Quote of the Day: Equal Opportunity Electrocution

by matttbastard

“Obviously, (law enforcement agencies) don’t want to use a Taser [sic] on young children, pregnant woman or elderly people… . But if in your policy you deliberately exclude a segment of the population, then you have potentially closed off a tool that could have ended a confrontation.

– Sgt. Donald Davis, King County sheriff’s dept (Washington), commenting after a 2005 incident in which an electronic control deviceSM®OMFGWTFBBQ!!!1 was used on a woman (of colour) who, at the time, was 8 months pregnant. She had refused to sign a traffic ticket (shades of Jared Massey). fern hill has more (much more, sigh) on how some law enforcement agencies have a strict non-discrimination policy regarding the (indiscriminate) use of stun guns.

“I have a dream”, indeed.

Related: Do electronic control devicesSM®OMFGWTFBBQ!!!1 actually save lives? There are at least six families this past week who would contend otherwise.

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Utah Man ‘Stunned’ Over Speeding Ticket (Or, Respekt Mah Authoritay! The Policeman Said)

by matttbastard

Via Radley Balko and pale: another day, another video involving the discharge of an electronic control deviceSM®OMFGWTFBBQ!!!1:

Five double yews here, more from Digby [edit: h/t Mandos] and Libby Spencer. Is it really a good idea to give trigger happy law enforcement officials carte blanche just because the phallic icon in question is purportedly ‘non-lethal’ (ahem)?

Frank Frink in comments @ ACR nails it:

I can’t see how this situation (refusing to sign a traffic ticket) would merit the use of a gun or a baton. It’s another use of a taser for sake of convenience and compliance rather than it’s actual intended use. Being ‘mouthy’ means it’s OK to be tasered? Not going to convince me of that.

The other thing that bothers me, and much in the same way as with Mr. Dziekanski and the Jama Jama case in Toronto, is law enforcement’s seeming indifference to investigating things unless you shame them into it by either catching them on film or in Mr. Massey’s case, using access laws to get a copy of what they film and then posting it.

In Mr. [Dziekanski’s] case absolutely nothing would have been done or said further about it if Mr. Pritchard had not caught it on video. In Mr. Massey’s case?

We’ve known about the incident since it occurred,” Cameron Roden, a spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol, told ABC News. “But with it coming out on the Internet, we’re trying to move the investigation along.”

Oh, and another day, another death wholly and entirely unrelated to the victim being jolted with a life-protecting electronic control deviceSM®OMFGWTFBBQ!!!1 Luckily for Halifax City Police, this lethal incident wasn’t caught on video, meaning they can pretty much make shit up with impunity let the facts speak for themselves. Bring on the full departmental review and RCMP investigation!

We can has investigations!

Related: Alison gets letters! Fuck life; apparently the primary corporate concern is protection of intellectual property (and calming nervous investors). So affirming to see that TASER International has its priorities straight.

Update: TASER International cares so much about product safety that it wants to participate in a recently announced review by Paul Kennedy, head of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, of “all RCMP protocols on the use of CEDs (conducted electrical devices).” The investigation will also “assess the compliance of the RCMP with these protocols.” Apparently TASER co-founder and chairman Tom Smith didn’t get the official grammar memo:

“I have been Tasered myself. I have Tasered my brother.”

Thanksgiving in the Smith household must be a real jolt.

(h/t ReWind.It)

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