Another "I don’t care anymore, tase me, bro!" police taser debate

That seems more an argument for creating a “prodder” setting for tasers than that the intent is a bad one.

All the rest you said falls under the heading of, “Well they can get -around- taking the easy road.” You haven’t given a compelling reason for them to go the hard road. The person is breaking the law and being a general asshat. If he doesn’t want to get tased, he has a pretty easy way to have that not happen.

Oh nonsense. Being parked on the side of the road is now inherently dangerous? I get that people have been hurt in those situations, but I would bet that officer is far more likely to be hurt doing far more pedestrian things. If you can’t be bothered to accept risks without reaching for your gun or your taser at the first chance, maybe you shouldn’t be a cop.

Indeed, tasers are now, for too many cops, not an alternative to a shooting but an alternative to making physical contact of any sort. Take, for example, the tasering of the pregnant woman who was walking away from a police station having changed her mind about giving up custody of her older child. She was doing nothing unlawful by changing her mind and going back home, but when she refused to “turn around and come back here” to the cop for more questions that she didn’t want (or have) to answer, he tasered her in the back from four feet away (and she wasn’t walking fast, she was pregnant for pity’s sake) to make her stop. Jogging for three paces would have put the woman in range for him to step in front of her and stop her from leaving in that way, even if he didn’t want to grab her. She wasn’t a suspect in any way, I think they ended up charging her with “disorderly conduct” the world’s most convenient catch-all.

I seem to also recall a man being tasered while sat stock still on a bus seat, because he refused to get up from the seat. Turned out he was in a fugue state and couldn’t get up. I believe that tasering was lethal.

I agree. I do not agree, however, that a Taser represents a judicious use of force in such an instance, because of its capacity to be lethal when, for instance, running and catching someone and tumbling to the ground with them, then staying on top of them while they’re handcuffed certainly isn’t responsible for 300+ deaths in the last decade.

Tasers are not benign. They are potentially lethal weapons. They are not tools of compliance, and should never have been permitted to come into common use as such. If a shooting with a gun would not be justified in a situation, then shooting with a taser ought not be either.

This was not use of a Taser to protect a cop from bodily harm. This was repeatedly causing excruciating pain by means of an electrical shock to a man who was sitting on the ground, handcuffed and sobbing, because the cop wanted to either speed things up, or inflict some pain to express his anger at the disturbed man wasting his time.

Tasers are not supposed to be a time saving device.

The sobbing and blubbering make me think the guy was either drunk or needed to be taken to the psychiatric hospital to find out what’s wrong with him, not repeatedly shocked with a Taser.

Is failing to sign a citation an offense in Florida? In many states, if a motorist refuses to sign the citation, the citation is still valid. This reminds me of a similar incident in Utah where a man was Tasered for refusing to sign a citation which is not illegal in that state.

Especially if you take note of the fact that ‘excited delirium’ is never diagnosed in a living person, and I’ve never seena case of ‘excited delirium’ being the cause of death when a taser was not involved.

It makes total sense if the goal of the cop was to inflict pain. My own opinion is that too many cops see the taser as either a time saving device, or a way to inflict pain on someone without being charged with brutality.

Sometimes, as in the case of the Utah motorist, an alternative to talking to someone.

You also have the cop who Tasered a mentally ill man while he stood on a ledge outside his apartment in Bed Stuy NYC, apparently not at all cognizant of the fact that when people get Tasered they lose muscle control and fall. That man fell head first onto concrete and died.

At night, on a busy street, outside your vehicle? Yes. And the point isn’t whether it is more dangerous than walking a beat in a rough neighborhood or something. The point is that the danger can be reduced by ending the encounter and you’ve got to weigh that real danger when assessing the scope of reasonable action.

Your point is fair, but it doesn’t really apply to the situation. Mr Buckley was handcuffed and sitting fairly quietly without struggling. I KNOW that cops in Florida are trained in hand to hand, joint manipulation, and pressure points, we have one in my kan moko shi do class. After a measly two whole lessons, I know enough nasty tricks to do to someone handcuffed to get them up and jumping in heartbeat. I’m willing to bet that officer Haddock knows them too. Buckley was already restrained and non violent. At worst, Haddock could have simply manhandled him into the vehicle, you can prevent that slumping by a simple knee placed between the legs to keep him up while you change your grip. It isn’t against the law to be an emotional wreck, and it is an officers duty to remain calm and collected. Buckley was barely annoying let alone dangerous.

