Thursday, October 30, 2008

ZAP! The Pawn Shop Windows are More Important than your Life, Buddy!

Another man has died after being tasered by the police.

This "incident" (murder?) took place in Edmonton yesterday.

I have an idea.

Why not have police carry swords.

Then they could just behead people who are causing a disturbance.

How have we slipped into this new mode of accepted savagery on the part of our police forces?

Aren't these people supposed to be experts at subduing the out-of-control folk?


MurdocK said...


Once again I have to harken back to an old tradition of our cities, that of 'Freedom of the City'. Where the gates would be barred to those armed mercenaries or failed members of the town guard whom have attacked or otherwise damaged the city. If the safety of the city is of paramount concern then these 'tazer tots' need to be corrected.

Firing the individual officer is not good enough.

Remove the immediate superior, and the training officer responsible for esuring that these constables are fully trained before permitting them access to deadly force.

Possibly even fire the Police Chief of the department or ward that the offending officer came from or at least penalize him financially. Until the higher eschelon of leadership understands that there will be significant accountability on their part then they will not care what happens to the 'pions'. This will transform the administration of the Police and put the application of force back where it a last resort not a first response.

Anonymous said...

On this topic I differ with you.
Tasers came in because of the outcry against officers using batons.Not allowed to beat people.
It's been a long time since you were in the addiction field and I doubt very much that you would like to wrestle with an addict under the influence of meth.
It took 6 cops to deal with one guy that I saw.Two of the cops were injured.
I have no use for brutality against anyone but I have to ask how are the police supposed to deal with incoherent,super strong (under the influence of these awful drugs)individuals?
Nobody can talk them down, why do you think the police get called?

David Berner said...

Good points...I appreciate your thoughts...I just wish there was some other tactic or tool the police could find...or at the least get more skillful with the taser...the track record is not looking good...momentarily disabling someone is one thing, killing is another...

MurdocK said...


A little dose of reality:

Distraught man thought to be 'under the influence' is rampaging around in his own apartment knocking things off the walls, ripping down the curtain rods, chucking his TV out the window into the parking lot etc.

Police are called, first officer on scene is a 5 year veteran, has seen this before with a meth addict (which is what some bystanders from the building are calling him) ... decides to wait for more backup before taking any independant action.

Three more cruisers arrive, one with a 2 month 'rookie' who has a degree and is actually 5 years older than the 5 year police 'veteran'. The rookie suggests letting the man take out his energy and rage on the inside of his apartment because at the moment all he is doing is 'causing a disturbance' and not actually 'endangering anyone' except himself ~ possibly. The rookie is ignored and the 4 other officers storm into the building, bash down the apartment door and tazer then man ~ it took three times to bring him down. He entered cardiac arrest and died enroute to the hospital.

Autopsy revealed that he was not under the influence of any substance, even alcohol! He did not have the money for any artificial stimulants. He was paying out all he had to his ex-wife and two children. The ex-wife had just finished informing him that he was going to have access to his children removed and that he was going to have to continue maintennance payments.

This news threw him into a rage and he was wildly 'venting' that rage when the neighbors took offence and started banging on the doors, floors, walls and someone threw a rock at him from the parking lot ~ so he threw the TV back at them!

The point here is that the "Veteran" took the word of totally uninformed bystanders that the man was a 'methhead' and TOTALLY IGNORED his own training. Then when reminded of that training by a skilled 'rookie' he again IGNORED that training so as to 'resolve' the situation quickly.

Speed of solution has become something of a watchword with Police, especially the RCMP who feel that they are totally overworked and underpaid for what they do. The watch commanders like open and shut cases, not lingering paperwork. Like it or not we are rapidly moving towards the world of THX-1138.