I don't know which is more disturbing: the police tasering a non-violent lunatic sitting on his front porch, or the mindless giggling of the moron who took this video and posted it on Youtube.
Here are the facts of this case, according to this legal blogger:
The officers were called to the scene by a neighbor. The man who was tased apparently spent the entire morning on his front lawn screaming racially charged remarks at the top of his lungs. Among the things he yelled were: “White Power!” and “Heil Hitler!” The officer was not sure what ethnicity the man was, but he informed me that his name appeared to be of hispanic origin. He was not a black man, contrary to some reports.I read a lot of stories like this. Its a sort of hobby of mine. They often contain a detail like the above, that the cops warned their victim that they would taser him if he didn't quiet down or obey some other order. The idea often (though not in this case, I think) is be that this justifies the subsequent act of violence on the part of the cops. I suppose if they had "warned" him that they would blow his brains out if he didn't quiet down, that would justify summarily killing him.
The first officers arrived on the scene. These were a mixture of different races (black, white, and hispanic). The man on the porch screamed racial slurs at them. Furthermore, he screamed “Shoot me motherfuckers!”, “I bet if I had a gun you would shoot me, maybe I should go get my gun!”, and other variations on this theme.
The officers identified this as a mental health issue but also realized that he seemed imbalanced enough that he might be dangerous. They called a negotiator to the scene to try to subdue him. The negotiator tried to talk him into calming down for 15 minutes to no avail. The commanding officer on the scene then decided that it was in the interest of the public’s welfare and the man’s own welfare to take him into custody and get him medical attention.
The man on the porch was advised ahead of time that he would be tased. Finally, we got what we saw on the video. Immediately after the tasing, the man was transferred to the hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. The police then transferred him to a mental institution. The entire incident lasted 17 minutes.
I say it is only okay to threaten to do X if you have an independent right to do X. A threat cannot give you a right to carry it out.
It is time to stop the police from using tasers as instruments of torture and summary punishment, or as labor-saving devices.
Tasers should only be used as substitutes for more violent measures (such as clubbing or shooting the suspect), and only in situations where these more violent measures would be justified, or when less violent alternatives would be excessively hazardous for the police officer involved. Isn't that obvious?
If you can take it, there are more stories and links here.