Police Abuse

Police Confrontation Ends In Cringe-Worthy Tasing (WATCH)

|

A Virginia man is facing a number of criminal charges following a weekend run-in with police that ended in a cringe-worthy stun gun hit that a witness captured on video.

The three-minute video of the incident is causing a stir online and in Isle of Wight County, where some feel excessive force was used in the arrest of 50-year-old Ervin Laws.

Laws' daughter, Deneke Hill, told The Huffington Post the events leading up to the altercation started when Laws was walking to a convenience store on Sunday, which was coincidentally his 50th birthday. During that walk, she said, her father was approached by the sheriff's deputy.

Watch the video here.

NEXT: A.M. Links: Obamas Hold Assets Worth Up to $7 Million, Nintendo Faces Patent Lawsuit, Jupiter Storm Shrinking

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Enough already with the Pigs Behaving Badly posts – it’s been ages since a video game story!

    Morgan Webb! Morgan Webb! Morgan Webb!

    1. Morgan Webb? I haven’t thought about Morgan Webb in a long time. A long time…

      I choose to think about her instead of WATCHing this video. It’s too early for the Friday nut punch.

      1. Oh yeah. I’ll have to look her up and see what she’s up to these days.

  2. Will Tulpa show up to defend this pig? Will our heroes insult him mercilessly? Stay tuned!

    1. “our heroes”

      Who the fuck are “our heroes”?

  3. “It’s very unfortunate that [the] video does not represent the entirety [of the incident],” the sheriff said. “After he had been attacked by Mr. Laws and actually pinned against his vehicle and choked, the deputy, constitutionally and by police policy, would have been authorized to use deadly force and he did not.”

    Failure to obey authorizes deadly force.

    1. Not saying it actually happened, but being choked sure the fuck does.

      1. I think it does too if he is still choking you. That is a real threat and can be rebuffed with force.

        The cop in that video tazed a guy who was several feet away, facing away from him and had his hands behind his back.

        I didn’t see any real threat at that time.

        1. The specifics of the situation described by the chief as justifying deadly force had come and passed. I don’t know that he necessarily meant to say that the cop could have substituted his Glock for the Taser after the fact (although he probably did). It came off to me more as a “you’re luck he didn’t blow your ass for choking him a few minutes earlier, so don’t complain too much about the Taser”. Which, again, is highly contingent on the veracity of the cop’s version of the events.

          1. *luckY *blow your ass AWAY, etc etc

      2. An average drunk idiot’s choke attempt is not going to be such a big deal if you’ve trained any sort of grappling at all. It never ceases to amaze me how pitifully unskilled most police are when they’re attempting to wrestle with somebody. Watch that video. He had the dude’s back and the double underhooks, and he failed miserably at putting him on the ground. Rather than getting his hips under the guy and elevating him, turning him, and getting him on the ground, he just kind of lamely spins him. Pathetic. That is first day of middle school wrestling practice shit right there.

        So if you’re too stupid to avoid instigating a confrontation, and too unskilled to maintain control with minimum violence of the confrontation that you stupidly instigated, maybe you should be a cop. Disgraceful.

        1. Bingo. Cops should be trained in ways to subdue unarmed suspects without using weapons.

          Instead we get fatasses who can’t fight worth shit.

        2. It never ceases to amaze me how pitifully unskilled most police are when they’re attempting to wrestle with somebody.

          They aren’t much better with firearms either. Every police shooting story ends the same way:

          “297 rounds fired, suspect struck twice, bystander struck 5 times in the head, 3 dogs killed”

          1. Or, from the LA lockdown article, “0 rounds fired by suspect. Suspect not found or identified. 30 rounds fired by officers. 4 rounds struck police car.”

        3. Warty, not everyone can be a Hugeman. As a non-Hugeman, I don’t know for sure that I could have done any better. But then, I’m not a cop either, so I don’t really get into altercations that often (ever).

          1. It’s not hugeness, it’s technique. It’s not difficult technique, either.

    2. Maybe he did. But what happened before that? Maybe if the deputy hadn’t been out just fucking with people for the crime of walking down the street, there wouldn’t have been a confrontation in the first place.

