Cop Shoots Cuffed Teen In The Face With A Taser, Claims He 'Feared For His Safety' [UPDATED]

from the the-first-rule-of-policing-rears-its-abusive-head dept

[UPDATE: Several commenters have pointed out that the "his" in the quote "feared for his safety" may refer to the safety of the suspect (who may have been running into traffic), rather than the safety of the officer. I will try to find another quote that clarifies this matter and will add it to the top of this post when I do. Tasing someone while they're cuffed seems like a strange way to make someone "safer," but it's a better rationale than arguing a cuffed suspect represents a "threat" to an officer's safety. This incident does seem to have a bit more vagueness than other "feared for his safety" cases. In most others, the suspect has ended up beaten or shot, which pretty much eliminates the suspect's "safety" from the equation.

Why an officer couldn't simply run down a cuffed suspect on foot is beyond me, considering they have to pass certain physical tests before exiting the police academy. But if the physical shape of police officers tracks with the general physical condition of much of the population, it's easy to see why firing a Taser would be preferable (and quicker) than attempting a rundown. (I'm reminded of Christian Slater's character's quote in the seminal 90s comedy "Kuffs," delivered while undergoing physical training at the police academy: "Why are we doing all this running? Aren't we going to be driving around in cars?")

The "pulling his legs out from under him" quote is probably just an example DA Heckler used to illustrate how this teen's face ended up in the condition it did.]

Let's get everything else out of the way. Everything that might indicate this teen/perp got what he "deserved."

1. He was caught shoplifting at a Wal-Mart along with his 19-year-old cousin. He was positively identified by Wal-Mart Asset Protection.
2. He was arrested and cuffed.
3. He ran from the cops before they could place him in the squad car.

This kid isn't exactly a sympathetic character. He was caught red-handed breaking the law. He was on his way to being processed. But then he ran. And for that, he was shot in the face with a Taser.


This isn't according to the kid or his mother. This is according to the County District Attorney himself.

Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler tells NBC10 that police officers yelled warnings at the teen and fearing for his safety, they fired a stun gun to subdue him. The D.A. says the Taser struck the boy in the face and with his hands cuffed, the boy had no way to brace himself against falling face-first.
None of this adds up.

How does a cop "fear for his safety" when a handcuffed suspect is fleeing police custody? It's highly unlikely he was running towards police officers in order to escape them, but the DA himself claims the teen was "struck in the face" by the Taser.

Marissa Sargeant, the teen's mother, claims he was beaten.
“The picture speaks 1,000 words. They brutally beat him,” Sargeant said in her Levittown apartment. “If he did fall on his face, why does he have scrapes and bruises all over his whole face, everywhere. Why is his nose broken? Why is his nostril lifted off his face? Why is both of his eyes black and swollen?”
Maybe the cops just roughed him up a bit and somehow thought the ridiculous Taser story would cover it all up? Even the DA can't seem to get his narrative right.
“You take off running at a full clip and someone pulls your legs out from under you, and you’re cuffed from behind, you’re going to break your fall with your face,” Heckler said last night. “I could well believe that you’d have fairly substantial bruising, cuts and scrapes.”
So, which is it? Was he struck in the face by a Taser or were his "legs pulled out" from under him? Either way, it's conceivable he'd take a faceful of pavement. But neither response sounds appropriate.

It's tough to make a complete assessment about this teen's physical size from a headshot, but to me, he looks pretty slight -- not like some overgrown boy/man who's jumped the development curve on his way to 6'6" by age 16 and who purchased his first razor at age 11. Even if he was running directly at the cop, his hands were cuffed behind his back. Anyone in law enforcement who "fears for their safety" when a cuffed perp starts running either towards or (especially) away from them should probably hand in all assigned weapons, whether lethal or not.

His mother is certainly being overly dramatic when she compares it to the Rodney King beating. This isn't an extreme case of excessive force. Nope, this is just the run-of-the-mill deployment of excessive force to subdue a perp who made the responding cops' job slightly harder. For the DA to not only swallow, but parrot, the "fear for my safety" line is sadly unsurprising as well.

This isn't a poster child for police abuse. This is just another in a long line of incidents showing just how frequently law enforcement members will claim to "fear for their lives" in order to justify handing a perp a little extra "attention"... or a full-on beating... or an instant death sentence.



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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 3:46am

    And yet...

    If the thug/officer had received so much as a scratch, you can bet that same DA would be calling for blood, insisting that the one responsible(not the cop of course, never the cop) be charged with assault and any other charge he thought would stick.

