Police Taser, Kill Teen Acting Strangely In Horse Pasture


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Vernal45
May 31, 2005, 02:00 PM
Police Taser, Kill Teen Acting Strangely In Horse Pasture
18-Year-Old Allegedly Charged At Officer

POSTED: 9:59 am EDT May 29, 2005

AKRON, Ohio -- Springfield Township police are investigating the death of a man after he was stunned with a Taser gun by a police officer, NewsChannel5 reported.

Investigators said that Richard Holcomb, 18, was shirtless and acting strange in a horse pasture just after midnight Saturday. That's when police said he reportedly charged at officer Christine Albrecht.

She ordered Holcomb to stop and then stunned him with the Taser gun.

Holcomb was later pronounced dead at Akron City Hospital. The Summit County Coroner has not yet determined a cause of death.

This is the second time someone has died in Summit County after being shocked by a Taser gun.

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/4544843/detail.html?subid=22100405&qs=1;bp=t (http://http://www.newsnet5.com/news/4544843/detail.html?subid=22100405&qs=1;bp=t)

{Emphasis Added}

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Sindawe
May 31, 2005, 02:20 PM
Bad link. Story is here: http://www.newsnet5.com/news/4544843/detail.html?subid=22100405&qs=1;bp=t

Not enough information in the posted article to make a call one way or another.

This does bring to mind an old episode of COPS. Young man was acting "strange" when the police responded, babbling some gibberish about how the cops had " ..killed Jesus and he had told them that before, you are you know it right now I'm Jesus..." while gesturing like he was in a low budget rap video. Oh, he too was sans shirt. Cops had to chase him down across a couple of back yards and it too four or five burly male officers to get the fool down and restrained. Funny, once he was in the back of the patrol car the gibberish had stopped and he admited that he'd been smoking meth.

Were it me alone with some dude acting strange in the middle of a field, then charging at me, I'd tazer him.

Chipperman
May 31, 2005, 02:24 PM
1. Acting strange
2. Died from Tazer

Anyone want to venture a guess that drugs may have been involved?

R.H. Lee
May 31, 2005, 02:35 PM
That's when police said he reportedly charged at officer Christine Albrecht.

She ordered Holcomb to stop and then stunned him with the Taser gun.
Because 'officer safety' is always the most important thing. :rolleyes:

geekWithA.45
May 31, 2005, 02:36 PM
I guess the lesson learned is don't do drugs and get shot by a taser.

Or perhaps it's don't do drugs and act strange, prompting you to get shot with a taser.

Maybe it's don't do drugs.

In any event, however it turns out, the first rule is, "don't get shot."

Don Gwinn
May 31, 2005, 02:40 PM
Officer safety is ABSOLUTELY the most important thing when someone attacks an officer, yes.
In this situation, what is it you're suggesting should have trumped officer safety? There were no bystanders, so it couldn't be their safety.
In fact, what does any statement about what is "always the most important thing" have to do with this case at all?

R.H. Lee
May 31, 2005, 03:30 PM
Not to worry. The coroner's report will doubtless show that he was under the influence of drug(s), and the officer will be exonerated. His family may sue the department, who will roll over, and pay out a settlement rather than properly defend the case. All's well that ends well, I guess.

I'm just saying that an unarmed, shirtless teenager acting 'erratically' is not deserving of a death sentence, that's all. But when you have these tiny little petite females answering calls all by themselves, they're willing to resort to whatever force to defend themselves.

The situation could have been handled differently. Why didn't she remain in the car and call for backup? Why confront someone who is not endagering themselves or others?

41mag
May 31, 2005, 03:49 PM
It's too bad the guy wasn't wearing a bear suit.

We could have killed two threads at once. ;)

LawDog
May 31, 2005, 03:50 PM
But when you have these tiny little petite females answering calls all by themselves, they're willing to resort to whatever force to defend themselves.

I'm six foot tall, plus or minus, I weigh a solid two hundred and I've got about 20 years of unarmed combat training. And I'm male.

I'd've shot him with a Taser, too, Riley. Which is a damned sight better than option #2, which would have involved him getting whacked with a five-cell Maglite. Or catching a brachial stun.

Why confront someone who is not endagering themselves or others?

Criminal Trespass is a crime, especially if there's stock involved.

Trespassing in someone elses horse pasture, after dark, in Texas, is liable to get you (legally) shotgunned by a rancher, not Tasered.

LawDog

Steve in PA
May 31, 2005, 03:51 PM
Hmmm.....no input from the poster on this huh? Make one wonder doesn't it :scrutiny:

"acting weird".......not normal behavior. Could have been drugs (more than likely), could have been having a mental/emotional problem......could have been trying to get a bug out of his pants.

The guy charged at the officer. She tased him. Crap happens doesn't it. There was no intent to kill him by use of the taser.

Funny how the key board commandoes on here are ready to draw down and shoot people over all sorts of things. But if the story has a LEO in it.... :rolleyes:

Risasi
May 31, 2005, 04:08 PM
Some demonized/drugged up idiot. Doubtless the guy is a moron, at least from the article description. Curious that the officer showed up in a pasture. Wonder if she got called in by the neighbors?

Yeah we definitely need more details...

Regardless Riley, this does not look like it's about the cop or alleged perpetrator, but more about Tasers in general.

Personally I don't care whether they are lethal or not. Frankly if a shooting is needed I am fine with officers defending themselves. And I'd rather the officers in question used lethal force. Granted there can also be an abuse of power. And overreacting to a situation. One example would be circumstances like Tasing a guy in bed because he won't give a urine sample. :rolleyes:

Either way, don't turn this into another "circle the wagons" thread. Either side. Please. I'm so sick of reading them.

I agree with Geek, Chipperman and Sindawe. Even without more details than we have this moron got himself killed because of his actions.

Vernal45
May 31, 2005, 04:13 PM
More food for thought on Tasers
http://www.vvdailypress.com/2005/111650749964654.html
(Emphasis added)

Tasered suspect dies
Apple Valley man was in custody at West Valley Detention Center
By LEROY STANDISH/Staff Writer

APPLE VALLEY — An Apple Valley man died after he was Tasered at least twice by sheriff's deputies, once while in custody in the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

Leroy Pierson, 55, was pronounced dead at Kaiser Hospital in Fontana at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. He lost consciousness after he was Tasered inside his cell "after he continued to actively resist," according to a prepared statement from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Jail medical staff administered aid and paramedics were called, the sheriff's department said. He died while on life support at Kaiser.

The cause of death is pending autopsy by an independent agency, the Sheriff's Department said.

Pierson was arrested near Bear Valley and Navajo roads about 5 p.m. Monday for being under the influence and two outstanding warrants, according to the Sheriff's Department. Officials did not say what Pierson was wanted for and would not elaborate on details of Pierson's death, which is being investigated by the sheriff's Homicide Detail.

But one sheriff's deputy who spoke on condition of anonymity said the model x26 Taser used on Pierson was part of a pilot program started at the jail last June. Cindy Beavers, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department, later confirmed that the Taser was part of a pilot program.

Pierson's mother, 75-year-old Dorothy Pierson, believes deputies abused her son, who was not a large man, she said.

"They Tasered him twice. He wasn't no big guy. He only weighed about 150 pounds, and was only 5 feet 8 inches tall," Dorothy Pierson said. "He was Tasered twice. No wonder his heart stopped."

Detective Dennis Florence of the Sheriff's Department's Homicide Detail contacted her to tell her of the investigation, she said.

Beavers said Wednesday that she did not know if any deputies had been suspended during the investigation.

It's unclear how long Pierson had been in sheriff's custody. Pierson had fought with deputies right from the moment they arrested him after someone reported a man walking along the street swinging a belt and acting strangely, according to a Sheriff's Department report.

Three deputies placed Pierson in a patrol car and drove him to the West Valley Detention Center, where he refused to get out of the car and became combative, according to the Sheriff's Department. So deputies Tasered him.

Once they moved Pierson to the holding cell he fought with deputies and they Tasered him again. Pierson then lost consciousness, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Beavers refused to say how many deputies were present when Pierson was removed from the car because the case is under investigation. She also would not describe the cell where Pierson lost consciousness, or how many deputies or inmates were there.

