Communion Of Dreams

“He refused to comply.”
July 31, 2008, 8:37 am
Filed under: Civil Rights, Daily Kos, Government, Society, Violence

“He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him. He is making incoherent statements; he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers,” said Ozark Police Capt. Thomas Rousset.

Makes it sound almost reasonable, doesn’t it?

Small problem – the ‘he’ was a 16 year old kid who had fallen from a highway overpass and had broken his back. So, naturally, since he didn’t respond to the authoritah of the cops on the scene, the cops had to Taser him. 19 times.

See, kids, never make the mistake of not instantly jumping up to comply with instructions given by a cop. Just because you’re severely injured is no excuse.

And of course, the multiple “rides” on the Taser didn’t help his injuries. I’m sure there was the usual spasmodic response that happens when about 50,000 volts of juice hit you. And it also delayed surgery to correct the damage of the initial fall:

His dad says the use of the stun gun delayed what would have been immediate surgery by two days.

“The ‘Tasering’ increased his white blood cell count and caused him to have a temperature so they could not go into the operation.”

I smell lawsuit.

But that’s not the only such incident from down this way. Just last week we had a very similar thing happen in my hometown:

Police review Taser use
Captain says device escalated situation.

A man injured in a Taser-related fall from the Providence Road pedestrian bridge over Interstate 70 remained in critical condition last night at University Hospital as Columbia police sought to defend their use of force in the incident that began with a man threatening to jump from the overpass.

Phillip McDuffy, 45, suffered two broken arms, a fractured skull and possibly a broken jaw in the fall, Columbia police Capt. Zim Schwartze said yesterday. Police estimate McDuffy fell about 15 feet onto a concrete embankment beside I-70, landing on his right side after the 1½-hour standoff.

Yeah, they didn’t want him to hurt himself, so they Tased him. Gee, too bad that he fell and broke all those bones. Who would have expected *that* to happen?

The police use of Tasers is just simply out of control in this country. Seriously. My dad was a cop, and a lot of my family’s friends growing up were cops. They’ve got a tough job. I know that the use of Tasers have protected the lives of officers. But this is insane. It is no longer just the odd asshole who happens to make the Greatest Hits of Police Abuse on YouTube. It has now become commonplace for the police to grab their Taser anytime someone doesn’t immediately do what they’re told. Time to get rid of the things, nationwide.

Jim Downey

(Cross posted to Daily Kos and my blog.)

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