    I seriously hope at least one reporter in the area has the guts to call the DA out on his lying, the fact that he's given two very different 'explanations' strongly suggests he's lying through his teeth, and certainly gives weight to the mother's claims that they beat him and are just trying to cover it up.

    Also, and someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but assuming they train these morons at all before handing them the pepper-spray and taser, doesn't part of that training include specific instructions never to aim for the head, both due to the small size, and how insanely dangerous it is?

     

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    Arsik Vek (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:15am

    So, maybe this is a silly question, but if he was running away, as they claim, how did he get shot in the face. Now, my knowledge of anatomy is a little rusty, but the face is usually oriented in the direction of movement, ie. away from the cops.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:38am

    The kid should consider himself lucky, the officer could have pulled his pistol thinking it was a taser and then "subdued" the perp.

     

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    Sobe (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:39am

    Uhhh really????

    "Maybe the cops just roughed him up a bit and somehow thought the ridiculous Taser story would cover it all up? Even the DA can't seem to get his narrative right. "

    "So, which is it? Was he struck in the face by a Taser or were his "legs pulled out" from under him? Either way, it's conceivable he'd take a faceful of pavement. But neither response sounds appropriate."


    I really hope you're joking. You think the DA was really suggesting that happened? I would say it makes more sense to say the DA was using the leg pulling as an example. Cmmmonnn mannnnn.

    Although..I think it makes more sense that they roughed him up. What does the cruiser cam show?

     

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    Fensty, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:41am

    Don't get me wrong...

    I NEVER support the police version of any story. Ever. I rarely take their side even when it's cut and dried, and don't make excuses for them. If you doubt me go read my Facebook where my friends are tired of my constant posting of stories like this.

    However I think there is one misconception here - I think the quote about 'fearing for his safety' meant the cop feared for the KID'S safety, not his (cop's) safety.

    As in, "He's running through a parking lot handcuffed, he's gonna get hurt, so let's Taze him and drop him on his face to the macadam to 'protect' him."

    IE, it' equally stupid logic, but I do think that was the meaning...and Tim might've misinterpreted that. (Not hard to do as cops always 'fear for their safety' and shoot people...)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:46am

    Frankly this IS a poster child for police abuse. The entire reason police abuse happens at all is because so many are so willing to let it slid when the perp 'is guilty.' Which leads to the viscous cycle of presumption of guilt ect ect ect.

     

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    Doug (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:50am

    Re: Don't get me wrong...

    Yes, I think the DA was trying to say the cops feared for the kid's safety. Which is, as Fensty says, a lame excuse likely trying to cover up what really happened.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    Sorry but, if someone really fears that someone else might hurt themselves, doing something that guarantees they will be hurt is the last thing that they would do, so I'm really not buying that line of reasoning.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    in a nation where a poptart can be fashioned into a weapon, a cuffed kid is a nuclear weapon ready to explode unless you act NOW!

     

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    Some Other Guy, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:18am

    Re:

    Yet police have used exactly that line of reasoning before, when they tazed a naked, autistic 11-year-old girl, purportedly to stop her running into traffic:

    http://www.kdrv.com/father-of-tased-child-challenges-osp/

     

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  11. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:20am

    The police are just attack dogs now, no decency or sense.

    And to be repetitious, cause Truth is constant, the savage police were deliberately trained in the illegal foreign wars, and were a domestic goal for those wars. YOU are going to have to risk these dogs savaging you until we get The Rich back under control, as that's the real cause of societal collapse: The Rich want to impoverish everyone so can literally rule; this is just evidence of their lawless control. -- Didn't use to be this way, kids, not even in the bad 60's. Many of you don't know any other society to compare with, but not that long ago, the world was getting better. We're in transistion from relative freedom to the Brave New World, the fully corporate state, ruled by the few through mega-corporations, no rights left, let alone privacy.

    The only possible opposition to corporate savagery (or any other kind of authoritarianism) is Populism (or democracy as mis-defined) with the moral force of common law.

    You can't fight a police state on your own: It takes a whole nation to answer a policeman. (Rex Stout, author of the Nero Wolfe novels.)


    Now, I do have to question why this is here on "Techdirt" -- other than ginning up page views. It's not tech. There's no call to action, less than I wrote above. WIthout pointing to a solution, these pieces only serve to re-inforce the police state by creating fear in the populace. That's true of all sites running these pieces: yeah, gets ya riled, but more makes ya fear knowing the police have no human decency and will likely get away with obvious crimes even against you if chance takes you into their sight...