The Taser used was pressed directly against Pierson and fired, Beavers said.

The X26 Taser emits 50,000 volts, according to the manufacturer, Taser International. With one pull of the trigger it delivers a 10 second energy burst. Two more pulls of the trigger and the burst is increased up to 30 seconds. It is not clear how long Pierson had been shocked.

Beavers said the department does "have a temporary operating procedure in place" for the use of Tasers, but said she could not discuss that policy over the phone.

Pierson is not the first person to die after being Tasered.

Seven states restrict the use of the Taser. Nevada lawmakers took up a bill restricting the use of Tasers in March.

There were 71 reported deaths between 1999 and 2004 caused by Taser use by law enforcement, Elizabeth Schroeder, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said.

"Taser use is a welcome alternative to a gun, but there are effects of a Taser's use, particularly on persons with certain medical conditions and police departments should use Tasers under only limited circumstances," she said.

In recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Taser International reported that the company had been named as a defendant in 18 wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits since the x26 was introduced in 2003. Two of those cases had been dismissed as of March, while the other 16 are pending.

The company noted in the filing that their products "may result in serious, permanent bodily injury or death to those involved. Our products may cause or be associated with these injuries."

Pierson's mother said she thinks deputies used excessive force to restrain her son, who lived with her in the 21000 block of Sandia Road in Apple Valley. Her son did not work, but collected Social Security disability benefits, she said.

"I have never known him to be uncooperative with the police," Dorothy Pierson said.

The San Bernardino County Coroner's Office is expected to perform an autopsy by the end of the week, said Randy Emon, spokesman for coroner. He said in his 10 years of experience working at the coroner's office he has never known of anyone dying from a Taser.

The autopsy will attempt to determine the cause of death. Toxicology tests, which take up to six weeks for results, will also be performed, Emon said.

LeRoy Standish may be reached at 951-6277 or leroy_standish@link.freedom.com.

Vernal45
May 31, 2005, 04:25 PM
Taser's effects fueling concern

By Antigone Barton

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Monday, May 30, 2005

A deputy fired his Taser stun gun twice at the woman he was chasing — the second shot dropping her to the ground — before she announced that she was pregnant.

"This was not apparent," the deputy wrote in his report, "but due to her statement I did not apply another Taser (shock)."
Too quick to fire?
SPECIAL REPORT ON TASERS
In a fourth of incidents reviewd by The Post, the suspect was not violent or threatening.
Interactive:How tasers work

How three incidents unfolded

Bartender tased
on breast

Angry at police for letting customer get away with tossing water in her face.


Teen tased in chest

Mouthed off at deputies when father's ambulance was late.

Speeding driver tased twice

She berated officers and refused to get out of car
View video
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The report was one of more than 1,000 reviewed by The Palm Beach Post that show how Tasers have been used in the three years since departments in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast added them to their arsenals.

While a growing number of human rights watchers and scientists have voiced concerns about effects on pregnant women, children, elderly people and people with heart, neurological and psychiatric disorders, the review showed that police from Boca Raton to Fort Pierce have fired the weapons at:

•Six people 65 or older, including an 86-year-old man; and at least 35 people 16 and younger, including a 100-pound, 14-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl;

•87 women of childbearing age, including at least three women who, after being shocked, said they were pregnant;

•At least 57 people who were high on drugs;

•At least 272 people who were shocked multiple times, including 67 shocked three times, 31 shocked four or more times and one man shocked nine times.

Some of these Taser firings ended violent confrontations in which immediate harm was possible, including encounters with armed and physically threatening suspects.

But in at least 237 incidents, the dart-firing stun gun was used only to get compliance from passively resisting or fleeing suspects.

Officers in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast fired Tasers at more than 1,000 people before Timothy Bolander died in Decemberafter being shocked four times by Delray Beach police. An autopsy found he had ingested a lethal level of drugs.

"Most of the people shot with Tasers live," said Ed Jackson, a spokesman for Amnesty International, which has called for a moratorium on the weapon's use. "It doesn't mean they are living without consequences."

He attributes Taser-use frequency to a belief that the weapon does no lasting harm.

"The idea that Tasers are generally safe is completely fictional," he said.

Taser International repeatedly has countered Amnesty International's criticisms by saying that the weapon has not been ruled the cause of any of the 103 deaths following shocks tracked by Amnesty.

"That's fine," Jackson says. "Where are the studies that show it's never been a contributing factor? Because that's the question we're asking."

Tasers have been cited in autopsies of at least two people who have died following shocks in Florida, which leads the nation in Taser-involved deaths with 24 since 1999. After a man shocked with a Taser in Escambia County died in January, a medical examiner declined to cite either a cause or manner of death, saying that not enough is known about the weapon's effects.

In November, excerpts of an Air Force studywere released saying that Taser shocks can change blood chemistry, potentially leading to heart damage. The study recommended medical monitoring of those shocked with Tasers.

Study 'strongly recommends' more research

In March, a study by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies said that Tasers can't be ruled out as a contributing cause of deaths that follow shocks.

"We strongly recommend that additional research be conducted at the organism, organ, tissue and cell levels," the report concluded. "The community needs to understand the specific effects of varying electrical wave forms... to include possible psychiatric and other nonlethal effects."

In the same month, forensic engineer James Ruggieri warned police departments that Taser shocks could damage the heart and cause delayed cardiac arrest. He advised that officers not be submitted to shocks during training.

Even the company that makes the stun gun, Taser International, urges caution about use of the weapon in the "drive-stun" mode and with repeated shocks — uses that The Post survey found have been frequent on the streets of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.

When the two barbed prongs that Tasers shoot are ensnared in skin or clothing, they transmit 50,000 volts of current that override the nervous system and temporarily paralyze muscles. The greater the distance between the prongs, the more incapacitating the effect. Another five-second jolt can be administered by pulling the trigger again as long as the suspect hasn't ripped out one of the prongs.

Officers also can remove the prong cartridge and discharge the weapon directly against a person's body in the "drive-stun" mode to subdue combative arrestees with a searingjolt of pain.

The Taser training manual advises that because it is not incapacitating, this mode can lead to "prolonged struggles" and that "it is in these types of scenarios that officers are often facing accusations of excessive force."

Thetechnique also requires some care, according to Taser International, but the company's guidelines containconflicting recommendations. The manual points out that the neck and groin "have proven highly sensitive to injury, such as crushing to the trachea or testicles if applied forcefully." The manual continues, "However, these areas have proven highly effective targets."

A recent amendment to the DeLand Police Department's Taser policy is clearer, saying that the "drive-stun" mode can be used only under exceptional circumstances. Local policies don't address the use of the "drive-stun" mode in writing, although narratives in some of the reports examined by The Post acknowledge that this use is discouraged.

Still, the weapon was used in the drive-stun mode in encounters described in at least 209 of the 1,017 reports.

George Kirkham, a former police officer, Florida State University criminology professor and expert witness in cases involving in-custody deaths, says in many situations, officers can use their hands for "pressure pain tactics" with less risk of harm. He also says Taser has given insufficient guidance on how many times a person should be shocked in either mode.

"We have seen police officers firing it 20 times," he said, "with no idea that they could be doing harm."

One shock may not be sufficient to subdue

Even in its paralyzing mode, one shock may not be enough to subdue a violent suspect, according to the Taser training manual, which advises that officers "should anticipate a second or third application."

But the same manual also warns that prolonged, repeated Taser shocks "may impede breathing" and urges that officers "minimize the overall Taser exposure."

In Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, 273 reports document confrontations in which people were shocked multiple times — at least 31 people were shocked four or more times, including one man shocked at least nine times. In some reports, officers and deputies simply reported firing "until compliance was gained."

Shortly after Boca Raton police became the first department to use Tasers in 2001, they arrested a man who had been running naked in the streets. After he was handcuffed, he began to struggle violently, breaking a Plexiglas divider in the police car with his head and kicking officers.

Officers shocked him repeatedly with their new Tasers, subduing him briefly each time, but failing to stop him for long. After he had been shocked at least nine times, he went into convulsions and was taken to the hospital where he was found to have cocaine in his system.

