An Idaho Statesman article reports on the findings of the Boise Police Ombudsman that officers used excessive force when they used their Taser on a suspect’s "buttocks." OK – so another poor fool got the Taser and now the Ombudsman wants us all to understand that even he can identify misconduct when he sees it – or hears it. That would be screaming and pleading and the smell of "ham" frying. Here’s what the Ombudsman reportedly found:
"The suspect said that he was hit three times with a Taser after he was already handcuffed and face-down on the floor. Murphy’s investigation found evidence that the suspect was hit twice with the Taser — once in the back before he was handcuffed and once in the buttocks after he was cuffed."
Of course the notion of excessive force usually involves injuries, sometimes deadly injuries. I posted about this before and provided a video of what it looks like to get the Taser treatment. Check that one out to see what you think about this "non-lethal" force.
Here’s what I cannot figure out – what happened to those cops who could take control of a suspect without Tasing or beating or whining about how tough their job is? Why do they get all that training on the use of reasonable force, only to pass a personal "tasing" so that they can then deploy the Taser instead of reason or reasonable force. The officers I meet in court seem fit enough to handle almost any drunken fool WITHOUT the use of Tasers, so why go for the simple solution?
Then again, nobody died. And give the officers a break on the "inappropriate language" beef. The constitution does not guarantee civility, it simply outlaws cruelty. These officers put up with a lot of grief from suspects, and an occasional verbal shot across the bow won’t likely ruin anyone who is in that "under arrest" situation. Of greater concern by far is the notion of young men (mostly) being treated unreasonably when arrested.
If you have been subjected to excessive force during an arrest – join in here – share your story by commenting on this post.