    Well, kids, it's time for you to reject the violent video games and oppose all violence, even the pretend kind, or you're actually helping the police state.

    Non-violence is the only workable opposition to a police state, proven since Ghandi.

     

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    Fensty, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:27am

    I like to think....

    That it's a hallmark of "the other side" to rush to judgement and paint everything that seems to go together with the same brush immediately before all the facts are really in.

    Again, it's rare you'll find me defending cops and I'm not even doing that, really, but I do find at least a few items in Tim's interpretation that might be a bit hasty and knee-jerk reaction. Yes, cops beat the hell out of innocent people all the time, and this might be exactly that, exactly what it looks like.

    But the DA's comment doesn't say that his legs WERE pulled out from under him, that's an analogy. He's saying, getting Tasered while running full speed with your hands cuffed behind your back on a macadam parking lot, is just like if your legs were pulled out, you tripped, etc....you are going to land face-first and skid. Road rash, in other words. His facial injuries look consistent with that to me.

    The 'fear for his safety' as I already mentioned, again, was the cops claiming THEY (cops) were worried about HIS (kid) safety. IE, "He was running towards traffic, handcuffed and not paying attention. We tazed him to take him down before he ran into traffic."

    Now again, please don't accuse me of making excuses or being a police apologist. I post a story a week at least like this on my Facebook and rail on and on about police overreaction, zero tolerance abuse, and on and on.

    But I also do not ever want to look like one of "them" on "the other side" who just rush to judgement and label everything without stopping to at least evaluate the evidence and the statements on their own merits.

    I'm not really convinced this is outright abuse, more like stupid overreaction and bad judgement, or just lazy cops.

    (IE, was the kid really running directly into danger, or did the cops just not feel like a foot chase at that moment?)

    "Would he really be running toward the cops if he was trying to evade?" Again - possibly he was, obviously he was in fight-or-flight mode and if he was being loaded into the car by Cop A that doesn't mean there wasn't a Cop B a few yards away by the door interviewing other people who shot him in the face.

    Really, I'm not defending the cops at all. This might be exactly what it looks like and what Tim describes....but, it also might not be quite that extreme. I'd like a few more facts or statements from people there.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    You assume he meant to grab his taser......

     

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    Trails (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Re:

    Right, which was exactly the point made by Doug and Fentsy.

     

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    Sheriff Fatman, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:51am

    Gandhi

    1. It's "Gandhi", not "Ghandi".

    2. The Indian independence movement was far from entirely non-violent (though it suits both Britain and India to pretend otherwise): search for "Quit India" and "Indian National Army".

    3. Gandhi himself prefered violent resistance to passive acquiescence (while extolling non-violent resistance over both): http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/gandhi-jayanti-non-violent-mahatma-gandhi-preferred-violence-over -cowardice/1/312776.html

     

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    The Real Michael, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:51am

    Sure, you could bust your nose and sustain a scrape or bruise around the eyebrow/forehead region and/or zygomatic arch (cheek bone) on one side (this is important to remember), or scrape/fracture your chin from falling face-first on tarmac, but there's no possible way for both sides of the face to get pummeled as in the above-picture. The shape of the human skull + physics does not allow for it, so we can discard the district attorney's explanation. The very fact that he's got two black eyes is a dead giveaway that he was beaten.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:53am

    Re:

    "Sorry but, if someone really fears that someone else might hurt themselves, doing something that guarantees they will be hurt is the last thing that they would do..."

    Your argument is stupid, because this is EXACTLY how a vaccine works.

    You exchange some small pain now for the GUARANTEE of no or reduced pain in the future. The alternative is the GUARANTEE of A LOT of pain in the future, once you contract the disease (which you will, because you aren't super man) and - worst case scenario - you die.




    Not saying that the cop did good. Just pointing out that there are situations where receiving small pain "now" is preferable to receiving a lot of pain "later".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    Voters Support Immediate Justice

    Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler is an elected official. See “Bucks DA Announces Campaign for Second Term”, by James Boyle, Warminster Patch, January 11, 2013
    … In a statement released to the press, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler announced his intention to seek re-election to a second term for his office.…

    This is what the voters want.

    When a kid gets caught shoplifting at Walmart, the voters don't want to see the court system take forever before it lets the kid off with a slap on the back of the hand, or some kind of technicality.

    When a kid gets caught shoplifting at Walmart, the voters want to see the cops hand out immediate justice.