"The question is whether Tasers are unsafe under those circumstances," said Dr. Jared Strote, a Washington state emergency room physician, who with a Harvard professor is conducting a study of Taser-involved deaths. People who are "deliriously high" experience blood chemistry changes that, combined with restraints and heart ailments, can be fatal even without a Taser shock, he says.

"My guess is that these people with their underlying conditions — both acute and chronic — don't have the reserve to tolerate the Taser, and it makes them more likely to go into a fatal heart rhythm after the shock."

Taser International anticipates more deaths

The man survived, but the report of his violent, erratic and apparently drug-induced behavior, as well as struggles with officers and repeated shocks, parallels the stories of almost all of those who have died following Taser shocks in Florida.

Taser International urges departments to be prepared for those stories. The company points out in its training materials that the weapon often is used when other means of control have failed with people using hard drugs and showing signs of a condition that medical examiners call "excited delirium," which can be fatal evenwithout a Taser shock.

The firm includes an "In Custody Death Checklist" with its training materials.

In it, the company notes that it "anticipates more in-custody deaths given the significantly large deployments of Taser conducted energy weapons."

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/local_news/epaper/2005/05/30/m1a_taser_0530.html

RevDisk
May 31, 2005, 05:02 PM
Uh, in the first link, if some nut ball is illegal trespassing, mumbling to himself, "acting strangely" (I assume to meaning acting crazy) and then charges me, I'd use my sidearm not a taser. Tasers are "less lethal", but they can indeed be lethal.

I don't have any numbers off the top of my head, but I'm willing to bet people have died from being beaten with a baton or asp. Any time you use force to subdue a person, there is a chance of them dying. Usually VERY minor, but it's still a chance.

It's a shame the teen died. On the other hand, the cop did the proper thing. Heck, more than I would have done. I would have used a firearm.

R.H. Lee
May 31, 2005, 05:08 PM
Heck, more than I would have done. I would have used a firearm.
You must be a member of the law enforcement community then, because you're indicating a lower threshhold for the use of lethal force than is allowed citizens.

2nd Amendment
May 31, 2005, 05:09 PM
Actually in this specific instance he might have been better off with a bullet in him.

Sean Smith
May 31, 2005, 05:18 PM
Trespassing in someone elses horse pasture, after dark, in Texas, is liable to get you (legally) shotgunned by a rancher, not Tasered.

Kind of makes me glad I'm in Texas.

rock jock
May 31, 2005, 05:31 PM
Anybody remember the movie Equus?

LawDog
May 31, 2005, 05:31 PM
http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/11767865.htm

All that the parents of 18-year-old Richard T. Holcomb of Akron know is that he left Friday evening with friends en route to a high school graduation party.

They awoke the next morning to news of his death.

Holcomb died after being stunned with a Taser gun by a Springfield Township police officer about 1 a.m. Saturday.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death, township police Capt. Garry Moneypenny said. The Summit County Prosecutor's Office also will review the case.

Holcomb's death was the second Summit County fatality this year involving a police Taser.

Moneypenny said Holcomb was found wandering shirtless in a horse pasture along Griffith Road and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The owner had called police and reported trespassers.

The investigating female officer repeatedly attempted to talk to Holcomb, Moneypenny said, ``trying to determine who he was and what was wrong with him and why he was there.''

Holcomb responded incoherently, Moneypenny said, ``switching from talking to singing rap songs. He made statements to the officer that someone was going to die. He also made other statements that didn't make sense.''

Moneypenny said the officer kept her distance while waiting for assistance. But before backup arrived, Holcomb ``charged toward her.''

``She gave him verbal orders to stop and when he was a short distance away... the officer felt threatened -- she used her Taser.''

Moneypenny said township paramedics were called but found Holcomb ``not very responsive.'' He was taken to Akron City Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

``We've used the Taser on numerous occasions before,'' Moneypenny said. ``But this is the first time a person has ever died in police custody in my 27 years with the department.''

Officer on leave

Moneypenny said the officer, who has been with the department for 3 ½ years, was placed on administrative leave -- standard procedure in cases involving a death. He described the officer, who he declined to name, as ``well-respected.''

``Our investigation is not complete,'' Moneypenny said. ``We, at this time, do not know why Mr. Holcomb was at this location or how he got there. He lives several miles from here. The homeowner does not know Mr. Holcomb.''

Moneypenny said Holcomb had no identification on him and officers spent several hours canvassing the neighborhood and homes known to have had parties.

``We got a call later from a female who told us the young man may be Richard Holcomb and gave us his address.''

A knock on the door

Terry Miller, Holcomb's stepfather, said he and his wife, Kimberly, learned of their son's death after being awakened when police knocked on their door early Saturday morning.

Miller said his stepson has been in trouble before ``but nothing serious.''

According to Akron Municipal Court records, Holcomb was arrested in February two days after his 18th birthday after a car accident and was charged with possession of alcohol and drug paraphernalia. He was convicted and received a 180-day jail sentence, with all but five days suspended.

``He would never harm nobody that I have ever seen,'' Miller said.

He said he didn't know how Holcomb ended up in the pasture ``unless he got mad at one of his friends about something and got out of the car.

``All we know is that he was with friends at a graduation party.''

Kimberly Miller described her son as someone ``who liked listening to music, playing pool, video and card games. And he liked the girls. He had lots of girlfriends.''

She said her son was working on his high school equivalency degree through the Akron Urban League.

The parents said their son didn't have any known health problems that would have been a factor in his death.

``He was 6-2 and 180 pounds,'' his stepfather said.

Kimberly Miller said, ``He was very healthy and was solid muscle.''

She added, ``I wish they would take those things (stun guns) off the streets. I would have much rather had him shot in the leg and lost his leg than lost his life.''

had shot him. Then you'd be wanting to know why he wasn't tased.]

Stun gun scrutiny

The Summit County medical examiner ruled that shocks from Tasers used by Akron police contributed to the death of 30-year-old Dennis Hyde, a suspected burglar who struggled with officers in January.

Stun guns have been the subject of national scrutiny after Taser-related deaths and injuries in other cities.

According to the human rights group Amnesty International, which criticizes stun guns, more than 100 people have died in custody in the United States and Canada since 1999 after being shocked by Tasers, which can deliver 50,000-volt jolts from 25 feet away.

Tom Smith, president and founder of Taser International, defended the safety record of his company's stun guns, telling the Associated Press last week that ``in only 15 of those deaths were Tasers listed as a contributing factor by medical examiners.''


Highlighting and comments mine.

LawDog

Coronach
May 31, 2005, 05:32 PM
Quote:
Heck, more than I would have done. I would have used a firearm.


You must be a member of the law enforcement community then, because you're indicating a lower threshhold for the use of lethal force than is allowed citizens.Untrue. You merely have to articulate why you were in fear of your life, just as an officer would in that situation.

Mike

RevDisk
May 31, 2005, 06:55 PM
You must be a member of the law enforcement community then, because you're indicating a lower threshhold for the use of lethal force than is allowed citizens.

Hardly, from reading the post, it sounds like he was on PCP or meth. I've seen what dusters can do, and would honestly be in fear of my life if I had to grapple with one.

griz
May 31, 2005, 06:55 PM
RileyMc said:
The situation could have been handled differently.

How? What should this officer have done when charged by a 6 foot 2 man, described as "solid muscle", having already threatened the officer?

centac
May 31, 2005, 07:00 PM
The Potomac Institute's report on electronic restraints is out. In reviewing all the cases cited by AI all but one were found to involve other mechanisms contributing to death beside the Taser. They have some interesting probabilities of death involving Tasers - in short, not very probable at all.

Isnt this horse pretty well flayed?

Bufford t. Justice
May 31, 2005, 07:10 PM
Are LEOs not trained with batons any more? Just curious.
Myself I'd have likely shot the meth head. But that's just me.

Coronach
May 31, 2005, 07:32 PM
Are LEOs not trained with batons any more? Just curious.Indeed they are, but you will have a curious time arguing that being struck with a truncheon (which will, at the very least, leave a solid bruise and can easily break bone and sometimes kill) is somehow less severe than being hit with a Taser, which is 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the time completely harmless, with the exception of the two small 'stings' made by the probes and any injury incurred when the Tasered individual hits the ground.

