My friend Peter posted a link on Facebook today out of Philadelphia. Last night at the Phillies game, a kid ran out on to the field between innings. The local law enforcement on the scene apprehended him using a taser.
A police officer used a Taser gun to apprehend a fan who ran onto the field during a Phillies game Monday night, and the team and the police are investigating whether it was an appropriate use of force. (photo credits: Matt Slocum, AP)
What the hell is there to “investigate”? Lazy cop uses a ‘substitute for lethal force’ to apprehend a prankster. He ought to lose his job, his pension, and be tarred and feathered in some public square.
Tasers used to be marketed as a non-lethal alternative to using lethal force in order to subdue a criminal suspect. Besides the obvious evidence (a trail of dead bodies, actually) which suggests tasers can be quite lethal under certain circumstances,
This story, Peter says, “Shows that when police are given the choice, a taser seems to be the first option because they don’t want to run. ‘Subdue’ implies the suspect is being violent, etc. One can hardly expect a 17-year old to not run, especially since he was ‘running’ on to the baseball field between innings…”
Precisely! That’s why I have a problem with tasers. They encourage sloppiness, viz., no cop anywhere would’ve drawn a firearm on the kid — much less fired a fucking bullet at him from behind. So, if lethal force was not an acceptable reaction to this scenario, then the prescribed ‘alternative’ to lethal force ought to be out of the question.
With the evidence of its lethality, and the fact that the taser seems to be the go-to weapon of choice for law enforcement officers (this incident and others like it are pretty clear and convincing evidence that tasers aren’t being used as substitute for lethal force), taser introduces a level of moral hazard that otherwise wouldn’t exist.
Fortunately, this kid lived. Others haven’t been so lucky.