He Took a Ride With the Taser

On September 14, 2007, Trooper John Gardner was on traffic patrol when he pulled over a speeding driver in an SUV. The driver was calm and collected, until the officer came back to have him sign the ticket. The driver refuses, and the officer then asks him to step out of the vehicle to be placed under arrest. The driver refused to comply with the order, and instead for whatever reason walks past the officer, and almost past the patrol vehicle before the officer stops him again.

The situation escalated rapidly from there. The driver refuses to comply and begins walking back to his vehicle. The officer gives him one last chance to comply with his lawful order to stand down before tasering him. The driver immediately falls to the ground, subdued. The driver is then cuffed and placed under arrest. His wife gets out and is hysterical over what happened, which only served to make things that much worse.

The officer goes to the passenger side of the vehicle to inform the wife that her husband has been arrested. She argues with him, the driver gets back up and approaches the cop from behind, at which point he's pushed back to the patrol car and eventually put in back. The whole time demanding his rights be read to him.

Now, while I am in full support of the officer arresting the driver for failing to sign the ticket, and for further resisting arrest by not obeying a lawful order, I think that using the taser was rather hasty judgment on the part of the cop in this case. It appears to me that even after the driver begins walking back to his vehicle that the officer could have subdued him by hand in the normal manner, by spread eagling him on the side of the SUV and cuffing him there instead.

It's not going to help things much that the officer bragged to his backup when he arrived that "he took a ride with the taser", referring to the driver.

But watch the video. It's about 10 minutes long. Judge for yourself. The side of the road is not the appropriate place to settle your case.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Nov 22, 2007 2:18 am by Samson in: | 5 comment(s) [Closed]
What did we ever do before we had YouTube to provide us with videos of police tasering people?

My own favorite is the Officer McNevin one.

On the one hand, Gardner did seem to be a little fast on the trigger. On the other hand, I wasn't there. Too, from what I've read, tasers seem to be more popular for subdual than physical contact, as with contact you risk actually hurting somebody in a manner more serious than a few seconds of pain.

The common theme here, of course, is just as you said. Don't argue with the cops on the side of the road. Hell, I've had good luck being polite and just admitting it. We all know I'm speeding, after all.

Some people, though. I dunno.

With both of the tickets I've had in the last couple of years I had equally good luck just obeying commands, signing the ticket, and saying nothing beyond what's absolutely necessary to get out of the situation.

And tasers can do a hell of a lot more than just cause someone a few seconds of pain as the Canadian mounties found out not too long ago.

How many countries are actually allowing their police to shock people with 50k volts? The rest of the world gets around just fine with the use of handcuffs.

Couldn't actually say how many countries use tasers but there have been a number of incidents both in the USA and Canada recently that have attracted media attention. I think the main reason we don't get away with the use of handcuffs, as you put it, is because too many people are too quick to sue the cops for using any amount of force to restrain a suspect.

These are actually about the recent RCMP taser incident, but I find the viewpoint interesting, coming as they do from actual policemen:

This post by a former UK cop now in Canada;

This post by a US cop.

The supplemental videos and links in both are worth the time.

Going back and looking at what they said about the kid who got tasered at the Kerry thing in Florida is also interesting, but yields about the same points.

Also interesting is doing a YouTube search for, say, "taser training" or the like.

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