I’m willing to let the first tasering go, as he was using it as a threat to get compliance, then followed through to show he was serious. After seeing that it just made Buckley roll about and get more agitated, he should have changed tactics or just waited. He was out of line.

The danger doesn’t come from Mr. Buckley, except insofar as Mr. Buckley might hurt himself. The danger comes from passing vehicles.

Also, if you watch the video, it is quite clear that the officer could not “mandhandle him into the vehicle.”

I did watch the video and he tried half- assedly all of twice to pick him up and busted out the taser. Neither time did he even attempt to change his grip, grab the wrists or even secure Buckley to help him stand. He got halfway up, Buckley sagged, and he gave up. There is a difference between “can not” and “can’t be arsed”.

I’m not sure what the cop’s intent was after the first tasing. I think any sane person would realize “I want this man to move, but my device meant to cause incapacitation is causing him to become incapacitated and unable to move. Perhaps I should stop and try something else.”

By the same logic, one could argue that telling your child “I’m going to give you ten rounds with the cat-o-nine-tails if you don’t clean your room.” After all, if he doesn’t want those lashings, he has a pretty easy way to have that not happen.

“Sorry, officer, but this dude was breaking the law and impeding my vehicle’s ability to get down the street. I warned him twice that if he didn’t move, I was going to run him down. If he didn’t want to be hit, he had a pretty easy way to have that not happen.”

I’m not arguing that Buckley wasn’t breaking the law, but there’s an argument to be made that the punishment should fit the crime. In this case, it seems that the officer just got flustered that his orders weren’t being followed, and used the taser as a compliance tool (to what end, I have no idea). I sure as hell hope that sometimes police officers take the hard road (and the hard road here? Waiting a minute and a half for backup to help physically move the guy.), but tasing should never be an option just because it’s “easier.” Clearly in this case, it wasn’t the easy road, either.

A fleeing suspect is entirely different than a passively resisting suspect and you know it. What a disingenuous argument. In one case the suspect will be out of your control and out of sight if you just wait a minute, in the other the suspect is just sitting there being a pain in the ass. Being a pain in the ass (i.e. non-compliant) might even be a crime, but I don’t know of any laws in this country where the punishment for a crime is torture or the infliction of pain. By your logic, it would have been perfectly acceptable for this officer to mace the suspect until he complied, or water boarded him into compliance instead of having to lift him bodily into the car or even waiting for another expensive officer to come to help. What we are talking about here is not the use of judicious force to stop a fleeing criminal or to protect the officer or the public from danger, what we are talking about is an officer torturing a handcuffed citizen because the citizen is passively resisting the officer and won’t voluntarily get in the police car. I personally believe that American citizens have the right (it is even constitutionally enumerated under the eighth amendment) not to be tortured under any circumstance and I find your views reprehensible.

He wasn’t being punished; he was being brought into compliance with a lawful arrest.

To get him to stand up and get into the police cruiser, as the officer says, repeatedly.

But the Taser is no different in principle than a come-along hold. [ul][li]Someone is nuts/drunk/stoned out and won’t get into the squad car.[]I slap on an armlock[]it hurts[]subject gets into the squad car in order to relieve the pain.[/ul][/li]or
[ul][li]Someone is nuts/drunk/stoned out and won’t get into the squad car.[
]Tase his sorry ass[]it hurts[]subject gets into the squad car in order to relieve the pain.[/ul][/li]
No doubt if the officer in the video had used an armlock to get compliance, the same complaints could be lodged as with the Taser.

The bottom line is that, when the officer puts you under arrest, you have to do what he says.

It’s a busy highway. You don’t get to flop over at the roadside and whine for twenty minutes. That’s what jail cells are for.


Interesting qualifiers, but it is still bullshit. According to this cite, roadside accidents “killed 120 police officers from 1995 to 2004, an average of one officer every month, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police.” Many of those deaths happened before more stringent cautionary measures were put into place. While tragic, it does not represent an action that is inherently dangerous anymore than riding a bike, or horseback riding does. Even if you accept that it is inherently dangerous, the danger does not rise to the level of using potentially lethal force to mitigate the chances of an accident. Hell, if it were as dangerous as you make it out to be, why do they even pull people over in the first place to give them $75 tickets for speeding if doing so puts the officer in such a vulnerable position? This is why many cities have outlawed high-speed chases. A situation where you are in all likelihood dealing with a far worse criminal.