Here's my non-scientific analysis:

Deaths associated with Taserings are almost always cardiac related. Each of these are instances of someone being really looped on drugs and/or having a deadly heart condition. The deaths have to do with the stresses placed on the heart from the body experiencing 5 seconds of the worst pain of its life. However, the stresses placed on the same heart from wrestling/fighting with the cops are probably similar or worse, and can and will result in death.

Witness the death in Cincinnatti. What's the first thing everyone said?MY GOD. THEY'RE HITTING HIM WITH BATONS. WHY DO THEY NOT HAVE TASERS?So. Now we have Tasers, and a (probable) Meth Head dies. What do we hear now?MY GOD. THEY TASERED HIM. DON'T THEY HAVE BATONS?

Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.

Mike

PS This is not just in response to Bufford's perfectly reasonable question... call it a forestalling of the inevitable argument. We've done this before. ;)

neoncowboy
May 31, 2005, 07:33 PM
From all the episodes of COPS I've watched and what I've read about the product, I'd rather be shot with the taser than be:
a) shot with the officer's handgun
b) beat with the officers' batons/flashlights
c) sprayed in the face with pepper spray

Of course, being the non drug crazed, upright, law abiding citizen that I am, I'll probably never be confronted with any of this stuff.

I guess tasers are somewhat dangerous...but I would offer that it's non-compliance with the police that is dangerous.

I wonder if tasers are considered 'deadly weapons'...whereby lethal force is justified in defending against them? I guess I can see the potential for the police demanding compliance where a free citizen might not actually want to comply.

Either way, it's still better than being beat with a mag light.

Oh and by the way vernal: do you have any original thoughts or do you just post stories you read on the internet?

jefnvk
May 31, 2005, 07:35 PM
So, I don't get it. We are trying to implement something that is less lethal than a firearm, and people complain that it is still too deadly.

Whacking someone upside the head with a baton could also be deadly.

Throwing yourself onto someon to restrainand cuff them could be deadly.

Whenever you have to get forceful with someone, you run the risk of someone getting hurt/killed. The perp is usually the one that forces the hand, too.

Think getting tasered is not a good thing? Don't act strange, stumbling around in someone's livestock while mumbling about killing someone and then charge someone holding a taser.

thorn726
May 31, 2005, 07:37 PM
well first off- gotta say very interesting an apparent lawman posting this-
in favor of tasers or not?

anyway- i have limited sympathy for people on hard drugs .

i've done my fair share of hallucingoens.

so my take would be this after reading the article=

i don't get it. if he was on PCP or meth, or ecsatsy type drugs, yes, that would definitely contribute.
other hallucinogens- lsd or mushrooms- no they dont affect you in ways that would cause death like that.

seems like they hit him too many times in part. i guess i start to wonder why cops dont shoot to injure in these cases but whatever.

seems like really what is happening is some people have minor heart problems that would never be noticed, and they get to be the unlucky victis of the taser, and the general LE feeling is "well sucks for them".

i dont know. i also suspect the cops were unable to keep a crazy moron from "getting to them" so they hit him more times harder than necessary to try and teach a lesson to someone incapable of learning at that point.

MechAg94
May 31, 2005, 07:39 PM
One of the first legal hurdles of the Texas CHL was a case several years ago where a guy shot a man who was beating the snot out of him with fists. The Courts ruled that "serious bodily injury" included pummeling by fist since that can cause serious bodily injury. "Serious bodily injury" is a justification for deadly force in Texas where it is not in other states.

All that aside, a trespasser acting weird, talking about killing someone, and charging an officer: Justified use of deadly force. Even though deadly force was not intended by the officer.

Where is the argument here?

Had to add: There is not such thing as "shoot to wound." It is deadly force. A wounded man can die just the same as a man shot through the heart.

Coronach
May 31, 2005, 07:47 PM
I wonder if tasers are considered 'deadly weapons'...whereby lethal force is justified in defending against them? I guess I can see the potential for the police demanding compliance where a free citizen might not actually want to comply.1. Is using a Taser on someone considered Deadly Force? No. It is a less-lethal weapon, and the police using it in situations where deadly force is not authorized is OK. It is actually contraindicated in deadly force scenarios, with some exceptions (like the suicide-by-cop standoff with a knife-wielding nutjob- but even then there is almost always an officer on hand with deadly force ready to go if something happens).

2. Is having a Taser used on you a deadly-force situation? Probably yes. Why is it being used on you? They guy isn't asking directions, he's getting you utterly at his mercy for 5 seconds (and with the capability to extend that in 5-second increments until the battery dies). If you are carrying concealed and a robber Tasers you in the course of a robbery and you can get to your gun, I'd say that you'd be A-OK to shoot for the X-ring and straight to slidelock. Same thing as if someone came at you with a baton/baseball bat/2x4.

Mike

RevDisk
May 31, 2005, 08:18 PM
2. Is having a Taser used on you a deadly-force situation? Probably yes. Why is it being used on you? They guy isn't asking directions, he's getting you utterly at his mercy for 5 seconds (and with the capability to extend that in 5-second increments until the battery dies). If you are carrying concealed and a robber Tasers you in the course of a robbery and you can get to your gun, I'd say that you'd be A-OK to shoot for the X-ring and straight to slidelock. Same thing as if someone came at you with a baton/baseball bat/2x4.

Not to be disrespectful, but has there been any caselaw on this subject?


Interestingly, I learned that some people are somewhat immune to Tazers. How'd I learn this? I was shot with one. It really, really hurt. I yanked out the electrodes, and cursed for a couple minutes. My leg was all kind of twitchy too. (MP training exercise. I was a bad guy and volunteered to get zapped. I was curious what it felt like and I was assured it was non-lethal, usually.)

Still, I was surprised. I suppose it's similiar to hype regarding super-duper anti-terrorist rounds, certain types of hollowpoints, etc. I didn't immediately drop to the ground and do the funky chicken dance. It hurt, a lot, but I'd have no problems continuing my assault if I had a weapon. No offense to whatever company the Tazer is made by, but I'd never trust my life to it.

Coronach
May 31, 2005, 09:09 PM
AFAIK, no, there has not been caselaw to that effect. So, that's a good point to raise. I, however, know that I will be shooting the holy heck out of anyone who grabs my Taser, and I believe firmly that I would be justified in doing so (as does my PD, and they have trained us accordingly). Likewise, I think you'd be on solid legal ground in capping someone who attacked you with one, though IANAL and all that. It's never fun to be the point man in caselaw.

RevDisk, what type of taser were you shot with? A lot of the people who state (truthfully) that they can still move/function while being Tasered were hit with older versions of the weapon. The newer ones have a much lower rate of failure to incapacitate (assuming proper deployment), though it can still happen.

Mike

grimjaw
May 31, 2005, 09:11 PM
I'm not in law enforcment, never have been. So I'll give a civilian's take on the same situation.

I think if I found a man in my back yard mumbling incoherently, appearing drugged, I'd feel very ill at ease. I've had personal experiences with people tripping on various and sundry substances, and I avoid that **** and the people that use it like the plague. If same individual charged me, I would certainly feel threatened. I'd at least have used pepper spray on him if I couldn't run. If might have tasered him if I'd had one. If I had CCW and he started to attack me, some might say I had sufficient justification to shoot him. In some states, it's probably quite legal.

Why wouldn't an officer be justified for trying to using less than lethal means to subdue the individual? He was probably more at risk statistically by using whatever he snorted/injected/ate than he was from the tazer. Why is the officer less able to defend himself/herself than I feel that I am? Anyway, that's just the thought running through my head, what if it had been me?

Akron is just south of here, but I haven't heard this on the news. I don't own a TV, but radio hasn't reported it much. I think it's unfortunate that the young man was killed. I'm sure the officer doesn't feel any better about it.

jmm

RevDisk
May 31, 2005, 10:37 PM
AFAIK, no, there has not been caselaw to that effect. So, that's a good point to raise. I, however, know that I will be shooting the holy heck out of anyone who grabs my Taser, and I believe firmly that I would be justified in doing so (as does my PD, and they have trained us accordingly). Likewise, I think you'd be on solid legal ground in capping someone who attacked you with one, though IANAL and all that. It's never fun to be the point man in caselaw.

