I’ve commented on the obliteration of any notion of proportionality in modern police forces before (in GT 2005-04-26: Peace Officers and GT 2004-11-14: Civil defense). The plain, ugly fact is that what we have today is not civil policing, but rather paramilitary cadres occupying most of our urban centers. Cadres of paras who feel no particular qualms about using physical violence to maintain
control in any and every situation, without any particular concern for whether the force matches the threat. In Aurora, Colorado, this took a turn for the straightforwardly absurd:
Police talked to the Chuck E. Cheese manager, who told them that a customer had refused to show proof that he had paid for food. The manager said the man was seenloadinghis plate at the salad bar.
The officers confronted Danon Gale, 29, who was at the restaurant with his children, aged 3 and 7. Patrons said the popular kids pizza parlor was packed with children and families at the time.
According to police, Gale was asked to step outside to discuss the incident.
According to witnesses (Gale) refused to cooperate with police and a struggle ensued,said Larry Martinez, a police spokesman. He said that Gale became argumentative and shoved one of the officers, a fact disputed by another patron.
One of the officers kept poking the gentleman in the chest,Felicia Mayo told the Rocky Mountain News.
She was there with her 7-year-old son. She told the newspaper that Gale told the officerYou don’t have to do that.She said Gale never put his hands on the officer who was confronting him
The argument escalated until Gale was shoved into the lap of Mayo’s sister, who was sitting two booths away, holding a 10-month-old baby. That’s when police pulled out a Taser stun gun to subdue him.
They beat this man in front of all these kids then Tased him in my sister’s lap,Mayo told the newspaper.They had no regard for the effect this would have on the kids. This is Chuck E. Cheese, you know.
Gale’s two children werescreaming and hollering and cryingas Gale was hit two times with the stun gun.
Police arrested Gale as his children and other customers watched. They took him outside, leaving his children inside the restaurant.
Gale was arrested for investigation of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and trespassing.
Cops bully people, hurt them for no good reason, use tasers to end arguments, and then make up lies to cover it up. If you or I did that, we would be in jail. Cops did it here, so we are treated to this:
AURORA, Colo. — Aurora police have reviewed a weekend incident in which a man accused of stealing salad from a Chuck E. Cheese salad bar was hit with a stun gun twice by officers and said that proper procedures were followed.
… which, apparently, is supposed to make everything alright. As long as the police department determines that cops are following the procedures that the police department determined to be proper, blasting 20,000 volts through a man who is at most guilty of grand salad bar larceny is a perfectly appropriate response to the situation. Move along, citizen, nothing to see here.
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