      The first rule of policing should be “don’t confront someone unless you have a good reason”. That is what these poorly trained ignorant apes don’t understand. It is funny they work themselves into a frenzy about how “dangerous” their job is supposed to be. Well, to the extent that it is dangerous it is dangerous because it involves confronting people whose identity, dangerousness and intentions are unknown. One sure way to make it less dangerous is don’t confront people unless you have to and there is a really good reason.

      The quickest way to make any job dangerous is to go around and start fucking with random people.

      1. Their job isn’t particularly dangerous, anyway. Cops aren’t even in the top 20 in the job mortality statistics. Even sanitation workers have higher on the job mortality than cops.

        1. I know. That is why I put the scare quotes around “dangerous”.

      2. The quickest way to make any job dangerous is to go around and start fucking with random people.

        Ever watch Impractical Jokers? That’s the entire premise of the show. But they all look completely harmless, so they can get away with it.

        1. No. I suppose the camera makes them safer. That said, I think that is a pretty stupid thing to do. There are a lot of people out there you really don’t want to meet.

    3. To be fair, if the guy actually did what he’s accused of doing, and the other guy was Joe Blow instead of a cop, we’d all defend his right to use deadly force in retaliation. There’s nothing wrong lethal self defense. But it’s a pretty safe default assumption in any dispute involving a cop that the cop will lie to justify using force. Until something can corroborate the cop’s story it’s safe to suspect he’s full of shit.

      1. Always a day late and a dollar short…

      2. Two things. First, I expect a higher level of behavior from a cop than I do Joe Blow. We pay cops and alledgedly train cops partially so that they can deal with such situations in a less violent way than Joe Blow would.

        Second, our opinion of Joe Blow in this situation would depend on whether he was the instigator or not. If Joe Blow is just walking along and ask some guy for directions and the lunatic starts choking him, then I am okay with Joe Blow shooting him. If Joe Blow goes up to a stranger and starts a fight and winds up getting his ass kicked and being chocked, then maybe him pulling out the tazer isn’t so defensible.

        To me at least, how this confrontation started is pretty key. If the cop was just out fucking with this guy, which is something cops have a bad habit of doing, then I blame the cop for the entire thing. Why is the cop creating the risk of a confrontation where there need not be one?

        1. I’ve been saying this for years. Cops and other government officials should be held to higher standards, not lower ones. In fact, I firmly believe they should be held to ridiculously high standards. I mean, come on, they have insane amounts of power–why should we give them even the slightest pass?

        2. Laws was charged with assaulting an officer, strangulation, damaging a patrol car, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

          According to witnesses, he never laid a hand on the officer. Looks like the cop started fucking with him, grabbed at him, dude pushed the cop away, so the cop slams him into the car so hard that it dents it, Tases him, then files a false report.

          In other words, just average day for an average cop.

          1. Looks like the cop started fucking with him, grabbed at him, dude pushed the cop away, so the cop slams him into the car so hard that it dents it, Tases him, then files a false report.

            That’s absolutely what it looks like, as I said. It’s a very big “if”, but IF the cop’s story was actually true, I don’t think any of us would deny the cop’s right to pull his gun, anymore than we would ourselves in the same situation. The police chief’s statement is premised on the cop’s story being true.

            1. Every police report I’ve read of something I witnessed was lies, top to bottom, with a tiny thread of truth woven in. Granted the sample size isn’t huge, but it’s been one hundred percent lies.

              1. Yeah, trust me, I know. My limited interactions with cops have been pretty much the same way. I’m not defending cops in general or this cop in particular, just saying, the police chief’s statement isn’t entirely wrong if we assume the scenario given. That’s why I made sure to follow it up with:

                But it’s a pretty safe default assumption in any dispute involving a cop that the cop will lie to justify using force. Until something can corroborate the cop’s story it’s safe to suspect he’s full of shit.

          2. “Public Intoxocation”? How did the cop know he was drunk? Unless Laws was screaming or causing some kind of disturbance, I don’t see how the cop knew he was drunk or had any reason to confront him.

            I will bet you dollar to doughnuts this was a cop who was low on his arrest quota for the month and say this guy walking down the street and figured he would arrest him for something to get his arrest quota up.

            A lot of people won’t believe me when I tell them that but that kind of shit happens but it does and it mostly victimizes black men.

