Militarization of Police

"Police Use Taser on Deaf, Disabled Alabama Man"

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Sometimes, the title just says it all. 

From USA Today:

Police in Mobile, Ala., used pepper spray and a Taser on a deaf, mentally disabled man who they said wouldn't leave a store's bathroom.

The family of 37-year-old Antonio Love has filed a formal complaint over the incident on Friday.

Police tell the Press-Register of Mobile that officers shot pepper spray under the bathroom door after knocking several times. After forcing the door open, they used the stun gun on Love.

Police spokesman Christopher Levy says police didn't realize Love had a hearing impairment until after he was out of the bathroom. The officers' conduct is under investigation.

Apparently, in a moment of clarity, the magistrate refused to book Love on "charges including disorderly conduct." Good for him.

Stay tuned for a web article tomorrow from Jacob Sullum on the long, proud history of disorderly conduct arrests in America.

In the meantime, check out Reason's (well, mostly Radley Balko's) archive on the many "isolated incidents" of police misconduct here.

UPDATE: Jacob Sullum blogged about this incident (with more detail) here.

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  1. What do you mean mostly? That is ALL BALKO ALL THE TIME! I love it. Although I would have thought there were more things from Radley on the topic…was this an abridged list?

    Look before you leap.

  2. Well, what everybody needs to know before they call this an outrage or justify it is, did the guy hassle the cop (in sign language of course)?

  3. Also, is the guy possibly an
    a. elitist
    b. “race-baiter”

    C’mon Balko, you haven’t given us the important and decisive facts here!

  4. Clich? Bandit | July 28, 2009, 6:16pm | #

    Look before you leap.

    Fail

    Better:
    Mr. Balko called. He wants his article back.

  5. Apparently, in a moment of clarity, the magistrate refused to book Love on “charges including disorderly conduct.”

    Doesn’t that mean the cops asked for the guy to be charged? And WTF are they doing spraying pepper spray under the door before they’ve even opened it? How can that be justified at all?

    I also would bet that the recent kerfuffle over H.L. Gates had something to do with the magistrate’s sensitivity on this point.

  6. As I was call out for use of a non clich? yesterday I am making an Not Fail.

    EPIC FAIL!

  7. From the AP report:

    A spokesman for the Mobile Police Department said the officers’ actions were justified because the man was armed with a potential weapon – an umbrella.

  8. Doesn’t that mean the cops asked for the guy to be charged? And WTF are they doing spraying pepper spray under the door before they’ve even opened it? How can that be justified at all?

    More from the AP:

    Officers used a tire iron to open the door, but the man pushed back to keep it shut. Officers saw the umbrella and sprayed pepper spray through a crack trying to subdue the man, Levy said. They shot the man with a Taser when they finally got inside, he said.

    This story from the Alabama Press-register is the best Ive read so far details wise. It has the deaf man’s side of the story.

  9. an umbrella.

    They arent even trying anymore.

    Then again, it might explain the murder of Kathryn Johnston. Maybe she was wielding a parasol.

  10. now THAT is a preview FAIL!

    What I really meant to say was:

    “As I was called out for use of a non-clich? yesterday, I am trying to make common clich? references. (Note, this sentence in no way means that one must be called out in order to make common clich? references. The first part is an eplanitory clause and not a limiting one.)

    STELLAAAAAAA!

  11. And WTF are they doing spraying pepper spray under the door before they’ve even opened it? How can that be justified at all?

    Pepper spray is non-lethal, dude! That means it’s not brutality to use it indiscriminately! Don’t you get it? Also, see: Tasers.

  12. And after the magistrate refused the charges, the cops took the deaf and mentally handicapped home and left him in the parking lot and just took off without talking to his family or explaining where the man was for hours.

    From the Alabama Press-Register:

    Love’s family members said they had no idea where he was during the time that police had him in custody.

    Brodrick Love said the officers dropped his brother off in the parking lot of their apartment building without saying what happened or why his brother had been missing for six hours.

    “When he walked in, his shirt was ripped, and he was just in a daze,” his brother, Brodrick Love, said. “When I went outside, they (the police) took off. They stamped on that pedal.”

    Also, the Alabama Press-Register reported that the cops sprayed pepper spray under the door first, and then went to go get a tire iron to pry the door open. They basically saw movement after no one answered to their repeated knocking and sprayed peppers spray under the door.

  13. >A spokesman for the Mobile Police Department >said the officers’ actions were justified >because the man was armed with a potential >weapon – an umbrella.

    Wow. I’m filing that in the, “you just can’t make this sh*t up” file.

  14. They arent even trying anymore.

    Come on now…I’ve seen enough episodes of Batman to know that am Umbrella is potentially deadly weapon. It could be used to hide a dagger, or could expel poison.

    Cops can’t be too careful, you know.

  15. I’m really disappointed that the topics link on the web page does not include “Isolated Incidents”.

  16. Checking in to respond to an earlier allegation from previous thread – I, a liberal, am also against arresting this (presumably) white guy for bullshit reasons as well.

    Thank you and good night.