    Look, the kid isn't going to die from these injuries. He's not even going to lose a limb or anything like that. This isn't an organ-failure beating. But maybe the kid will learn a lesson. He might learn a lesson.

    This is what the voters want.

    If this wasn't what they wanted, then people wouldn't vote for it.

     

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    Nurlip (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:05am

    Not that i'm defending the police or the kid but as to the statement about the kid's face looking like he was beaten or roughed up instead of just falling on his face, i disagree. My grandpa was an alcoholic and once passed out while walking to his car from the bar. He fall flat on his face, no hands in front to brace him as he was unconscious when he hit the ground. His face looked (a little) worse than the kid's, but with similar scraping and bruising, even around his eye, and he also had several broken bones and needed stitches. So in my opinion, its very possible that his injuries are a result from him falling on his face.

     

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    Arsik Vek (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:08am

    Re:

    The very fact that he's got two black eyes is a dead giveaway that he was beaten.

    Actually, a broken nose will usually result in two black eyes, as any impact strong enough to break the cartilage will produce shock damage to the small blood vessels in the area.

     

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    Nom, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:12am

    Re:

    Well, if an officer cut him off, the he could have been shot in the face by the taser.

    When surrounded from all sides, to run away you need to run past one of them.

    The black eyes could have been caused by the nasal injury when he fell. Likewise the forward momentum increases the chance of scraps over the entire face rather than just one side. The more bloodied parts of the face are either due to the taser hooks or the initial points of impact when muscle control was lost.

    Additionally, "legs pulled out" may be a colloquialism used in place of the previously stated cause.

    Of course, these possibilities do nothing to explain why the officer said he "feared for his life" in regards to a handcuffed kid trying to run away/past him.

     

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    Trails (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re:

    I agree, cops should just FACETASER anyone trying to cross the street, cause they might get hurt.

    Did you see the picture? That's not a "small amount of pain".

     

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    The Real Michael, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re:

    Note the scrapes and bruises cover the middle of his forehead, directly beneath his right eye, his right cheek, the right temple, right nostril, the region between his eyes, the right side of his mouth, both eyes are black-&-blue and swollen. Again, the contours of the face disallow for such extensive damage from falling face-down on tarmac.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:22am

    I don't know about anyone else but I read that line about "fearing for his safety" as the safety of the Teen, not the Officer. Regardless of the intent, the Teen ended up harmed anyway.

    Taser use needs to be drastically rethought. If a suspect is fleeing a taser should not be a replacement for a fast set of legs.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:23am

    Sorry, but you can u fact get that kind of bruising from falling face first into the ground, especially solid ground like concrete.

    While I think the explanation for taking him was bs, this was a situation where someone was fleeing police custody, and a single shot with a teaser is not what I would consider excessive.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:25am

    I'm not defending the police at all, many of them are criminals themselves as far as I'm concerned. However,is it possible when he claimed he feared for his safety he meant putting himself at risk if he had to chase the kid? There are places someone on foot can get to that a patrol car can't, so assuming a chase ensues on foot, can't either one of them potentially get hit by a car or hurt themselves in other ways, or even cause other bystanders injury?

    The mothers statement about the condition of his face seems fairly ignorant to me, or she's trying to make it into something bigger than it is. If he went full faceplant rather than fell on his side, he could have sustained injury on both sides of his face, it would account for the broken nose, and when a nose is broken black eyes always follow.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:27am

    https://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ coves such.

    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/ComplaintProcedure/Pages/HRCComplaintProcedureIndex.aspx on how to file a complaint.

    I like the last bullet point "Domestic remedies have been exhausted, unless it appears that such remedies would be ineffective or unreasonably prolonged." Hrmmm, anyone think the domestic remedies will be effective and fast?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:32am

    Side note, hit in the face can imply the teaser shot hit his cheek, which us part of his Hay is easily possible with a fleeing target.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:33am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:32am

    Not sure why face auto corrected to hay.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:36am

    I think it all sounds plausible. Running away, kid looks back over his shoulder, taser hits him in the face. The taser "takes his legs out from under him" and he face plants.

    Put your hand over the right side of your face, that's what would hit the concrete - forehead, nose, cheek. The hit to the nose would give you 2 black eyes.

    The only thing I question is this: Is it ok to taser a person trying to escape in the back? (I would say they were probably aiming for his back and he looked back, as it makes no sense that he was tased in the face while running away).

    Answering my own question: Yes, I think it is permissible to taser someone in the back that is attempting to flee police custody.

