Should Tasing Be Used by Police Officers?
At the end of this hub
I may do what the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, the "father of Gonzo Journalism," would do: Read this twice and then ask myself, "Why in God's name did I write this?" And folks, I am not kidding. At this writing, it is very late on a Wednesday, Aug. 3, and I am beyond tired. My birdhouse building business is taking off thank God, but it is work. More work that I had counted on.
But back to this topic. It is very sensitive, sticky, and yet so poignant for me to write this at least to share that I am a proponent of law and order and I am also for protecting the lives of our police officers who put their lives on the line every day just so we can live in a peaceful existence with our fellow man. Now if this sounds corny, I can't be held responsible. I am in my most creative time: from 1 a.m. through 5 a.m., but I am not pushing myself to keep my eyelids frozen (to my laptop screen) in a Tibetan monk-like fashion to just write a hub. No, sir. I am flesh and blood.
True or False
- If you are on patrol, and an angry woman flags you down and you, being a good policeman, stop to see what the trouble is?
- She proceeds to voice her angry protest at you for arresting her boyfriend for some misdemeanor and put him in jail. You try to explain that you were only doing your job, then she slaps your face two or three times.
Now. Do you Tase her? Think it over and answer honestly.
Kenneth's Golden Bits of Advice:
"The sure-fire, best way to avoid the awful and pain of being tased,
try your very, very best each day to obey the laws and respect all of
the police officers who are working to protect us."
"That Kenneth Avery, he gets better with each passing day."
Should TASING be a part of the police officer's arsenal?
Why write about tasers?
Why not write about a Taser? It is well within public domain and by writing a hub about it does not put any police officer or our country in jeopardy, so I am going to "bite off a hunk" of this new meat and see just how it tastes.
There are many on both sides of Tasing. Sure. I admit it. There are those police officers who are too zealous about using their sidearm, night stick or even a Taser. This is why the police have IAD's (Internal Affairs Dept.) to investigate such over-zealousness by rookie or veteran officers who went a little beyond the ground rules.
And yes, there is a time to use a Taser and a time to just use common sense. If I might speak for police officers here, I am sure that they had much rather just reason with a criminal than to use a taser on them for what I have read about Tasers, they hurt, friends. They pack more pain than a bottle of "Pound of Pain" hotwing sauce and that is painful. I know.
So I go now to my headline . . .
Tasers: Times "To" Use and "Not" to Use Them
Note: Now you know me by now that I am not so naive that any police officer, rookie or seasoned vet, would actually use their Taser in the situations I am providing. I am just publishing this as a safety precaution that if adhered to, will save a lot of humiliation, IA investigations and lawsuits (Kenneth)
Times to Not to Use Your Taser:
- When walking your beat and without warning, a kid in his front yard, yells, "Bang!" as he is pretending to be "Rooster" Cogburn (John Wayne) in the film, "True Grit."
- When you walk upon a wife and husband having a spat on their front porch. Do not rush to the couple with Taser in hand and when the wife screams at you, "Hey, copper! Get on with your writing parking tickets!" This is definitely not the time to Tase the wife or husband who by now is shaking with terror.
- When you meet two of your fellow officers having lunch at one of your town's fast food eateries and they pull an innocent prank on you such as: Handing you a can of peanut brittle, but in the can is a fake snake loaded with a spring and jumps out on you. Keep it cool, man. These cops just want to initiate you to the force.
- If a drunken guy stumbles at you from inside a bar on the shady side of town. You just stand still and watch as he tries desperately to walk to you, but his hands are inside his coat pocket. Do not "jump the gun," this intoxicated guy may not have a gun, just a pint of whiskey. Be sure before you Tase a drunken person.
- You see a suspicious act in a parking lot on your patrol. You, cool and level-headed, park your cruiser, identify yourself as a police officer and walk up to two men who are obviously angry at each other. But before they can explain what is happening, a cute little Yorkie runs at you from underneath the car and you make a terrible mistake in judgement thinking that the little doggie is a wild animal and bam! You pull your Taser and put the cute little doggie "down for the count" on the pavement with his little legs sticking upward. He is not just stunned, but dead. Yes, you Tased and killed one of the men's little dog he keeps to help him with his allergies. Now you are going to be sued by the sickly guy and his friend who will act as an eye witness. Please know the differnce in a doggie and a wolverine.
- To establish some good public relations, you stop at a sidewalk vendor selling hot, fresh coffee. But as you are telling "Rodrico," the coffee stand entrepeur, a jogger accidentally bumps you as he jogs by you. Out of sheer animal instinct, your Taser is in your hand and the wires with electrodes are in the air sending the jogger to the sidewalk on his face. The results? The jogger survives, but sues you and "Rodrico," swears he saw the whole thing.
Time For You To Use Your Taser:
- When answering a 9-1-1 call to investigate a disturbance in some isolated playground. You arrive and a repeat felon sees you approaching and he has sworn to get even with you for arresting him. Now you see him and identify yourself as a police officer, but he picks up an iron pipe and starts swinging it wildly as his eyes are glazed-over with anger. You warn him repeatedly to drop the pipe. He ignores your warning and gets closer. You warn him a final time and still, he keeps coming. Now is the time to use your Taser for it might be a case of stopping him or be beaten almost to death.
- If you see a couple of bank robbers fleeing from a bank in your patrol area. You identify yourself as a police officer and warn them you are about to use your Taser. They only laugh at you and keep running toward their car. Now you shoot them with your trusty Taser and they are stunned so you can "make the collar," and put these two thieves behind bars.
- If by some mysterious fluke of nature, a wild gorilla should charge at you from behind some bushes, yes, use your Taser, but not before you identify yourself by sign language that you are a police officer and give him a verbal command to stop.
- If a smart alec punk runs up to you while you are on your lunch break and throws your iced tea in your face. You laugh because he is only a punk. Then he takes your cheeseburger, bites himself a big chunk of it and smears the rest of it in your face. Now you identify yourself as a cop and warn him that you are arresting him for assaulting a police officer. He only laughs and dumps your fries in the trash. But when you read him his rights and try to place the "cuff's" on his wrists, he goes into an angry rage and you fear for your life. Tase him, "Mr. Officer."
- When a violent gang, say four members, are sitting on your cruiser while you are investigating a break-in near your car, and they refuse to get off of your car. You warn them three more times, identify yourself a as a police officer and proceed to give them a choice: Jail or Tasing. They choose neither and continue to laugh and poke fun at you. Now you have to arrest them for obstructing justice. When you start reading them their rights, they get off your car and start to run, now is the time to Tase them and take them to jail for they have definitely broke the law.
- If a crazed felon armed with powerful handgun tells you, "drop your gun pig!" You do it to appease him thus defusing the potentially-dangerous situation. Now he tells you to do an impression of a mule followed by a male lion. But what the crazed felon does not know is that you did not drop your Taser. Fact is, you summarize that he has never been introduced to such a weapon. You ask him, "Fella, have you seen this neat "Tech Phone?" He stops talking and tells you to show it to him and you do--wires first. Case closed.
Note to all watch commanders about to issue Tasers to your police officers:
- If a couple of your men or women say, "now I can really put the sting on those low-life thugs!" Do not issue them a Taser unless you have them take a psychological evaluation first. One thing you do not need is a rogue officer or two using a Taser in a foolish manner.
- Or an officer's face lights up with a huge smile and he puts his Taser in its holster and he says, "Look out, criminals! "Kid Taser" is on the beat and will not take any crap."
I just thought that I would give you some help along with officers who might use a Taser in an unwise manner.
And good night, Hodges, Alabama.
© 2016 Kenneth Avery