To some extent it is. People are killed and injured doing all sorts of things. It behooves no one to magnify and sensationalize insignificant risks. After all, something that is “inherently dangerous” is dangerous relative to other, more mundane things.

But you’ve failed to show that reasonable action includes using a potentially lethal weapon to force compliance.

Virtually all force is potentially lethal. The question, for the purposes of reasonableness, is the likelihood of the taser seriously injuring or killing the guy weighed against the likelihood of danger from leaving the guy there in the context of the likelihood of the taser leading to compliance. And, all of that should be viewed in the frame with some deference given to an officer who is forced to make difficult decisions and considering the inherent interest in the officer being able to complete the arrest.

Even absent the factors of some deference to a difficult decision and the interest in completing the arrest, I believe my position can rest on the conclusion that the risk of death or serious injury to both the officer and the unstable man from being on the side of a busy road at night is higher than the risk of the taser causing serious injury or death. Your statistics on this point do not impress me for two reasons. First, at best, you’re demonstrating one side of the equation. You’d still need to show that there have been as many deaths caused by tasering in similar circumstances that aren’t attributable to other factors in the arrest. And second, the statistics fail to account for the increased risk factors of the nighttime arrest, the busy street, etc.

It doesn’t always put them in such a vulnerable position. There are degrees here which you’re ignoring, but which are relevant to evaluating reasonableness.

Could I have a cite please for the number of people who have DIED after the use of a come-along hold? Just one cite please?
20 Taser Deaths in Canda

245 Taser Deaths in the US from 2001 to 2007

I seriously doubt that if an armlock had been used to get compliance, instead of a weapon that has been shown to have fatal consequences, then there would not have been the same level of complaints.

The Taser is NOT a weapon that is meant to be used for compliance purposes. Period. Full stop.

You’re on more solid ground here than Shodan (talk about damning with faint praise!), but I disagree with your risk assessment. If the Taser were the ONLY tool at the officer’s disposal, your analysis would be stronger. But as others have pointed out, he chose not to use other techniques that would have worked as well or better, to get compliance from the suspect.

In my experience, when you get down to each individual cases that make up these studies, you find that there are almost always other factors at play, whether its something like the person being really really coked up, or an officer tasing the person and then suffocating them to death by sitting on them, etc.

If we’re going to have the taser debate, let’s at least point to some actual studies, not internet articles pointing to Amnesty studies with no way of assessing the results.

What techniques? It looked to me like the guy was too heavy for the officer to lift, and the initial tasing pretty well established that pain compliance wasn’t going to cut it.

ETA: This study seems more reliable to me.

Not a link to an actual study, but note that the RCMP are a fairly reputable organization, and they have recently recognized that taser stun guns can cause death, and have consequently shifted policy and will

Call me crazy, but if the officer established that the initial tasing was not working, I don’t think the logical solution to his problem was…

More tasing!

As others have said, I’d cut the officer some slack on the first use of the Taser. After that? Either bad judgement or willfully inflicting pain because he was pissed off. Only the officer will know why he did it.

I don’t doubt tasing can cause death. I think there are at least some cases of otherwise normal individuals dying as a result of tasing. What I doubt is that this is anything more than an extremely rare event. Rarer than people being hit on the side of the road.

I think you’ve overlooked my position in this thread, which is that the subsequent tasering was excessive force.

Perhaps though NOT rarer than people being killed during a traffic stop on the side of the road. I know it does happen, but I can’t find any stats on the frequency or even raw numbers.

You’re arguing what I think is perhaps the only logical reason for tasering this guy - I just don’t believe the numbers are strong enough. In the absence of actual statistical data, we might just have to agree to disagree.

You’re right, I did overlook that. Apologies.

I’m trying to think of a situation where tasering someone whose hands are secured behind his back is justified. Fantastically remote nigh-impossible scenarios aside, I can’t think of one.

Your cipherin’ ain’t all it could be.

There are something like 800,000 law enforcement officers in the US at various levels (cite). Your cite claims about 80 million bike riders, and 700 deaths per year. So there are roughly 100 times more bike riders than police officers.

But some back-of-the-envelope calculations seems to indicate that the death rate for police in raodside accidents is almost twice as high as for bicyclists. (700 deaths for 80 million is 7 deaths per 800,000, while the death rate for police is 12 deaths per 800,000.)

You can have more than that, if you like -

I am afraid we will have to agree to disagree (cite). Poeple seem to complain no matter what. Cite.