    I'm often not on the police side in these situations, but this all sounds plausible to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:51am

    Clearly this dangerous thug was moonwalking away from the officers, and as a result his cuffed hands were behind his back, and as such could have been concealing a weapon.

     

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    Nick (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Uh, has anyone asked the KID what happened? So far, all we seem to have going here is what the cop says, but I don't recall reading what the kid's version of events say. Sure, can't trust the suspect, yada yada yada. Still, worth a shot.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually falling face down on Tarmac can cause exactly that kind of damage to your face.

    This isn't even the worst I've seen when it comes to falling face first onto a solid surface.

    When you fall onto tarmac, it's not a cartoon, you roll, you skid, areas AROUND the area of impact can bruise, and a broken nose will cause black eyes, skidding on the Tarmac (as he was in motion when he was tased) also accounts for additional scraping in addition to the bruising.

    Only people unfamiliar with falling face first onto solid surfaces would immediately discount this kids injuries.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Tasers are not the most accurate weapons, you aim for the person and fire in a way that is most likely to hit them.

    This generally means the upper half, which is why so many taser hits result in face/upper torso.

    Also have you ever tried to run with your hands cuffed behind your back?

    You're ALOT more uncoordinated, and can result in just as bad injury or even worse depending on WHERE you fall (ahem, traffic).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:05am

    Re:

    Uh, has anyone asked the KID what happened?

    Why would anyone do that?

    Don't matter what the kid says. Ain't no one gonna believe him, nohow.

    So best bet for the kid is to shut up, and let his lawyer cop a plea for him. Get the best deal he can get.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    This is what the voters want.


    Even if that's true, it's irrelevant. That the voters want vigilante "justice" doesn't mean that it's OK for the police to do it. It's wrong, bad for society, and illegal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    Re: And yet...

    Someone told me they were a juror for a case against someone who was being tried for (murder or assault? I can't remember) against a cop (they said this was a criminal case). This person told me they were told, in the court, that since this was a crime against a cop the same "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard didn't apply and that they only need needed to convict the person beyond a preponderance of the evidence or something. I'm pretty sure that's wrong and if her story was accurate it begs the question, why would jurors be given incorrect information?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re:

    Shoplifting.

    Couple days in lockup.

    Warning.

    Off he goes. Although with his injuries he'll probably just spend the time in hospital with no time served.

     

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    Tim, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Lets go back to the beginning. The kid was caught shoplifting with his cousin. He broke the law, then made the inteligent decision to try to run with handcuffs on. He obviously has a grasp of right from wrong. Anyone who has tripped while running fast or riding their bike and wiped out landing face first can recognize the scrapes on the kids face. Tazers don't leave scratches they leave a small puncture mark. Is it possible that when the officer shot the tazer the boy tried to duck and took the probes to the face. I don't see any puncture marks on the kids face anyway but it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. In closing, start by not breaking the law. And certainly don't compound the issue by trying to run once caught. Decisions come with consequences some good some bad. The blame goes to the kid and maybe even the parents for not teaching him right from wrong well enough.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    This is what the voters want.
    Even if that's true, it's irrelevant.
    The way the system really works is “irrelevant”? The truth on the ground is “irrelevant”?

    You can moralize all you want —preach your sermon from the pulpit— but the people of Bucks County are getting the kind of justice they want. From the man they elected.

    That's how the system really works.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: And yet...

    It was likely a civil trial not a criminal one and the person was confused as to why there was a different standard. Criminal cases have have the reasonable doubt threshold where as civil cases (and there can be both with regards to things like murder) have the preponderance of evidence threshold for siding with the plaintiff.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Lauren, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Ugh

    Look...how about you not break the law? Has anyone considered that? You realize cops generally leave you alone if you're not BREAKING THE LAW. Honestly, if it were my kid, I would have told him that that's what he gets for acting like a thieving douchebag, not try to make him out to be some sort of victim...I mean...wtf does that accomplish? Oh it's not your fault that you did something stupid...it's those damn cops who are out there doing their jobs so that law abiding citizens remain safe from your poor decisions. STOP MAKING BAD DECISIONS. The end.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    MrPendent, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 8:53am

    I didn't read all the comments, but wanted to point out that the DA's statement doesn't necessarily mean that the officer feared for the officer's safety. It could also have meant that the officer feared for the kid's safety--say he was running blindly towards a road or something.