I'd prefer not to be the test subject, heh.


RevDisk, what type of taser were you shot with? A lot of the people who state (truthfully) that they can still move/function while being Tasered were hit with older versions of the weapon. The newer ones have a much lower rate of failure to incapacitate (assuming proper deployment), though it can still happen.

I don't remember exactly. I looked over Taser's website, and I think it could have been either an M18L or M26. It had yellow on it in about the same spot as those two.

I'm not sure if it matters, but I zapped myself a good number of times working with electricity in the past. (I'm a Signal geek.) Not sure if that's built up a resistance (har har) or just that I've dealt with that level of pain before.

GT
May 31, 2005, 11:41 PM
a big, muscular, drug using, angry, antisocial badazz is removed from the gene pool because of his own actions;
BEFORE he could spawn more badazzes with one or more of his many "girlfriends".
And this is a bad thing?

I am sorry for the cop chick. But this was righteous.

He was lucky he didn't meet that crooked white guy cop from all the TV shows; he would have been beaten and tortured first and then executed by a single shot to the back of the head. :uhoh:

G

DSRUPTV
June 1, 2005, 12:35 AM
I have seen a couple people state that the officer should have just "shot the victim in the leg." The problem with this is that anytime an officer fires their weapon it is considered by law to be use lethal force whether or not they intend to shoot for a leg or center mass and there must be justification. It is also much safer to be tased than it is to be shot in the leg. Officers are taught specifically to avoid "shooting to wound" because many accidents can happen under stress. I know, I know, the people who type "shoot for the leg" are unaffected by stressful situations and would shoot in just the right spot so as to not hit the femoral artery, any major nerves, or break any bones, but the officer might not be that lucky. The fact is if there is no reason to use deadly force then a gun should not be fired. However a less than lethal weapon such as a taser could be used in a dangerous situation where deadly force may or may not be justified. It is no fault to the officer that the idiot was hopped up on drugs and died.

DMF
June 1, 2005, 12:40 AM
From all the episodes of COPS I've watched and what I've read about the product, I'd rather be shot with the taser than be:
a) shot with the officer's handgun
b) beat with the officers' batons/flashlights
c) sprayed in the face with pepper spray Well you have more common sense than a few people here, and ironically what you figured out on your own, is what most experts in use of force consider to be true of the TASER. Most consider the TASER to be less force than the three options you gave, and most also consider it to be less force than attempting "empty hand" controls.

So for the others with less common sense, let's really get to the heart of the matter.

While there have been a few deaths associated with the TASER (Vernal's post claims 18 since 2003), that is a small fraction of actual uses of the TASER, and those deaths have all been tied to people having pre-existing risk factors for cardiac events. Guess what? Being high on coke, meth, and several other drugs creates a risk of having a cardiac event! Abusing your body with many drugs will damage your heart (often permanently) and mean you have a greater risk of a cardiac event.

Regardless, let's leave out the thousands and thousands of uses in the field of the TASER, and remember most agencies require officers who want to be certified to carry the TASER get shocked themselves. I personally know officers that have been shocked more than once, and two that have been shocked at least three times in training. AFAIK, there has never been a death of a LEO who has been shocked with a TASER in training. Thousands of training shocks, and not one death. Thousands of uses in the field and only 18 deaths, and most if not all, associated with pre-existing risk factors for cardiac events.

The problem is those people susceptible to cardiac events are just as likely to have a cardiac problem from any other type of use of force. Let's say the cops go "hands on" rather than use the TASER. Do you think in the ensuing struggle the suspect's heart rate and blood pressure will elevate extremely?

Which takes us back to the real heart of the matter. What's the better option for the officer?

1- Don't use the TASER and go hands on possibly ending up with both people seriously injured, and/or dead?

2- Use a baton and again possibly end up with both seriously injured or dead. Remember, most expandable batons are 16" to 26", I personally use a 21" baton. There is a much greater likeklyhood of injuring the suspect when using a baton, than there is using a TASER. Also, it requires being employed at much closer range, increasing the danger of getting tangled up.

3- OC Spray, the affects of which can last longer than an hour, and through which some people can still fight, again increasing the risk of a struggle where both end up injured and/or dead.

4- Just shoot him.

5- Use the TASER whose affects only last 5 seconds per use, has rarely resulted in serious injury or death, can be employed at a much greater range than options 1 - 3, is much less likely to result in serious injury or death than option 4.

Hmmm, I wish my agency would let us have a TASER so I could have option 5. What do I know though, I'm just a dumb cop.

Again, neoncowboy kudos to you for approaching this topic with a great deal of commonsense.

ravinraven
June 1, 2005, 02:45 AM
"This is the second time someone has died in Summit County after being shocked by a Taser gun."

Hey, Spock! Did you set that thing on stun or kill?

rr

Mark in California
June 1, 2005, 03:08 AM
I run a private security company. I have seen stunguns used over the last fifteen years and they usually work, but...

On one occastion, one of my officers tried using a stungun on attacker. He laughed at him and said those don't effect me. He was right, he had no reaction to the stungun.

A friend of mine worked at Pelican Bay, and one night durring a cell extraction he told me a inmate was Tazered TWICE and both times he pulled the probes from his body.

There are some people on whom electricity has a reduced or no effect.

Art Eatman
June 1, 2005, 12:05 PM
The idea of the Taser is less than lethal, not non-lethal. There is a very large difference between those two terms.

Looking at the total number of people on whom the Taser has been used (LEOs in training, and LEO uses), only 18 have died out of the thousands of uses.

That strikes me as a much, much lower percentage than would have died had a firearm been used.

Seems to me that when there is a violent situation in which the effort is to restore order without great physical damage, the Taser has proven to be successful.

But nothing is perfect. Never has been; never will be.

Art

Coronach
June 1, 2005, 12:27 PM
Actually the term is "less lethal". Either way it is quasi-legalese for "We don't think this thing will kill you but it could under the right set of really rare circumstances".

Heck, we just had an in-custody death subsequent to a macing, so ain't nothing 100%. We've also had suspects who just plain went along with the program keel over dead, too. Handcuffs cause death, news at 11:00. :rolleyes:

I'm not sure if it matters, but I zapped myself a good number of times working with electricity in the past. (I'm a Signal geek.) Not sure if that's built up a resistance (har har) or just that I've dealt with that level of pain before.Well, the muscle incapacitation and the pain are independent of one another. A properly deployed X26 Taser will have the probes impact several inches apart (the more the better), and the effect of the current arcing through bodily tissue (read: major muscle groups) is what causes the incapcitation. It's not so much that it hurts like a sonofagun (it does), it's the fact that your muscles just don't obey your brain for 5 seconds. For instance, a drive stun (where you jam the Taser against the body and pull the trigger) hurts just as bad (some claim worse), but there is zero incapacitation except due to pain (which can be overcome). The same effect exists when the probes impact close together...there just aren't enough muscle groups affected to cause the neurological logjam that a well-deployed Taser creates.

Of course, nothing is 100%, and some people can function reasonably well even against a properly deployed Taser. I've heard of about three instances from reliable sources (defined as someone I know personally who witnessed the event) where a subject either managed to draw a gun, pull out the probes, or move far enough to break wires while the Taser was cycling. So, it can and does happen. But most of these instances occur either after the Taser cycles, or during the cycle, but only due to the random funky-chicken thrashings of someone getting juiced.

As to shooting the suspect "in the leg"...

We don't do that, except under the most utterly unusual of circumstances. And the "we" refers to either the police or private citizens. If you're shooting someone, it is deadly force. If it is time for deadly force, you need to be shooting COM or head, for a multiplicity of reasons that are off-topic for this thread (but still worth discussing elsewhere).

As to the Taser being used in lieu of other options...

Taser is similar to Mace/OC on the use of force continuum in most places. Many PDs (mine included) would MUCH rather you mace or Taser someone than end up in a wrestling/hitting match with them, because the chances of either an officer or the subject being injured or killed is an order of magnitude higher in a physical confrontation. There is a strong tendency of officers to want to stand off and mace/Taser people who are physically much smaller than they are (women, for instance) because, let's face it...if someone really truly does not want to go in cuffs, you're not going to get them there one-on-one without injuring them. There is no magical training that allows you to overcome all resistance without hurting the resister. A good officer would much rather use mace or a Taser to get a woman in cuffs without an injury than they would use physical force and end up dislocating a woman's arm.

