cops tasering the wheelchaired woman. one can still find that unjustified and/or poor judgment while still recognizing the Amnesty’s claims and inuendo vis a vis tasers is absurd

  22. Why the hell should Reno 911 be the gold standard in law enforcement? What the fuck is happening if comedy writers can’t even come up with this stuff? It is concievable now that one could turn on the TV and honestly not realize at first that its COPS instead of Reno 911.

    Maybe I’m just being a spazz. What’d’you think?

  23. Congratulations, whitster, on completely ignoring the point of Jennifer’s comment – that cops are irresponsibly zap-happy with Tasers, because the moron cops think that Tasers are harmless.

    Go ahead, try to justify the use of a taser against an unarmed person at a salad bar.

    Also, the Taser corporate executives are fascists.

  24. fun with tasers here in baja arizona

    http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/news/local/091703a1_taser

    You give them something that hurts and doesn’t leave a mark and they WILL use it

  25. Those kinds of cops probably tortured animals all the time when they were kids.

    A taser made with an automotive ignition coil would hurt a hell of a lot more. I think I’ll slap one together and go cop hunting.

  26. I’m thinking if the salad thief would have answered the questions to the manager, then the Police would not have arrived…If the guy would have answered the questions and PROVED he paid for his food, he would not have been tasered. If he would have gone outside and out of view of all the patrons when he was asked, then all these liberals involved wouldn’t need more therapy and Xanax to survive. Mr. Gale IS the reason he was tased…NOT THE POLICE!!!

  27. Jennifer – That guy was lucky. Getting tasered and arrested is way better than being at ChuckECheese.

  28. Hey shock me silly, another Taser law suit is dismissed today:

    Thirteenth Lawsuit Dismissed Against TASER International
    Tuesday April 25, 6:34 pm ET

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 25, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) — TASER International, Inc. (NasdaqNM:TASR – News), a market leader in advanced electronic control devices announced that the United States District Court for the District of Oregon entered a judgment of dismissal ordering the dismissal of the product liability lawsuit filed by Lee Games against TASER International, Inc. This is the thirteenth wrongful death or injury lawsuit that has been dismissed or judgment entered in favor of TASER International in the past 24 months.

  29. These cops in Florida are sissies. If my county sheriff gets his way, that lady would have been staring at an APC mounted with a 20mm Vulcan.

  30. Whitster, your comment is somewhat scary:

    “in the case here, there is not enough information to know if the taser application was justified. but in MOST cases with deadly weapons, the proper response is a pistol (or shotgun/ar15/etc.) not a taser”

    She was in a wheelchair and armed with a knife. Do you really think the proper response involves an AR-15?

  31. If the guy would have answered the questions and PROVED he paid for his food, he would not have been tasered. If he would have gone outside and out of view of all the patrons when he was asked, then all these liberals involved wouldn’t need more therapy and Xanax to survive. Mr. Gale IS the reason he was tased…NOT THE POLICE!!!

    Ah, yes, being zapped with electricity is fair punishment for refusing to obey a cop under any circumstance.

  32. Ah, yes, being zapped with electricity is fair punishment for refusing to obey a cop under any circumstance.

    More or less…

    Getting tasered for being an idiot is justified. : )

    It is certainly justified for cops to taser you for being a thief who won’t comply with orders, which is what the guy is accused of being. Cops can at times be asses or worse, but people often get themselves beaten, tasered, etc. because they are idiots. Fuck, how hard is it to step away from the salad bar! If the man had died, he’d deserve a Darwin award.

  33. I think people tend to think Tasers are “harmless” because “Taser” sounds kind of like the nickname of a lovable misfit teen. Kind of like “Shaggy” or “Screech.”

    SCENE: Teen party. Tall skinny guy has lampshade on head.

    ANOTHER DUDE: Hey — what’s up with Taser?

    YET ANOTHER DUDE: Check out Taser, with the lampshade on his head!

    GIRLS: Oh, Taser! You crack us up!

  34. two things

    1) i did not miss jennifer’s point. any conclusion (even if right by chance) is still suspect when it is based on a faulty premise. hers is that tasers are “pistol substitutes”. they are NOT. they are “less lethal” weapons. this is a common layman misperception about tasers. no argument that follows from that premise is worth

    2) it certainly SOUNDS absurd. tasering a wheelchaired woman.

    however, i don’;t know the facts, and the article is extremely vague. we don’t know the facts, and there are many situations where it would be justifiable to taser a person in a wheelchair who was holding knives/hammers. was she about to throw the hammer at somebody? i don’t know. the article doesn’t say. was she alone in a residence, or were there other people in the room. people automatically jump to the conclusion that the shooting was unjustified because she was in a wheelchair – ostensibly no danger to others (or herself for that matter).

    until somebody can show me some facts, beyond that very vague newspaper article, i reserve judgment. imagine that! wanting some facts before forming an opinion.