    Admittedly, tasing him was probably not a great choice. I just wanted to point out that the DA's statement was not clear.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    i'm not condoning whatever the boy did or didn't do, but exactly what has got to happen before the people realise that the security forces are going down the road of doing whatever the fuck they like, including killing unarmed people, and actually begin to fight back. i mean not by beating the shit out of a cop, but by demanding that those officers that do things like this are made to pay! they should be sacked and criminally charged in an instant! and anyone who tries to cover up what really happened, as in this case, (fell over be fucked!) should receive the same level of punishment as the inflicter, just as the one with a murderer gets punished as if he pulled the trigger! to keep letting those who are supposed to keep us safe get away with acting as if they are in a war zone, especially against unarmed children, is going to simply encourage a heightening of bad treatment!

     

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  45.  
    icon
    Beta (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re: Ugh

    "You realize cops generally leave you alone if you're not BREAKING THE LAW."

    The problem is that cops generally leave each other alone when they're BREAKING THE LAW.

     

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  46.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    A lot of people here are saying "Now I'm not defending the cop", why not? Why shouldn't we defend someone, anyone when accusations are made that don't make sense? Our nation was built on the concept of justice for all. Justice is not just defined by punishing the guilty, but by also not punishing the innocent.

    The evidence provided in this article fits with the cop's story. Those injuries, easily caused by face-planting into something solid while running. The face-plant is the likely outcome of a person losing motor control by a high voltage electric shock. The Taser shot is probably the correct response to the suspect resisting arrest, running away from the cop, towards some other danger.

    The only thing here that even suggests the cop was in the wrong is the mother. Was she there, did she see it? No. Plus she's the child's mother, that instantly throws her accusation into question.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:27am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Except this has a lot of possibility to be legit.

    What exactly do you expect to happen with any fleeing suspect? For cops to stand around them and touch them, saying "We caught You!"

    If he wasn't tazed, he was going to be bodily tackled into the pavement anyways. And on a fleeing suspect that is not excessive force, that's what we expect officers to do in the performance of their duties.

     

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  48.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    The way the system really works is “irrelevant”


    But that's not the way the system works. We are a nation of laws and rights, and we don't get to vote that it's OK to violate those laws and rights.

    If the laws and/or rights need to be changed, then voters can do that by voting to change them.

     

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  49.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're actually buying the whole "we tasered him to protect him" line?

     

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  50.  
    icon
    TJGeezer (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:51am

    Re: And yet...

    "...it might not be that extreme"

    Maybe you forgot to look at the picture? Traditionally, if a cop walked into a house after a noise complaint and found a kid in that shape, he'd assume child abuse and call the local Protective Services. The adults in charge would face some difficult questions and, probably, criminal charges.

    This is a clear case of child abuse, however it happened (including criminal police malfeasance), and the DA is just as clearly complicit in an illegal action.

    1950s: The policeman is your friend.
    2013: You're safer facing a mugger than a cop.

     

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  51.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Re: Gandhi

    I will only say this: the IMPLIED threat of mass movements is what authorities respond to, they could not care less if some non-violent group is protesting, etc...
    *that* is what they fear, that the sheeple will bare their vestigial fangs, not a bunch of silly peaceniks shouting ineffectual rhymes...

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    How about the Wal-Mart security footage? That would paint a much clearer picture. I'm guessing he ran, they tasered him, he fell, they roughed him up a bit, and hauled his ass to county.

    The kid deserves punishment, but it's not the job of the police to decide what that should be. Leave it to the courts, now he'll most likely get his charges dropped and tax payers will cover another million dollar lawsuit. That image will do them in no matter what happened.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:10am

    Cops are pigs.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, but I think tasering was in fact an appropriate response to a cuffed suspect attempting to flee. It wasn't like he was repeatedly tasered to death.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    [T]hat's not the way the system works.

    • The District Attorney is ok with what the cops did to the kid. The cops won't get charged over this. The kid will get a plea deal on the shoplifting charge.

    • The voters are happy with the DA. They approve. They like Dave Heckler's brand of justice.

    ELECTION 2013: Republicans sweep Bucks County row offices… ”, by Jeff Werner, BucksLocalNews.com, November 05, 2013
    Incumbent District Attorney David Heckler also won re-election. He was unopposed.


    You can argue until you're blue in the face that this isn't really happening. You can argue all day long that it cannot really be happening. But it is. It is.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    Your arguement against the police is based on the supposition that the police purposely went out of their way to injure the kid.

    The kid fleed police, the kid got tased, the kid unfortunately landed face first on the ground and broke his nose. Many do not land in such a painful way.