Before anyone asks, I have seen officers break the arms of physically small resistive suspects in the course of a completely reasonable use of force. I dunno about you, but I would say that mace or Taser would be preferable to that.

Mike

bradvanhorn
June 1, 2005, 05:05 PM
As to the Taser being used in lieu of other options...

Taser is similar to Mace/OC on the use of force continuum in most places.
Thank you for that... I've been curious as to where the Taser fits in the continuum of force. Does it vary much between jurisdictions?

I'm a career Marine, and our preference is to shoot first and... well shoot first. For the career LEO, I'm curious if there is a concensus among LEOs as to what is preferred, chemical, electrical, or physical, in a less-lethal response? I've had limited force continuum training, and I tend to think in lethal terms, so I'm probably off track, but I'd think you'd go verbal, chemical, electrical, physical, and lethal (firearm).

centac
June 1, 2005, 05:31 PM
I tend to think that the Taser belongs "lower" on the force continuum than chemical agents due to the minimal aftereffects. From what I've seen once the current stops the recipient is pretty much good to go - in demos I've seen guys pop right up with no ill effects. Gas, on the other hand is pretty much a mess afterwards and it is difficult to gauge the level of real distress and possible complications. The Taser also allows a relatively reliable estimate of "dosage" whereas with gas there is really no way to tell how much the recipient got into their system, especially with the bawling and puking and general expression of discontent.

Most agencies I am aware of would prefer the use of the Taser or OC over going hands on - there is much less risk of physical injury to all parties involved with the use of intermediate weapons.

Dont the Marines have some neato civil disturbance kits now that go with the MEUs on cruises?

Coronach
June 1, 2005, 05:58 PM
Thank you for that... I've been curious as to where the Taser fits in the continuum of force. Does it vary much between jurisdictions?I would imagine there would be variance, yes, as each jursidiction makes up its own rules (subject to caselaw and possible legislation). I would imagine that most places would place electronic devices above empty-hands manipulation techniques (joint locks, simple holds) and below impact weapons (baton). Where they rank vis a vis Mace/OC, empty hand strikes/kicks and forcible grounding/wrestling would vary.

What is worth noting is that you need not go through all the steps of the continuum to get to the appropriate step...so you don't have to use commands THEN attempt to grab someone THEN attempt to Mace someone THEN attempt to punch someone THEN attempt to Taser them. You merely have to be able to justify the level of force you selected.

Mike

bradvanhorn
June 1, 2005, 07:28 PM
I would imagine that most places would place electronic devices above empty-hands manipulation techniques (joint locks, simple holds) and below impact weapons (baton). Where they rank vis a vis Mace/OC, empty hand strikes/kicks and forcible grounding/wrestling would vary.

What is worth noting is that you need not go through all the steps of the continuum to get to the appropriate step... You merely have to be able to justify the level of force you selected.
Yeah, I'm with you; thanks Mike.

Khaotic
June 24, 2005, 04:34 AM
>>Of course, being the non drug crazed, upright, law abiding citizen that I am, I'll probably never be confronted with any of this stuff.<<
(Note: That's just like.. "Who needs privacy, I have nothing to hide, right?")

Uh-huh, till some jerkwad cop decides that you match a suspects description, or just wants to give you a hard time - and you legally resist being messed with.

And mind you, in all the uses I've ever seen of a taser in the hands of a LEO, never ONCE have they stopped at one zap, never - it's like some sadistic component kicks in and they just keep going with it.

You ever have to hear a 19 year old friend scream in agony for the horrible sin of demanding to know why he's been stopped and hassled ?
"You will cooperate, or I will taser you!"

Yeah, that line's become a little TOO frequent lately, because instead of trying reason and negotiation, they reach straight for the little yellow box because their training and egos push them to absolutely control the situation, instead of defusing it.

That being said, yes there's a place for such a thing, but poor training, and serious ego issues are causing so *many* incidents lately that the whole concept is getting a bad name - and lawmakers are revisiting whether or not to trust police with these things (which is kind of idiotic on the surface, since we trust them with guns, even if they do hose 200+ rounds at folk in suburban neighborhoods for no particular reason), and the best hope we can get out of it is better training to deal with the issue of when to, and when NOT to, taser somebody.

Because no one is going to convince me that demanding to know what probable cause, suspected crime, or what have you, is by itself sufficient cause to taser a friend of mine - not at *all* an uncommon experience, from the information available, either.

For myself, I've been hit twice, and will not detail the circumstances, but in both cases it was unwarranted and could have resulted in a lawsuit against the department if it were someone inclined to sue.

I don't think there's any problem with the weapon, but there's HUGE problems with the training and field use, because when it comes down to cops tasering people for asking questions or demanding (and this is their RIGHT under the law) to know what crime or probable cause they've been pulled for - that's over the line, and this will boomerang on both police in general, and the taser itself, watch and see.

-K

deanf
June 24, 2005, 05:04 AM
You must be a member of the law enforcement community then, because you're indicating a lower threshhold for the use of lethal force than is allowed citizens.

The threshhold is not lower for cops. Look it up. :rolleyes:

neoncowboy
June 24, 2005, 07:37 AM
Uh-huh, till some jerkwad cop decides that you match a suspects description, or just wants to give you a hard time - and you legally resist being messed with.

Good point.

Yikes.

outfieldjack
June 24, 2005, 09:53 AM
Ok, then.... lets just get rid of tasers and let the Cops shoot people comming after them! I'm ok with that!

BostonGeorge
June 24, 2005, 11:02 AM
Yeah, that line's become a little TOO frequent lately, because instead of trying reason and negotiation, they reach straight for the little yellow box because their training and egos push them to absolutely control the situation, instead of defusing it.

I agree, the major problem with taser deployment today is that it is most often not in a defensive capacity, but one of compliance. If an officer is in direct fear of his life (or even general physical well-being) the taser may be an appropriate tool. Unfortunatly, it seems that the majority of taser deployments come from a JBT, "I'm the alpha male here" type of mentality.

Steve in PA
June 24, 2005, 12:51 PM
Sorry, if a LEO is in "fear for his life"......he'll be reaching for his sidearm, not a taser. Being in fear for your life has crossed a line in the sand so to speak.

And being the "alpha male" at the scene of a problem is correct. You don't show up and walk around with your tail between your legs. That said, being the alpha male doesn't mean you have to arrest, taser, pepper spray, etc. It just means being in control of the situation.

If I tell you that you are under arrest and you defiantly stand there I am justified in using any force (except deadly force) to effect that arrest. That force may be physical (hands), mace/pepper spray or taser.

BostonGeorge
June 24, 2005, 12:59 PM
If I tell you that you are under arrest and you defiantly stand there I am justified in using any force (except deadly force) to effect that arrest.
Well it appears that in this case, as well as others, the taser amounted to deadly force.

Steve in PA
June 24, 2005, 01:07 PM
People also die from being pepper sprayed, getting into a physical altercation with LEO's, etc.

A Taser is not deadly force, neither is mace/pepper spray.

Read the coroner's reports on them. They either had some underlying medical problem or were on drugs, etc which stressed their system. If your being placed under arrest, you have two options, one easy, one hard. Your choice, you make the decision on how this is done.

BostonGeorge
June 24, 2005, 01:28 PM
Don't get me wrong, by no means am I saying that tasers should be taken out of the hands of LEOs. I think they are a useful tool but also have a high risk of abuse. While I also agree that taser deployment is not deadly force per se, there are obvious risks not always recognized, or appreciated by the personnel using them, and at the time of use.

Steve in PA
June 24, 2005, 01:48 PM
Well until LEO's are issued tri-corders so they can scan the person they are about to arrest to determine which method may or may not be used, they have to use what they have.

If a LEO has access to a taser, why would they want to risk getting into a physical fight, spraying mace or pepper spray which may or may not work instead of tasing the person, then being able to walk over and place the cuffs on them?

