Brickbat: That Just Burns Me Up


Paul Jason "PJ" Hall is fighting for his life with burns over 70 percent of his body after being Tasered by a Weed, Calif., police officer inside Hall's home. Hall, whose family says has a history of mental health issues, had doused himself with a flammable liquid and was holding a lighter threatening to set himself on fire. An officer ordered him to drop the lighter, and when Hall refused, the officer fired his Taser, igniting the liquid.

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  2. So the cop set him on fire to prevent him from setting himself on fire. The PD issued a badge, taser, and gun to a total moron.


      1. Hey, cops killing someone threatening to commit suicide is a 100% guaranteed way to prevent suicide. If you’ve been murdered, you can’t commit suicide anymore.

  3. “I think he should be trained for that situation,” Bob Hall said. “There was no threat. My son wasn’t threatening anybody. Nobody else was in any danger. There was nothing going on except he was crying out for help.”

    The taser isn’t for self defense. It’s a compliance device. It doesn’t matter to them if the person is a threat. If he isn’t following commands, if he isn’t showing deference, they are trained to use the taser to force the issue.

    1. It sounds like excuse making for the cops.

    1. So do cops.

  4. No doubt the cop union will claim the officer has been traumatized by having to see that, so he must have more paid leave, access to a cool military vehicle, and large bonus to cheer him up.

    1. More likely the cop union will argue he has PTSD from this and needs to be paid disability while also still being a cop.

  5. The courts have already ruled that ignorance of the law is a perfectly cromulent excuse for our Warrior class, I’m sure ignorance of the laws of nature and thermodynamics will apply here as well.

    1. cro·mu·lent
      acceptable or adequate.
      “the continental breakfast was perfectly cromulent”

      “It’s a perfectly cromulent word.” Though ‘cromulent’ originated as a joke on The Simpsons, it’s a perfectly cromulent candidate for future entry in the dictionary. … Cohen came up with cromulent as one of those words. It means “acceptable” or “fine.”


    2. I am whelmed by your vocabulary.

  6. “I read the container, it said inflammable, In.Flamable. so I used the taser.”

    “What, they’d rather unused my service weapon and maybe put a few holes in him?”

    “I felt threatened, I only had two options, the safest way to remove the threat was by removing the flammable liquid from the equation. For the other option there had to be a dog, the guy would be fine if only they’d had a dog.”

    1. “What, they’d rather unused my service weapon and maybe put a few holes in him?”

      Committing suicide is illegal. If a cop kills you, you can’t commit suicide. Crime prevented.

      1. > Committing suicide is illegal. If a cop kills you, you can’t commit suicide. Crime prevented.

        Big brain time right there.

  7. And if the cop had just watched him set himself on fire? YOU COULD HAVE USED YOUR TASER TO MAKE HIM DROP THE LIGHTER!

    This guy was in a no win situation. I seriously doubt that tasers have been tested in this situation.

    1. Mythbusters did a show on spraying pepper spray or other flammables onto a dummy and then tasing them. Sometimes they got flames, sometimes not.

      As for being tested, the taser people warn not to use them around flammable gases or liquids.

    2. Your doubt has been noted, but I can assure you that electronic ignition devices have been tested for decades.

    3. when in doubt, use force!

  8. Dumb cop, sure, but once you intentionally douse yourself in gasoline, you have to be considered largely responsible for whatever happens next, whether it’s a large hospital bill or self immolation in front of a busful of nuns.

    “Fighting for his death”, more like it.

    1. “…intentionally douse yourself in gasoline”, may not be an indicator of good mental hygiene or indicative of rational decision making. just sayin.

  9. I am sure this has never before occurred, so qualified immunity.

    1. It’ll actually be an interesting case if the Taser came with a warning label about use around flammable substances.

  10. I’m not defending the cop here, he’s clearly a moron and should face some consequences.

    But I’d dispute that this dude was no threat. A man engulfed in flames running around, or even just rolling around has a good likelihood of, oh, I don’t know, catching other things or people on fire.

    1. I’ve got a shit ton of leaves on my front yard. Hell, that guy could have caused the whole neighborhood to go up if he was in my yard. The flames may have even jumped the State line by now if that happened here. Bravo Weed PD.

    2. And deliberately lighting him on fire reduces that risk how, exactly?

      1. It doesn’t. Try reading harder.

  11. Maybe instead of firing the taser, the cop could have called a shrink instead.

    1. or tasered himself?

    2. The PD issued him a taser, they didn’t issue him a cell phone, so no, he couldn’t call a shrink..

  12. No reason to have tased this person unless he was a threat to anyone besides himself. The officer needed to de-escalate the situation and called a mental health professional!

    1. Excellent point — Goes right along with the other comment above by (Fist of Etiquette), “they are trained to use the taser to force the issue” instead of to “de-escalate the situation”. I’m but a naive bystander but it seems law enforcement could handle a lot of situations better.

  13. well shit people, these folks aren’t just gonna immolate themselves now are they.

  14. I know that suicide bombers have, when confronted, run TOWARD police/soldiers. People who have lit themselves on fire often run (instead of stop, drop and roll). Why should the cop take the chance that he gets bear-hugged by a flaming maniac?

    1. The cop increased the likelihood of that occurring by providing the fire.

    2. Because it’s his flipping job? Because cops (like Boy Scouts) are specifically trained in how to take-down-and-roll a panicked and non-compliant burning victim? Because being “bear-hugged by a flaming maniac” is no risk at all?

    3. By not attending the ‘Prometheus School of Running Away From Things’?

  15. If that highly-trained hero in blue was trying to talk a jumper off a building, would he push him?

    And it wasn’t the liquid the retard ignited, it was the fumes.

    1. “If that highly-trained hero in blue was trying to talk a jumper off a building, would he push him?”

      Yes. If you jump off a building, that’s suicide, and suicide is illegal.

      If your friend pushes you off a building that’s murder and murder is illegal.

      If a cop pushes you off a building, that’s perfectly legal.

      Preventing crime is a cop’s job, so he’s obligated to push you off the building.

  16. Remember that cops who actually try to do their job and talk down the suicidal tend to be fired or punished for not forcing the issue. If he tried to wait for a negotiator, the next cop to arrive would have most likely “resolved” the situation the same way, if not with his gun. (Something similar happened with an ex-Marine a few years back). I’m not a fan of all the shit cops get up to, but I’m willing to go a bit easier on this guy.

    Besides, he’s not the dipshit who covered himself in gasoline and tried to get someone else to kill him because he was too chickenshit to do it himself. Someone has to live with that shit afterward, and most people don’t view killing someone as a good thing. Even cops. Yeah, I know that’s not gonna be a popular or “politically correct” opinion.

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