Police Taser Report Watered Down By NYPD Civilian Complaint Review Board

Among the recommendations removed from the final report, a ban on police using Tasers on unarmed people.


Nothing to report here.
Wolfgang Kumm/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom

New York City's Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) watered down the conclusion and recommendations of its own report on police use of Tasers, after a "collaborative" process of revisions with the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio's office.

CCRB had released a draft of the report earlier this year which concluded that in most of the reviewed cases, police were using Tasers on unarmed people. The board's initial recommendation was to end the deployment of Tasers on handcuffed detainees, but both that proposal and much of the language emphasizing how prevalent the use of Tasers is on unarmed suspects was excised from the final report, according to The New York Times'.

The executive summary of the report's original draft also recommended the department create an annual comprehensive report detailing each time a Taser is used by an officer, but the final report buried that recommendation on the very last page.

The Times reports:

The draft, in describing the roughly 30 percent of Taser complaints that came while a subject was in police custody, observed that "these were the most troubling." That sentence was removed. Also removed was a statement that "a review of several of the police custody complaints supports the perception that the Tasing may have occurred unnecessarily."

Elsewhere, the draft report found that "there is also evidence" that Tasers were being used in response to unruly or obstinate behavior by suspects. That phrase was changed in the final version to say that "there is concern."

CCRB senior adviser Jerika Richardson was quoted by The Times' as saying that revisions like this are typical and "changes were made to the superfluous language that skewed its findings," but some critics think the CCRB is failing in its mission as a supposedly independent oversight agency.

Police reform advocate Josmar Trujillo described CCRB as an "ornamental agency" that is far too cozy with the department it is meant to place a check on, and whose recommendations for officer discipline and greater departmental accountability are all too easily dismissed by the NYPD and City Hall.

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  1. Michael Brown was unarmed. He *would* have been armed if he’d succeeded in getting the cop’s gun.

    1. Anybody who is unarmed would be armed if they get a cop’s gun. If that’s a justification for shooting someone, then it justifies shooting anyone.

      1. The justification was this guy tried to grab a cop’s gun.

        1. Which version of the cop’s story says he tried to grab his gun? Was is the one where he said he knew Brown was a suspect in the robbery? Or the one where he had no idea that Brown was a suspect in the robbery? Or was is the cherry-picked version of the two that the sycophant DA read to the grand jury with no cross-examination whatsoever?

          1. The version where Brown was fighting him in the back of the squad car?

          2. The one where Brown had a handful of stolen cigars, punched the officer, and broke none of the cigars?

            1. Holder went through this case with a fine-toothed comb looking for a reason to indict the cop. The ultimate exoneration was sufficiently embarrassing that they simultaneously released a report on other aspects of Ferguson’s justice system, so that the media would be able to keep up the oppression narrative.

              And the witnesses who said Brown attacked the cop?

              And the fact that Michael Brown knew that Michael Brown was a robbery suspect?

      2. Then the pigs shouldn’t be armed.

  2. However did cops restrain people before tasers?

    Heroes my ass. Cowards is more like it. Snowflakes in blue who pout and stomp their feet if they don’t get to shoot a dog a day and a human on Sundays.

    1. That’s the punchline, though. They taser people who are handcuffed, and killed a policy that would have stopped that.

      1. “No tasering people who are handcuffed” is a different policy from “no tasering people who are unarmed.”

        Going by a radical, cop-hating, “treat the police just like private citizens” standard, I could see a blanket ban on tasering handcuffed prisoners, while cases of tasering unarmed (but also unhandcuffed) persons would be reviewed to see if they were either justified or unjustified and thus prosecutable.

  3. What the hell are they supposed to do, though? I understand tasers can be dangerous and may be overused, but what are the other options? Does every cop have to be a ninja able to defeat anybody of any size in hand to hand combat? Are women cops supposed to be able to restrain male suspects? I despise the police as much as anybody, but I really don’t see a better option, here, other than to just regulate it a little better and minimize their use a little bit.

    1. What are the crimes that warrant an unarmed suspect be subdued up to and including the user of a taser?
      How serious are the consequences, to anything other than blue ego, if the suspect escapes solely because no taser was used?
      I’m genuinely curious.

    2. “Are women cops supposed to be able to restrain male suspects?”

      I suppose I need to get curmudgeonly, but why not put most female cops on jobs which *don’t* involve retraining large male suspects – the Cynthia Rothrock types who pass demanding physical exams can still be given the rough jobs.

      1. IOW – cops should be capable of restraining male suspects, just like firefighters should be capable of carrying an unconscious body out of a building. Females can’t do these functions, shouldn’t have these jobs.

        1. While I think that any fit, strong, well-trained young policewoman should be able to take me down (hint, hint), if I exercised regularly at the prison gym and honed my combat skills it might be more of a problem.

        2. Most of the suspects were doubtlessly hopped up on the reefers, which makes them as strong as a retarded chimpanzee and as impervious to pain as a dead armadillo. Let’s see you try to restrain some drug addict out of his mind from drinking half a can of Four Loko and see how you deal with it.