    There was no mistake in firing a single taser shot at a fleeing suspect, there is nothing to charge. That the kid got injured in his attempt to run away is not the fault of the police, it is a consequence of the decisions he made.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    the police purposely went out of their way to injure the kid.

    A handcuffed kid got tazed in the face.

    Peddle your excuses somewhere else. You think a tazer is some kind of toy? You get your jollies off seeing someone electrified? That makes your dick hard?

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    Cool story. Why is it on TechDirt?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    You assume he got tased directly in the face (nowhere says that) and it didn't hit his cheek from behind, or that he ducked his head while trying to dodge (resulting in a chest shot hitting him in the face), or any other reasoning. A taser shot at a fleeing suspect again, is not excessive force.

    The only person who says the police purposely went out of their way to injure the kid is the mother. His injures do not signify beatings, they are consistent with a hard faceplant on the ground.

    Your angry rhetoric means nothing.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    You assume he got tased directly in the face (nowhere says that)

    This is a direct quote from the article:
    The D.A. says the Taser struck the boy in the face and with his hands cuffed

    “The Taser struck the boy in the face.” That's what the District Attorney himself says.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: And yet...

    I'm pretty sure that's wrong and if her story was accurate it begs the question, why would jurors be given incorrect information?

    Because cops are considered above the law, with a lot more rights than us normal peasants.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    The "face" consists of a fairly large area (generally the entire frontal section of the head).

    It's not like the cop pointed the taser directly at his face and pulled the trigger. It just landed somewhere in that region due to how people are taught to aim the things. When I said "directly in the face" it's because your accusations seem to be that they literally meant to hit him directly in the front of his face, and weren't just aiming to hit him in general.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    your accusations seem to be that they literally meant to hit him

    The cops are not claiming the the Taser just accidentally went off by itself. It's not one the incidents were they were cleaning the Taser and didn't realize it was loaded. The Taser discharge was intentional. There is no dispute at all that the Taser was discharged to hit the kid.

    At this point the burden should shift to the cops to justify their use of 50,000 volts on a handcuffed person.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    Here.

    your accusations seem to be that they literally meant to hit him directly in the front of his face, and weren't just aiming to hit him in general.

    Yes, they meant to hit the kid. Who was reportedly fleeing the scene. Cops are authorized to use force on a fleeing suspect, enough to subdue them at least. A single taser shot is all that's reportedly happened as of right now.

    Despite the bad press, tasers are still seen as a non lethal alternative to subdueing a resisting or fleeing subject.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Lauren, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Ugh

    You don't even know that they did! You're ASSUMING they did based on some ridiculous non-logic that makes you want to immediately victimize the CRIMINAL.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    they literally meant to hit him directly in the front of his face

    • The cops intended to hit the kid with the Taser.

    • The cops actually did strike the kid's face with the Taser.

    Given those two facts: (1) The undisputed general intent to hit him, plus (2) the actual location of the hit; then I'm entitled to presume that the cops intended the result that actually occurred.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Annonimus, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    I call bullshit

    As a kid I did in fact end up falling face first into pavement because I forgot to extend may arms to break my fall (I was a weird kid am a weird adult now). The point is the kind of wounds you get for plowing the pavement with your face draw a straight line off peeled skin on your face. The peeling of the skin and direction of bruises and scabs this kid has are not in a straight line, they are not even in the same direction. And while I'm at it how the fuck do you get all the scabs that kid has in the picture from hitting the pavement only once?

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:34am

    Re:

    Tasers are technology.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    ChrisB (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    Just more anti-cop nonsense from Tim. I cringe everytime I see his posts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    McCrea (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:51am

    HIS safety

    The quote is "fearing for his safety".

    That should be read "fearing for the perpetrator's safety". The cops are treated as plural in that paragraph, so if it meant the cops, it would have read "fearing for their safety".

    I don't see "fear for my safety" in the article.

    Someone running around the streets with his hands cuffed behind his back might hurt himself, so obviously you tase him in the face for his safety.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Ugh

    Are you arguing the picture is not authentic? have you seen people take a dive face first onto the ground? Unless the kid took a spill into a flipping rock garden the cops beat the kid.

    Did he deserve a beating for being a law breaker? Probably.

    Are cops supposed to deliver beatings? Of course not you god damn idiot. Courts dispense justice. Not cops.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    Re: HIS safety

    That's how I read the DA's statement too.

    And just as screwed up as Tim's interpretation... if not more so.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    Honestly, the cops are liars. Just look at the damn picture.

    You can say whatever you want, listen to whatever stories you want.