            1. Hey, any cop will tell you, there’s no such thing as arrest or ticket quotas. Nope. Nossir. Never.

            2. Round here all the money from fines and such goes to the state, not the department. So they don’t have a financial incentive to fuck with people. Supposedly they’re supposed to have something like twenty interactions with the public per day or something, whatever that means.

              1. All the fines go to the State and then get filtered back down to the localities, I’ll bet.

                1. Nope. They go right into the General Fund.

        3. First, I expect a higher level of behavior from a cop than I do Joe Blow.

          That’s reasonable, but it doesn’t negate the legitimate self defense rights of cops vs anybody else. If he had shot this guy while the guy was choking him and slamming him against his car, there would be a pretty good case for it.

          Second, our opinion of Joe Blow in this situation would depend on whether he was the instigator or not.

          Possibly to an extent. Although your self defense rights don’t go away because you’re an asshole or you ran your mouth off or even if you initiated physical contact but the other guy escalated it. You may remember this obscure legal case from a while back where a young black teen in Florida was shot and killed…

          1. “You may remember this obscure legal case from a while back where a young black teen in Florida was shot and killed…”

            I love posts like yours where an ignoramus obviously wants to reference a law to make his point, but is too stupid and ignorant to actually read or understand the aw, so they just vaguely mention it and suggest it matters.

            No guy, you’re wrong on the law.

  4. Good for the cops. Did you see how that dirty libertarian tried to smash the People’s Road with his head?

  5. If that deputy was being strangled, I am willing to believe he deserved it.

  6. To me at least, how this confrontation started is pretty key.

    Cause and effect is racist.

  7. Only drunks walk. The guy was obviously some sort of lowlife scumbag in need of a good tasering.

    1. If he wasn’t drunk he would be driving. And if he was driving, he’d be too intoxicated to realize he should be walking. QED.

  8. Recording cops’ bad behavior on video and letting the public see it may be the only thing that will bring them to accountability.

    Which is why it must be stopped at all costs.

  9. OK, here are the things the cop could have done differently so this would have never made the news:
    1. He could have just pulled up and told the guy he should move to the side of the road for his safety.
    2. Since he didn’t do that, he could have asked him if he wanted a ride to the store, seeing as the cop is there to be a public servant.
    3. He could have called the guys friends over to get him to safety (if he was in fact drunk).
    4. He could have called a supervisor over to explain to the man why he was going to be placed under arrest.
    5. He could have driven off and come back later and cited the man for being drunk and disorderly, while blocking the road so he could safely walk to the store.
    6. He could have arrested him at the store after the situation diffused and the man calmed down.
    7. He could have merely drove past him and waved his hand at a taxpayer who contributed o paying his salary.
    or 8. If he couldn’t have done any of these things above and felt he was in the right, he could go home and stick his glock in his mouth and pull the fucking trigger.

    1. The issue here is that cops have stopped being trained to use any judgement. All of the alternatives you give, require the cop to use his judgement.

      Cops don’t do that anymore. They don’t do that for two main reasons in my opinion. First, is the rise of “broken windows” policing. I used to be a fan of that but now I think it has gone way to far such that it needs to be abandoned. “Broken windows” policing is just telling cops to stop using their judgement and be an asshole about every single infraction they see.

      The second reason is our “it is always someone else’ fault” mentality. i have a good friend who is now a federal cop and started out as a university cop in Indiana. As a university cop, he was obviously confronted with the walking drunk guy nearly every night. My friend is actually one of the 1% of good cops. Yet, he was under orders to arrest anyone who appeared “more than mildly” intoxicated, whatever that means, because if he didn’t and that person later hurt themselves, the university would be on the hook for his failure to arrest them. He still skirted the rules and only arrested people who literally couldn’t walk in a straight line. But he could never just give the guy a ride home or be anything but an asshole without his bosses being up his ass.

      1. They’re trained to consider anyone who doesn’t comply (obey) to be a threat.

        Once someone fails to comply, they’re going to jail or the morgue.

        1. Yes. And that training is the result of “broken windows” policing and a liability system that will hold municipalities liable for “failure to arrest”.

          Think about how insane it is to hold a city responsible for failing to arrest someone on anything short of a felony. It just tells them to never use any judgement and fuck with everyone.

          1. They can be held liable for failing to arrest someone, but not for killing innocent people.

            1. I hadn’t thought about it that way but you are right. Great incentive structure we have isn’t it?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.