64-year-old man, Tased three times at home, sues

From Digby, who is the queen of caring about this kind of legalized torture.

Our latest threat to humanity is a 64-year-old pancreatic cancer survivor with a heart condition, who fell on his front steps and badly hurt his leg. He’s in pain, the paramedics treat him and start to leave.

Then in come the cops, like a house on fire. Let’s go to the videotape:


Rules of engagement. Be sure to watch the video. It’s the whole news report, just 3 minutes or so, and not just a torture flick.

Note that before being Tased*, the guy told them he was just letting off steam, and that his wife had warned the police of his heart condition. They still nailed him three times. I guess being fully incapacitated once isn’t fully incapacitated enough.

Seriously. The Tasing* starts at about 2:25 on the tape. Watch it carefully. The first shot puts him on the floor, writhing. A pause. Then they shoot him again. A pause. Then they shoot him a third time. It’s very deliberate.

Anyone want to guess how many cops were in the room?


(*About that capital “T” on Tased and Tasing. I’ve decided to comply with the law. See, Taser is a trademark, like Kleenex, and must be capitalized; if writers like me start calling it “kleenex”, the beast that owns the trademark loses intellectual property rights, and we wouldn’t want that.

Besides, Taser International is a company, with a stock price and a huge financial interest in making sure everyone on the planet thinks Tasering is good safe fun, sort of a mash-up of police work and frat parties.

TASR stock was up around 30 for a while, but now it’s down near 4, so the boys and girls at corp HQ have some work to do; those bonuses don’t pay themselves, you know. And we want to recognize that work by recognizing the corporate actor behind this whole drama. And their lobbyists. And their lobbyists’ friends.

And you thought this was a story about … cops. Not at all.)

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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