    But the kid was obviously beaten on the face. Anyone who says otherwise have never seen someone take a nasty spill on the face while running. OR never seen how someone looks after a nasty fight.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Lauren, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ugh

    Is that so? So before the court has had the opportunity to do their job, you are going to vilify the police officers...and without even having the whole story. How can you state for a fact that that is what happened? He probably face planted after being tazed while he was running around in hand cuffs like a complete moron. Now I'm not saying that is what happened, but who knows? Don't just to conclusions...and of course the picture is authentic, I'm not even sure how you came to the conclusion that I believed that it wasn't?

    Oh and here's a thought, had he not chosen to be a thief, he wouldn't be in this situation.

     

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  75.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: And yet...

    1950s: The policeman is your friend.
    2013: You're safer facing a mugger than a cop.


    I think you're remember a '50s that never existed. Police abusing their power (particularly against black youth who have been caught breaking the law) was pretty common then, too.

    What was a lot different is that in the '50s, the police hadn't been thoroughly militarized yet.

     

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  76.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voters Support Immediate Justice

    I am in no way arguing that this isn't happening. I'm arguing that this isn't the system. If things are working the way you're characterizing them, then they're doing things that are outside of the system -- something I would argue is pretty much just lawlessness.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Martin, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 1:11pm

    Response to: Arsik Vek on Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:15am

    Good question. Also, I read it as they were fearing for the safety of the kid, not their own safety; his erratic behavior with restricted movement could be dangerous to himself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Response to: Arsik Vek on Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:15am

    Kinda like how some cops will shoot someone to death to prevent a suicide, eh?

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: And yet...

    1950s: The policeman is your friend.
    2013: You're safer facing a mugger than a cop.

    You might want to rethink that. The kid is black. I think it would have been the same in 1950.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Prove it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    ECA (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 2:39pm

    mONEY MONEY MONEY

    In a society based on the all mighty DOLLAR..

    money.
    Someone is going to make some money.
    And I REALLY get the idea, that someone is TRYING to break cities and towns of ALL their money.

    HOW idiotic can you be?

    The money someone is going to be paid, is coming OUT of your pockets..the TAX PAYERS..
    Until you do 1 thing, its your money.
    The 1 thing. MAKE COPS NOT RESPONSIBLE..Make it so you cant SUE the cops.
    Police state.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: And yet...

    "and the person was confused as to why there was a different standard."

    I specifically asked the person if it was a civil trial and they said it was a criminal trial.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: And yet...

    I agree, the story sounds suspicious and the person was probably confused.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: And yet...

    We already know of the double standard in which police dogs are the same as police humans and citizen dogs are the same as target practice as far as rights and legal protections are concerned.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    " tasering was in fact an appropriate response to a cuffed suspect attempting to flee"

    It's shit like this ... damn it people!

    It is never appropriate to taser a handcuffed person, are you out of your mind?

    Look - the taser was introduced as a non lethal alternative to use of a handgun. It was deployed in the field with the idea that it would only be used when lethal force was deemed necessary.

    Now it has become a twisted accepted practice to torture perps with this device because they were asking for it.

    Seriously - wtf?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    " appropriate response to a cuffed suspect attempting to flee."

    Was he some fat ass with C.O.P.D like me and couldn't, you know, out run a cuffed kid?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 6:45pm

    Re:

    "A lot of people here are saying "Now I'm not defending the cop", why not? "


    LOL - it's sort of like saying,
    ... I'm not prejudice, I have a (fillin blank) friend.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Dilbert, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 4:23am

    Tazing

    I have seen a lot of videos of people getting tazed and no one tried to catch themselves as they fell. Lots of people are lieing here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 21st, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    the taser was introduced as a non lethal alternative to use of a handgun


    This. In fact, I remember cops specifically saying that tasers would not be used except in situations where a handgun would otherwise have been used.

    They lied.

    Now, tasers are used to "enforce compliance", torture, and all kinds of other situations where a handgun wouldn't have even been drawn, let alone used. The police have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with the used of tasers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2013 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Uhhh really????

    Those cruiser cam videos tend to disappear if they show misconduct from the officer...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2013 @ 4:11pm

    Re:

    I'll drink to that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2013 @ 4:20pm

    Running is hard work

    "Why an officer couldn't simply run down a cuffed suspect on foot is beyond me,"
    Simple. Running is hard work. If you are lazy it's much, much easier to just shoot someone with a tazer than run after him/her. People don't get into policing to run around by foot these days - it's all about driving around in a police cruiser all day between showing donuts in your pie hole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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