Mr. James
June 24, 2005, 05:49 PM
Well, I'm just a citizen, but I have to agree with Steve and Coronach. If I had to control or restrain a subject, I'd prefer any option to going rodeo with him. As has been stated by Steve, Coronach and centac, once you're cheek to cheek with the sumbeech, somone is going to get hurt, possibly both.

It's surely a tragic story, but that boy brought a world of hurt to himself and his loved ones. And let's not forget the officer involved. I don't suspect this will be the high point of her career.

Khaotic
June 26, 2005, 05:19 AM
If I tell you that you are under arrest and you defiantly stand there I am justified in using any force (except deadly force) to effect that arrest. That force may be physical (hands), mace/pepper spray or taser.

So, if you come up to me, tell me I am under arrest - and I ask you the simple question of "What are you charging me with and why?", and refuse to cooperate until given an answer, you would engage with force ?

Think through your answer carefully here.

Because I have personally witnessed a taser used in not one, but TWO incidents of this nature, and you'll have a hard time justifying to me, and to your superiors, using one under those conditions.

I will also note there is a difference between controlling a situation, and coming in so gung-ho macho that it causes more problems than it solves, and as has been my experience, that's a BIG training issue and problem for most departments.

The weapon itself is an extremely useful and effective alternative to absolute lethal force, or as an option to be preferred instead of other means possibly harmful to both parties - but it's going to get a bad rep when abused so often that people are suspicious of any use of it.

The case in question ? not for me to say, had I been there, probably would have put holes in the guy.

My point is that departments had better address this as a training issue before things get out of hand on both ends of the spectrum, or it will get out of hand, simple as that.

-K

Steve in PA
June 26, 2005, 07:33 AM
Yes, if I walk up to you and tell you that you are under arrest, you are under arrest and I can use whatever force I am justified in using to make that arrest. And contrary to popular myth I don't have to tell you, at the time of the arrest as to why, just the fact that I tell you that your under arrest is sufficient. You refuse and its resisting arrest. You'll be informed as to the charges at an appropriate time, because I'm not going to stand there and argue with you over whether or not you think you shouldn't be arrested.

Use of force when making an arrest is based on several things;
1) the severity of the crime
2) the apparent threat posed by the suspect to officers and others
3) whether the person is resisting arrest
4) whether the person is attempting to flee
5) the use of force is to be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer knowing and dealing with the facts and circumstances in place at the time of the incident

This set of criteria is based upon Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989)

So, if I tell you that you are under arrest, you best be thinking real hard as to how you want this to happen.

BostonGeorge
June 26, 2005, 08:50 AM
Back talk to the "man" is now listed as a corporal offense guys. Prepare to feel the pain.

Steve in PA
June 26, 2005, 09:13 AM
You can run your mouth as much as you want, but if I think you should be arrested, you will be. Whether you feel pain or not is your decision. :D

BostonGeorge
June 26, 2005, 09:16 AM
Of course none of this is directed personally. Only at the bad ones. :)

GEM
June 26, 2005, 02:31 PM
I fail to understand those who want to make speeches and resist arrest. It can be sorted out later if the officer charged you inappropriately.

I've had folks tell me that if an officer tells them to drop the gun, they won't. They will tell him that they want to unload the gun first and put it down in a manner they see fit for their wonder blaster. Sounds like a good plan to me. :cool:

I want to know if the horses received counseling.

Simon76
June 27, 2005, 12:53 AM
Let me get this straight. All a cop has to do is TELL me I'm under arrest, and I have to smile and go with him peacefully, without knowing WHY? Sorry, folks. I ain't buyin' that. Oh, it may be "Case Law" or whatever, but I DO have the RIGHT to know WHY I'm being arrested. Now, you may have the "You're going to jail, no matter what" attitude, but what if the guy you're arresting (and don't "feel" like telling him why) is thinking "I'm NOT going to jail, no matter what"? What then? You'll forget the taser and just shoot him, I reckon. I mean, after all, YOU ARE THE LAW, right?

Why not TELL him/her the information that he/she HAS THE LEGAL RIGHT TO? "I don't have the time", or "I'm not going to stand there and..." just won't cut it, officer(s). That's Bovine Excrement of Grand Design, and it does nothing to further the image of LEOs, at all.

If that's the way LEOs operate in general, I sure hope for your sakes that you guys wear vests. Some people may not be so easy to put in that cruiser.
And, of course, that vest may mean nothing.

Just, FYI. Not advocating violence against Peace Offic -- Oh wait, my fault Law ENFORCEMENT Officers. Nope, not in the least tiny bit.

Simon. :barf:

Khaotic
June 27, 2005, 01:58 AM
I fail to understand those who want to make speeches and resist arrest. It can be sorted out later if the officer charged you inappropriately.

NO, it can not - not when they process you in, you get officially charged, thrown in the tank and the paperwork gets processed, nope, it's NOT going to get sorted out any time soon.

You see, at that point they've invested X amount of effort into it, and they're *going* to make an issue of it.
One very popular game in case of a bad arrest, and this did this to Chris D, a friend of mine - is to refuse bail and then keep postpoing the trial date every time you refuse to plead guilty - cause once they get that plea, it lets the cop off the hook.

Chris D. did 18 months before they threw that entirely bogus case out, lost his home, his employment and his relationship predictably fell apart, and for what ?
For cooperating with a LEO who misused his authority instead to standing up for his rights - sorry, that's unacceptable to me.

Also, once you're thrown in the tank, the officer can write up the after-action any way he pleases, and it's his word against yours, and since you're now officially a "perp" - well, come on folks.

When an officer stops me, I am going to ask why, in a civil and reasonable fashion - and if he "goes rambo" on me at that point, it will probably get ugly, yes... now if, like the police around here do, he politely informs me of why, and explains what the violation is and his intended action, then I will politely cooperate, sure.

But answering "What am I being stopped and questioned for, Sir?" with "GET ON THE GROUND, NOW! *******", followed by reaching for a weapon of any kind - I personally consider that an unprovoked lethal assault on my person and will respond accordingly.
(and yes, i'm fully aware of the likely consequences, but if the alternative is the total destruction of my life as I know it anyway, as happened to Chris D. - then what would YOU do?)*

When those who's oath and duty is to uphold the law, neither respect nor obey it themselves, the whole system based on that social order falls apart, it would do well for some to remember that they are, in essence an "Officer of the Law" - that means upholding and honoring it, not ramming down people's throats on a pikestaff.

It's that very attitude which provokes incidents that never had to happen, causes extreme civiliant resentment of the police force, discourages cooperation with said police force, and unfortunately costs lives on both sides of the fence.

It's sad that the Taser, which in law enforcement hands can be an effective alternative force, is likely to be banned because of this very attitude that leads to it's misuse - not to mention at some point ridiculous, because if you can't trust someone with a Taser, you shouldn't trust them with a firearm either...

- K


*Note: Most of the time, no matter what the original attempted arrest was for, no matter how blatantly and obviously bogus, once you resist an arrest with violence, you're going to fry no matter what - which leads to some pretty awful incidents due to the law making no effective distinction between resisting a justified arrest, and resisting a bogus arrest by a LEO who wants to hassle you.

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 12:05 PM
"If that's the way LEOs operate in general, I sure hope for your sakes that you guys wear vests. Some people may not be so easy to put in that cruiser.
And, of course, that vest may mean nothing."

"But answering "What am I being stopped and questioned for, Sir?" with "GET ON THE GROUND, NOW! *******", followed by reaching for a weapon of any kind - I personally consider that an unprovoked lethal assault on my person and will respond accordingly."

LOLOL.....you guys sure are funny. I wouldn't recommend your choice of action, but then again.....I'm sure you'll have to learn the hard way.

Simon76
June 27, 2005, 04:15 PM
See? HE IS THE LAW! Get in the cruiser like a good little sheep, there ya go, right on in there -- Oh! Watch your head there!

Puhlease. LEOs are hardly the baddest, toughest people out there. And there's one word that'll strike fear into any man: AMBUSH. All it takes is the right phone call, at the right time.

I'll leave the rest up to your imagination...IF you have one.

Why not just talk to the guy? Answer that one, will ya? And, no, being too tired, or not having the "time", or "we'll sort that out downtown" will not cut it. Be honest. It's because YOU ARE THE LAW, isn't it? C'mon. You can tell us. Your friendly neighborhood sheep, right? (Sheesh! Talk about a willing pawn!)