  17. Has there ever been a Batman story that forced the reader to take the Penguin seriously?

  18. Sweet home indeed.

  19. C’mon, it the deaf guy an elitist or did he race-bait? If so, then clearly he deserved it, right?

  20. God help Obama if he criticizes the police’s actions here…

  21. He did just what officer Dunphy warned against: he ignored the pigs.

  22. Clich? Bandit | July 28, 2009, 6:25pm | #
    As I was call out for use of a non clich? yesterday I am making an Not Fail.

    EPIC FAIL!

    The fail. It is strong in this one.

    Clcih? Bandit | July 28, 2009, 6:29pm | #
    now THAT is a preview FAIL!

    What I really meant to say was:

    “As I was called out for use of a non-clich? yesterday, I am trying to make common clich? references. (Note, this sentence in no way means that one must be called out in order to make common clich? references. The first part is an eplanitory clause and not a limiting one.)

    STELLAAAAAAA!

    The hole, deeper it gets.

  23. Yo, fuck the po-lice.

  24. Cops are like mothers – they always assume the worst. Although, in this case, I can’t figure out what the worst would be. Was the guy trying to shove something up his ass that he didn’t want to pay for? Was he trying to find that last vein in his leg? Was he tying to flush an M80 down the Crapper?

    Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction of Justice, Failure to Yield
    OBEY OR DIE!!!

  25. “Hi. This is Wilford Brimley. Welcome to Retardation: A Celebration. Now, hopefully with this book, I’m gonna dispel a few myths, a few rumors. First off, the retarded don’t rule the night. They don’t rule it. Nobody does. And they don’t run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming ‘No, no, no’ and all they hear is ‘Who wants cake?’ Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.”

    NOW do you understand why the cops had to pepper spray and taser him?

  26. An umbrella is a fine makeshift for someone who practices [single-stick|short-staff|cane] self defense techniques, and you can buy innocuous looking examples that are reinforced for increased effectiveness.

    Which is not to suggest that pepper spraying and tasering someone is acceptable because they’re holding an umbrella.

  27. Look on the bright side – at least he didn’t shit his pants when they tased him.

  28. It could be used to hide a dagger, or could expel poison.

    It was the former in this Five-O episode.

  29. Sara: What I’d like to know is, why are there retarded people in school with my daughter?

    Principal Onyx Blackman: Mrs. Blank, we’re doing our best to weed them out, but some of these retards are extremely clever.

  30. Every time I hear one of these stories, I’d like to slap Scalia, and say, “Now, boy, I am going to show you some of that new professionalism.” Then I would bend him over and Sugarfree his ass. Then after his colon fell out from the anal prolapse, I’d shove his colon down his throat.

  31. MNG, I already beat you to the Blackman quote in the thread above this one. Man, that shit is funny.

  32. Just saying or reading his name is funny:

    OYNX BLACKMAN

  33. MNG and Episarch, that was the best Strangers With Candy episode EVAR.

    The Wilford Brimley book on tape scene is classic.

    “Just don’t ever look them in the eye. They’ll go berserker on you and turn into a whirling dervish of fists and elbows. You’ll be yelling “no! no! no!”, but all they’ll hear is “Who wants cake?”

  34. “Sugarfree his ass”

    Holy shit, I’ve not been checking out H&R enough to get this…

  35. Mister DNA

    The “racism” one with Tim Meadows is pretty close though…

  36. Then I would bend him over and Sugarfree his ass.

    You’d post a non-functioning link in his ass?

  37. “You’d post a non-functioning link in his ass?”

    Hmm, that’s a meta-joke, right?

  38. MNG and Episarch, that was the best Strangers With Candy episode EVAR.

    That, along with the one where Jerri becomes a “virgin” again and Drake keeps trying to fuck her. Some of the lines in that are killers.

    “You got 15 minutes to shove some pie down that hole of yours, then it’s camper time.”

  39. Hmm, that’s a meta-joke, right?

    I was hoping Sugarfree would come along and explain it himself, but I guess he’s gone for the day.

    Sugarfree has posted so many flubbed URLs that when someone else posts a link that gives a 404 error, it’s known as “Sugarfreeing a link”.

  40. Which is not to suggest that pepper spraying and tasering someone is acceptable because they’re holding an umbrella.

    My favorite weapon, quarters flicked at the speed of sound. I so wish I could do that.

  41. Sugarfree has posted so many flubbed URLs that when someone else posts a link that gives a 404 error, it’s known as “Sugarfreeing a link”.

    Sorry i wasn’t trying to co-opt a pre-exsting definition. I was thinking of that amusing anecdote that Sugar wrote a few threads back that started out … something about parting anal hairs. I think it was about a couple of cops getting it on. I can’t remember because I was get so hot…. uh. … that was a joke.
    Anyway, when I was writing my comment, that is the verb that popped into my head.

  42. This was also tweeted on injusticenews http://twitter.com/InjusticeNews

  43. I was already afraid of the police before Mssrs Love and Gates had their issues.

  44. Thank goodness my name is already a verb.

  45. Just saying or reading his name is funny:

    OYNX BLACKMAN

    Even funnier that way. RC’z Law recognition to you, sir.

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