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by Peter Moskos

May 4, 2010

Good Use of Taser

I don't think I've ever used that headline before.

I don't like Tasers, generally. But if you run from police and can't be easily caught? I got no problem.

It's tasing in situations of unarmed passive non-compliance that I strongly object to.

I'm going to the Yankee game tomorrow. Go O's!

20 comments:

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

I wasn't sure what I thought about this incident, but your take on it seems correct.

I might feel differently if the runner died from the fall. Not sure how often that happens. Hopefully not too often.

PCM said...

Would have been wonderful PR for Taser Corp if the guy had died.

The odds of serious injury or death, based on a not very convincing study, is about 1 in 400.

http://www.copinthehood.com/2009/10/taser-risks.html

But if you're healthy enough to run around, I would assume the odds are much less.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, PCM. Based on what we do know about taser use (and keep that research coming!), this kid was at low risk for going into cardiac arrest. He was also running on a flat, grass surface, and was not around vehicle traffic. Thus, the possibility of injury due to a fall was minimal.

This kid was probably just trying to get his goofy face on t.v., but he also could have been a "deranged fan." Who knows? This looks like an acceptable deployment of the taser in my book.

Dave H.- IL

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

Well, it will be interesting as we get more data on tasering runners.

If that kid had broken his neck, I think this story would be playing out differently, and fewer ppl would be coming out in favor of the tasering. I think I would probably still be in favor of it, although I think police should be ready to give up tasering runners if it does turn out, in the fullness of time, that the actuarial level of risk is too high with a runner.

Anonymous said...

It's worth mentioning here that this was a private security guard, not a police officer, who tasered the kid.

W. Butler said...

I'd dare say that most of the Taser-related injuries come from the suspect falling on his/her face during the Taser cycle. Too bad, so sad. They get so sympathy from me.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

I'd dare say that most of the Taser-related injuries come from the suspect falling on his/her face during the Taser cycle. Too bad, so sad. They get so sympathy from me.

see, this seems like the wrong attitude unless its a murderer or rapist or summat. If this is the kind of attitude the taser facilitates (or worse yet helps instill) then maybe we don't need tasers and just go back to the old ways.

PCM said...

I used to work in Wrigley Field. The old way is underpaid security beating the crap out of people.

Dylan said...

Most cops who carry a Taser were zapped as part of their training. Bang, you're down, you're up, it's over. No big deal. So you won't get much sympathy from cops when people start whining about a Taser, 'cause most of the bellyachers have never had any Edison medicine and don't know what they're talking about. That skinny kid was better off taking the electric ride than four beefy guys tackling him. Then he really could've been hurt.

Anonymous said...

Most cops who carry a Taser were zapped as part of their training. Bang, you're down, you're up, it's over.

get back to me when they have to be shocked while running full throttle.

Bob G. said...

PCM:
Leave it to a PPD bike officer to come up with a novel solution...

"...Aaaannnnnnd, heeee's....OUT".

Good call, Ump!

:)

Anonymous said...

get back to me when they have to be shocked while running full throttle.

That's part of the training Sherlock. You're hit in the back while you're running. You don't know if and when you're going to get hit.

Every time you're re-certified you have to be hit again.

It's

NO

BIG

DEAL.

The little snot in Philly got up and walked away a few seconds later.

Consider the alternative: three or four grown men tackle him and snap a vertebrae.

Here's a solution: don't be a douche and run onto the field. Don't expect the world to treat you like Mommy and indulge your narcissistic whims.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

Nice try.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFSW44UPgwQ

But, please, don't lie to me. I am very touchy about policemen who lie. It is a per peeve.

PCM said...

Marines aren't cops. And there are hundreds of police training academies. My impression is that most (probably not all) police taser training involves quick forward motion before the tase.

You do, however, land on a mat and not on the hard concrete.

I was unaware that recertification involves more tasing.

If I were a police officer, I would not want to go through. We have no idea what that blast really does to you system and I've heard too many anecdotal stories about otherwise healthy young police officer having heart attacks with a few years of being tased.

It may not be bad for you. But it certainly can't be good for you. And the truth is we just don't know.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

Sorry. I didn't mean to post a list to a single video, but rather a whole list of them:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22taser+training%22&aq=f

Sorry about the confusion, but, again, don't lie to me.

I don't doubt that somebody, somewhere in this big, wide world has gotten electroshocked while running as a training exercise, but it is an accurate generalization to say that "taser training" looks like it does in those videos. And you knew that.

PCM said...

http://www.copinthehood.com/2007/11/dont-taze-me-bro.html

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

Funny, but that is not a particularly good simulation of what happened to the runner in Phila.

We should not minimize the fact that we agree with the tasering.

Our difference here is that my agreement is tentative and provisional, and your agreement seems to be stronger, and less likely to be changed as additional evidence comes in.

But that video of policemen lunging onto the mats as they are being shocked doesn't prove anything (except maybe that police would not risk a truly realistic training exercise with the shocking gun).

In fact all of the "taser training exercises" seem worth than worthless to me. They instill no sense of restraint, and instead a sense of sadism.

Anyway, now that idiot fans are cheering on these taserings, I am sure we will have one happen on the concrete stairs soon enough and then the security guards' tasers will all go bye bye.

tim said...

I came here because I was divided on whether or not this was a warranted use given the risks, and hoped you'd have an opinion. I actually got to witness a similar situation near the end of the season two years ago, when a Red Sox fan (this time in St. Petersburg) threatened to attack the Rays' dugout.

The taser was never fired, but it was held to the dude's neck:

http://www.tampabay.com/multimedia/archive/00038/b4s_taser091908_d_38607d.jpeg

W. Butler said...

No wrong attitude here. If you run and get Tasered, oh, well, you should have known better. If you didn't run/fight you wouldn't have gotten jolted.

DAP said...

I love when drive-by "experts" try to tell cops how to do their job, then use YouTube as "evidence" they know know what they're talking about.