:rolleyes:

Simon.

PS- Nobody's been able to teach me the "hard way" yet. 'Till I find someone who can...bugger off.

Khaotic
June 27, 2005, 04:44 PM
LOLOL.....you guys sure are funny. I wouldn't recommend your choice of action, but then again.....I'm sure you'll have to learn the hard way.

It's not funny at all, and even less so watching this reaction.

With respect to other LEO's on this board, whom I hope understand what I am trying to get across - it is that exact attitude which is eventually going to deprive police forces of the Taser.

As an officer of the law, you are beholden to obey, enforce, and uphold the law, and while not essentially required - you should revere and honor it, since you've taken oath and dedicated your life to it.

The "well I can do what I please because I have a badge and you don't" stance reflects very badly on the profession as a whole and tends to escalate, rather than defusing situations.

When ego and duty collide, sticking with duty is the honorable course.
What precisely, prevents you from simply answering the question and proceeding with the questioning/arrest ?

This discussion has utterly convinced me that if the Taser remains in service, any use of it should be handled exactly as a weapons discharge, because that level of accountability is going to have to be in place to prevent misuse of the device.

I think it belongs in the service arsenal still, but seeing this certainly convinces me there's going to be problems with any lesser form of accountability.

-K

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 07:08 PM
"Puhlease. LEOs are hardly the baddest, toughest people out there. And there's one word that'll strike fear into any man: AMBUSH. All it takes is the right phone call, at the right time."

Ooooooh, your so scary with your "threats" LOLOLOL. I'd be real careful as to what you say, might find someone knocking on your door ;)

LOLOLOL.......some of you should take your act on the road, your hilarious :neener:

R.H. Lee
June 27, 2005, 09:53 PM
Steve in PA is just doing some internet chest thumping. If he were actually LE, he would possess skills other than brute force (which he advocates using as a first resort) and would say something to the effect "I'm placing you under arrest for........................"

DMF
June 27, 2005, 10:16 PM
Why not just talk to the guy? Answer that one, will ya? Cops do talk to people, but if they're getting arrested they are getting arrested. Once there is a need to arrest someone it's not up for debate. The arrest will be done in a manner that minimizes the risk of injury or death to all involved - cops, suspects, and innocent bystanders. The key is minimize, not eliminate, because there is no way to elminate all risk. If a suspect wants to be stupid, and causes the necessary level of force to escalate, well that's the fault of the suspect.

Here's an easy way to avoid having to worry about it, DON'T BREAK THE LAW.

NHBB
June 27, 2005, 10:19 PM
not to hop on some "I'm so bad, look how big I am" bandwagon or anything.... but I am a 5'9" 215lb bodybuilder and I would have tazed him too. I do agree somewhat though about women police officers... physical strength is practically a necessity for LEO work, and 99% of women just don't have it... its a genetic thing, not a sexist remark.

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 10:40 PM
"Steve in PA is just doing some internet chest thumping. If he were actually LE, he would possess skills other than brute force (which he advocates using as a first resort) and would say something to the effect "I'm placing you under arrest for........................"

Pssst, Riley, I am a LEO, have been for 8 years.

I don't advocate using brute force. Where did I say that? I only said I'm not required to tell you why I am arresting you at this time. Situation dictates this, not any chest thumping. I may tell you, but if I feel it will only lead to further continuation of a problem, such as you arguing about whether or not you should be arrested I won't. I'll just say your under arrest, and if you don't cooperate, then I'll do what is necessary to effect that arrest.

Sergeant Sabre
June 28, 2005, 01:12 PM
Holcomb was later pronounced dead at Akron City Hospital. The Summit County Coroner has not yet determined a cause of death.

This is the second time someone has died in Summit County after being shocked by a Taser gun.

I bet those people ate food sometime before they died, too. "Man dies after eating food" could be the headline. Does that mean that act A caused act B? No. Please note the statement that "The Summit County Coroner has not yet determined a cause of death."

Leroy Pierson, 55, was pronounced dead at Kaiser Hospital in Fontana at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. He lost consciousness after he was Tasered inside his cell

I bet he pooped that day. Did he die because he went to the bathroom?

Pierson's mother, 75-year-old Dorothy Pierson, believes deputies abused her son, who was not a large man, she said.

"They Tasered him twice. He wasn't no big guy. He only weighed about 150 pounds, and was only 5 feet 8 inches tall," Dorothy Pierson said. "He was Tasered twice. No wonder his heart stopped."

So, Mrs. Pierson, what are your medical credentials? Are you an M.D.? Many medical doctors assert that the taser is safe, how do you know different? Why is it "no wonder" to you that his heart stopped? What makes you qualified to make that statement?


Point to ponder: Why is it that, although tens of thousands of LEOs have been tasered in training, but we can't seem to find one case of a taser training death? Why is it that only perps die? I recall at least one case where a "death after tase-ing" was attributed to cocaine overdose.

The press spins this "horrible taser thing" just like they do the anti-gun argument.

Simon76
June 29, 2005, 12:10 PM
I don't know Steve, that whole "somebody may be knocking on you door" thing is a little awkward, isn't it? I mean, one could take that as a warning, or one could take that as a threat. I'm sure you meant it as a warning, but either way, I guess I'll burn that bridge if/when I ever get to it.

Does anybody else, especially a LEO, see the problem here? He defends a defenseless position. BECAUSE I SAY SO is the bottom line. Of course they have the convenient excuse of officer/perp/public safety. How is it more dangerous to TELL SOMEONE THE TRUTH, than it is to make the arrest? I don't see how telling someone the truth does anything but make the situation MORE secure. And if the law is unjust, then THEY are absolutely 100% justified in resisting (I'm sure there's "case law" on that, too.).

The SS operated in VERY MUCH the same way, Steve (identically?). But, I'm sure that makes you proud. And, if the concept of being caught in an ambush doesn't worry you (which it does, deep within you, admission or not), it's because you don't understand exactly what takes place to those being ambushed. Not just tactically, but mentally, emotionally and physically. If you've been constipated lately, an ambush will take care of that, Stevo. Just, FYI.

Done with this thread. I'm sick of hearing some of these government pawns try to justify their wrecklessness. "I'm just doing my job.". Please! So were the Nazis, and they loved it just as much as MOST of you guys do. (Denial is the most predictable of human emotions.).

Hasta whenever.

Simon.

Steve in PA
June 29, 2005, 02:15 PM
LOL, go back to playing your Xbox....your momma will have your lunch ready for you soon :neener:

RevDisk
June 29, 2005, 03:06 PM
LOL, go back to playing your Xbox....your momma will have your lunch ready for you soon

I sincerely hope you show more professional while wearing a uniform.

griz
June 29, 2005, 03:31 PM
How is it more dangerous to TELL SOMEONE THE TRUTH, than it is to make the arrest? I don't see how telling someone the truth does anything but make the situation MORE secure.

I'm not connected to law enforcement at all, but I'll make an educated guess at an answer. I suspect the officer wants the cuffs on before the discussion starts about the arrest. It's probably not a good idea to give the arrestee the impression that if he wins the debate, or thinks he wins, that the arrest is invalid. Just one more thing that can go wrong.

Just my $00.02, but it makes sense to me.

Steve in PA
June 29, 2005, 04:23 PM
"I sincerely hope you show more professional while wearing a uniform."

Why, did my statement offend someone??? Perhaps hit a little too close to home??

I guess its ok for someone to talk about "making a phone call and ambushing police officers" though :banghead:

LOL.....your macaroni and cheese is ready :neener:

Otherguy Overby
June 29, 2005, 04:58 PM
Apple Valley, Bear Valley, Victorvillle, all in the area of where this occured have trauma centers.

So why, riddle me this, would the San Bernardino Sherrif's department give someone in heart arrest an over 1 hour ride to a trauma center in an adjoining county?

Bureaucratic murder comes to mind...

Don Gwinn
June 29, 2005, 05:02 PM
This is what I get for skipping a thread. :rolleyes:

Some of you have PM's. Some of you will have emails, because some of you aren't going to be able to read PM's at TFL pretty soon.

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