          1. I once drank TWO cans of Four Loko (back when it had tons of caffeine) and then flipped over a Geo Metro.

            1. Now THAT is a masturbation euphemism.

        3. IOW – cops should be capable of restraining male suspects, just like firefighters should be capable of carrying an unconscious body out of a building. Females can’t do these functions, shouldn’t have these jobs.

          They get sued if they use fists or a nightstick, so they use a Taser. They do need some way to defend themselves and the public that doesn’t involve using their pistol. That being said, the over-reliance on the Taser is a big problem. It encourages laziness – as in, they do not feel the need to learn self-defense tactics like bjj, or stay physically fit – and the results are predictable.

          1. You consider a b.j. to be a “self-defense tactic”? This answers so many questions.

            1. Hey, dropping to my knees and forcing a cock into my mouth has saved me many a beating.

              1. And got you a lot more threats of a beating?

        4. Which is why peacekeeping uniformed cops should be an entirely separate job and department from detectives (who should be treated as basically just evidence-processing bureaucrats working for the AG, without guns or powers of arrest). Cops whose main job is shaking people down for fines should just work for the tax department, sans gun.

      2. But females can subdue large muscular men. I see this all the time in the movies!

        1. It’s happened to me before! Of course, it was definitely NOT a law-enforcement type of situation.

    3. “”Does every cop have to be a ninja able to defeat anybody of any size in hand to hand combat? “”

      No, but if you can’t take down a suspect and cuff them the old school way, the desk might be a better place.

      There is a place for them, but tazers should not be a weapon of 1st resort. The problem is they are becoming a 1st use weapon for compliance. Don’t comply, get tazered. That is not how it should be. It’s becoming the lazy way.

      1. It’s becoming the lazy way.

        Why would a person want to be physically fit and capable if they didn’t have to be physically fit and capable?

        1. I do agree it is now used because of laziness, but I do think there are many instances where their use would be necessary on an “unarmed” man.

    4. What did they do before tasers?

      1. Nightsticks and choke-holds.

        Followed by a ‘nickel ride’ and tune-up on the way to the station?

    5. That’s all well and good. But, it appears from the original version of the report that a lot of these tasings are happening while the suspect is already in custody.

    6. Does every cop have to be a ninja able to defeat anybody of any size in hand to hand combat?

      No, but we should also expect cops not to be fucking pussies. These things have moved from being legitimate methods of defense to arbitrary punishments doled out for showing disrespect or refusing to obey unreasonable orders.

      It’s just another tool used to transform the police from public servants who are expected to follow a modicum of deference to the public into petty little tyrants who drive around from place to place ordering mostly compliant civilians around on a whim.

      Being a cop is dangerous and they’re being paid to accept some of that risk, so we should all be ok with them having to accept some sort of risk, even if that means they have to tolerate a few minutes of sass talk when they’re trying to deprive somebody of their property or their freedom.

  4. Also removed was a statement that “a review of several of the police custody complaints supports the perception that the Tasing may have occurred unnecessarily.”

    “A review … supports the perception that ….may have….unnecessarily” isn’t maybe perhaps possibly weasel-worded enough? What should they have added? A “some people suggest that there might be a rumor” in front of the statement?

  5. far too cozy with the department it is meant to place a check on

    So… just like the “public advocate” office, which is really just a stepping-stone for wannabe mayors.

  6. But there is some good news:

    Court rules cops justified for shooting dog if barks

    Oh wait, never mind.

    1. Because not moving or making a sound is a totally reasonable expectation for a dog when it sees someone who doesn’t belong in the house.

      1. I think this is what cops use now as a training video:

        It’s coming right for us!

  7. I wouldn’t have supported a ban on using a tazer on unnamed people.

    We need better officers, not blanket one-size-fits-all rules.

    1. That’s like saying we need better politicians. There are certain types of people attracted to certain types of jobs.

      1. Wed get better officers if we occasionally held them accountable for their actions.

        1. Yes, but it’s apparent that’s not going to happen.

        2. To parapharse Frank Serpico, it won’t change until the bad cop fears the good cop, and not the other way around.

  8. OT: DNR purges climate change from website
    Out of Wisconsin.

    The comments are delicious

      1. It makes sense. If i lived in an Arctic hellscape like Wisconsin i’d be praying for warmening too.

    1. I suspect we will see more of that in years to come. The climate scammers will just kind of fade away and each one will pretend they weren’t part of the scam. New studies will begin showing that climate changes are statistically normal.

      Of course whatever carbon taxes they have managed to get over on us will remain forever.

      1. The tax of keeping Al Gore i the spotlight was more than enough to impoverish most nations.

      2. Of course there has been global warming: The climate warmed and produced the Medieval Warm Period, then cooled and produced the Little Ice Age, and then it warmed again as we come out of the Little Ice Age. Now it looks like we might be starting to enter another Little Ice Age. Or maybe not – “always difficult to see, is the future.”

        The real “denialists” are the ones who denied the existence and global scope of the Medieval Warm Period, and more generally the existence of various warmer and cooler periods in the millennia between the end of the last ice age (~10,000 years ago) and now.

  9. As long as coroners list cause of death as “blow from fist / foot”, just so long will Anthony L. Fisher be regarded as a fool and a knave rather than listened to.

  10. Nothing to see here folks. Move along….

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