  35. I think the Taser company and drug-testing companies should get together. It would be like chocolate and peanut butter. They can come up with some sort of taser urine test. I’m sure the government would be more than happy to fund the research/development.

    “You smoked pot!! ZZZZZAP!!”

    And it’s too bad Tasers didn’t exist back in the days of Maybury. If Barney had a taser gun the episodes would’ve been a hell of lot more funny.

  36. It’s very, very rare that I actually agree with the cops when they use force in a case that makes the news, but I think they made the right decision based on what is reported. “Just swinging” such weapons can be dangerous to the family members. Would you want the cops to take the chance that she couldn’t clock you upside the head with that hammer by throwing it at you? All it’d take is for her to get one good hard toss in and one of the family members would have ended up seriously injured or dead.

    My mother is 50 and could easily do some serious damage if she were in that woman’s position. A 80 year old doing that would be one thing, but 50 is young enough that they can keep going and be a threat for a while.

  37. I don’t know the full details of this incident, but whenever someone is threatening someone else with imminent bodily harm a taser might just be the best way to stop her, even if she is in a wheelchair.

    Full Disclosure: I’ve witnessed a taser incident, and believe me, in that case the 18 year-old violent male perp deserved it.

    However, to the best of my knowledge I don’t own any Taser-related stocks.

  38. Maybe the hammer that broad was throwing was something akin to Mjolnir. That shit can cause some massive hurt.

    In that case, perhaps an electrical-based counter attack would be appropriate, albeit a little ironic.

  39. Mr. NG’s sarcasm was particularly crass, even for him. What he meant to say is that it’s silly that grown men, trained in hand-to-hand combat, cannot handle a disabled woman without the use of projectile weapons.

    Mr. Nice Guy is currently overhauling his staff in order to ensure quality message delivery.

    Thank you.

  40. I think people tend to think Tasers are “harmless” because “Taser” sounds kind of like the nickname of a lovable misfit teen. Kind of like “Shaggy” or “Screech.”

    Yeah, but not all misfit teen nicknames are considered harmless by the sheeple.

  41. MNG: Would Barney have gotten only a single AAA?

  42. “Mr. NG’s sarcasm was particularly crass, even for him. What he meant to say is that it’s silly that grown men, trained in hand-to-hand combat, cannot handle a disabled woman without the use of projectile weapons.

    Mr. Nice Guy is currently overhauling his staff in order to ensure quality message delivery.”

    i like to refer to this as the “TJ Hooker” school of police use of force.

    for pete’s sake. officers are equipped (in many agencies) with tasers because they are (generally) a more effective, safer method to gain compliance than going into hand to hand combat.

    when somebody is holding WEAPONS, like in this case, they also allow a nice reactive distance

    oh, she is 56 (note the ageism and sexism here ) 🙂 … but seriously

    until the facts come out, i will reserve judgment but the idea that superninjatrained ™ cops with handtohand combat skills just SHOULD BE ABLE to restrain a subject armed with hammer, knife, etc. without taser is silly, and unrealistic

    it is also LESS SAFE on average to go hand to hand with a resistant subject than to tase them

    if SHE created the force escalation, by arming herself and (did she threaten them, famil members, whatever), then it is sad that she died (not that we have ANY proof the taser caused it), but has zero relation on the use of force spectrum and the justification of tasers when officers are presented with incidents like this

  43. Comment by: Whatever Happened to “Boner” from Growing Pains? at April 26, 2006 12:43 PM

    LOL

    * trademark annoying raucous laughter *

  44. 56 YO woman in wheelchair with hammer and knives harmless? Anyone ever watch these folks play basketball or soccor?

    I’m also a self-defense firearms instructor. It’s standard knowledge that a person 21 feet away with a knife can close the distance and stick you before you can draw and stop him with a handgun. Someone who lives in a muscle-powered wheelchair wouldn’t have to be much closer, if at all.

  45. There should be a “governor” (same root word as for gummint) that would limit tasers to “vigorously tickle.”
    Failing that, how about remembering Fearless Fosdick, and setting them to cause “flesh wounds” only?

  46. * trademark annoying raucous laughter *

    Comment by: Henry “Taser” Tasiberlinczowicz at April 26, 2006 05:23 PM

    Huh huh huhh huhh uh huh huh huh huh huh

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