no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Errors & Omissions #1: Another Isolated Incident

July 15th, 2008

In response to Another Isolated Incident, 1955Design comments:

I am confused. The link you refer us to reports only about a suspect who was *apprehended* by the police, not killed by them.

Am I missing something?

Yes and no.

Yahoo!News was missing something. The headline I clicked on via Yahoo! said something like, “Burglary Suspect in Houston Dies After Being Tasered,” but the link took me to the June 26 article that I cited, wherein the suspect was merely apprehended. However.  The fact that the article I read (initially) said nothing about the death didn’t really surprise me.  Apparently, the Yahoo!’s intern was at the helm Monday morning.

Rest assured, the actual incident did happen, and you can read about it via the Houston Chronicle: Burglary suspect dies after Taser shock in NE Houston. This incident involved slightly different circumstances: a reported home invasion, and a fleeing suspect who was tasered when he refused to submit peacefully. This man did die, and the tone of the commentary is strikingly similar (and strikingly illiterate):

  • This is a classic misuse of a taser, the officer should have shot him instead. A bullet is much cheaper than a new taser.
  • HPD shoulld (sic) have used real bullets instead.
  • Great Job HPD…one less (sic) turd off the streets….

Francois Tremblay wants to know what makes people think this way. Probably years of propagandized education and mass-media that has succeeded in rendering most people incapable of any amount of critical thinking.

The circumstances of this case are apparently less appalling than the other case, although I think it is probably safe to assume that this person also had a drug addiction, so the underlying differences are only of degree. As I said,

[T]he moment he flees, there is no longer a conceivable threat… sufficient to justify the use of lethal force—and that’s what we’re talking about here.

The fact of the matter is that tasers are simply not the “non-lethal” devices that many people believe them to be, and given their lethality, should only be used when one would otherwise morally justify the use of lethal force. Attempting to apprehend a suspect after the threat of personal harm has disappeared does not strike me as such a circumstance.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics