Another flabbergastingly stupid comment from Jim Pasco. Dr. Q, Gangsters in Blue (2010-10-18).
Since the issue of filming police became a hot topic in the mainstream press (see here), I’ve been very interested in hearing the arguments that police use to justify placing limits on the right to record cops. To me, the idea that people ought to be allowed to film police...(Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
Boofrickityhoo. Unqualified Offerings (2010-10-18). "Now, I do realize that there might be economic repercussions if bankers are unable to recover some of their losses. Fortunately, I have a solution: They can sell their own organs to raise cash." (Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
The Explosion of Pink. Rachel, Our Bodies Our Blog (2010-10-12).
It’s October, so the explosion of pink products at the grocery and other stores shouldn’t surprise us: it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the time of the year when we’re asked to eradicate breast cancer by buying pink-ribboned products. Over the years, many women’s health activists have criticized the pink...(Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
Primary Sources for USA vs George Donnelly. George Donnelly, Anarchoblogs in English (2010-10-18).
As promised, here are my primary sources for the short film United States of America vs George Donnelly: How US Marshals Framed a Peaceful Photographer. I apologize for the delay. I’m working on getting even more information and hope to release it soon. Here is the raw video footage from...(Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
Kathryn Schulz on Wrongness. Igor Kandyba, FiveBooks (2010-10-17).
The author of Being Wrong says punditry is conducive to bombast and certainty, both major contributors to wrongness. You are not more likely to be right if you’re on the left, or on the right. ‘If you think like a fox you’re more likely to have a sophisticated, nuanced way of thinking....(Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
Drug cops smash into wrong house, terrorize elderly couple - Chicago Breaking News. www.chicagobreakingnews.com (2010-10-18).
Andrij and Anna Jakymec were startled by a late night raid on their home by Cook County sheriff's police gang crimes narcotics unit officers executing a search warrant. (E. Jason Wambsgans/ Chicago Tribune) Cook County sheriff's police on a drug raid smashed into a Southwest Side house late Thursday night,(Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
Intellect as Evasion. Mel, BroadSnark (2010-10-14).
Normally, I like Jay Smooth. But this video really irritated me. I understand why people are critical of the anti-intellectualism displayed by right wing populists who seem so disdainful of reading books, processing facts, or critical thinking of any kind. But it amazes me when otherwise observant people can’t see...(Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
To Protect and Serve. Daily Brickbats (2010-10-19). Cops are here to keep us safe. (Cont'd.) By running red lights, crashing into bicyclists, and leaving the scene of the accident. (Linked Tuesday 2010-10-19.)
Little Miss Muffet. Jill, I Blame The Patriarchy (2010-10-19).
“Here is my question,” announces blamer JenniferRuth. “Can arachnophobia be blamed on the patriarchy?” The answer is yes! Patriarchy is the gnarly firmament of dominant culture, and nothing may exist outside it; therefore absolutely everything can be blamed on it. This, friends, is the beauty of patriarchy-blaming. Whenever one encounters,...(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-19.)
Letters Respond to Lancet Home Birth Editorial With Feminist Perspective. Rachel, Our Bodies Our Blog (2010-10-19).
In July, The Lancet published an editorial, “Home Births: Proceed with Caution,” in which the editors discussed the apparent safety of home birth for most low-risk women, contradictory or low-quality evidence on infant outcomes, and the recent, controversial Wax meta-analysis. Perhaps most likely to cause feminist double-takes was the following...(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-19.)
Civic Engagement is for Suckers. Kevin Carson, Center for a Stateless Society (2010-10-19).
I frequently encounter “progressives” who argue that political involvement is the only way to achieve significant change. Refusal to participate in the process is “defeatist” and “irresponsible.” This, apparently, is what passes for gritty realism on much of the “progressive” Left. That argument is pessimistic beyond belief. The events of...(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-19.)
So, I got married… Anarchoblogs in English (2010-10-20). In steampunk attire, of course. Mazel tov, Db0! (Linked Wednesday 2010-10-20.)
Molly’sBlog 2010-10-17 17:35:00. mollymew, Anarchoblogs in English (2010-10-17).
AMERICAN ANARCHIST MOVEMENT MINNEAPOLIS:RNC (FOUR) AGREE TO PLEA BARGAIN:This the latest from the Defend the RNC 8 group. The four remaining defendants will likely enter a plea bargain next Tuesday. What this means the future will tell. Here's the story.@@@@@@@@@@Important Update on the RNC 8 Case: New Hearing Tuesday 10/19...(Linked Wednesday 2010-10-20.)
Dissent in the age of Obama. Phil Dickens, Anarchoblogs in English (2010-10-05).
Following on from Sunday's post on Barack Obama's appalling civil liberties record, I have come across an interesting opinion piece by Cindy Sheehan. It seems that Obama's line of dissidents carries echoes of the Watergate Scandal and even the Red Scare. Her thoughts can be found over on Al Jazeera;Recently,...(Linked Wednesday 2010-10-20.)
Genes are left-wing. Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing (2010-10-13).
Writing in the Guardian, clinical psychologist Oliver James claims that genetics has turned into a "left wing" science, because it has failed to identify any innate, genetic reasons why some people are winners and others are losers -- suggesting that, instead, it's society's fault that some people end up on...(Linked Wednesday 2010-10-20.)
What's Wrong With Woodrow Wilson? Radley Balko: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2010-10-11). A: He was a fucking fascist, that's what's wrong. (Linked Monday 2010-10-11.)
Modesto Police Shoot Francisco Moran and Rita Elias. Modesto Anarcho!'s MySpace Blog (2010-10-04).
On Friday night, Rita Elias, 31, died after off-duty sheriff's detective Kari Abbey, shot and killed her after an hour long argument. Kari Abbey, a 6 year veteran to the force, and a detective of four...(Linked Monday 2010-10-11.)
Under Surveillance America. Darian Worden, Center for a Stateless Society (2010-09-16).
Federal Bureau of Investigation files indicate that Ernest Withers, prominent photographer of 1960s Civil Rights activism, was also a federal informant. According to the Washington Post, he provided photographs, scheduling information and biographical sketches on Civil Rights leaders to the FBI. Whether Withers was trying to cash in on information...(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)
Nothing new under the sun. John Markley, The Superfluous Man (2010-10-06).
Contemporary American politics makes a great deal more sense in light of the realization that Barack Obama's most devoted fans and fiercest critics are united by a shared delusion: the belief that Obama is really, really interesting.How this manifests among his supporters is apparent enough in the starry-eyed adulation he...(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)
Homesteading in Haiti: Very Adverse Possession. Jesse Walker, Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2010-10-12).
Emily Troutman reports from the hills near Port-au-Prince: Six months ago, this land was nothing but crickets in the grass. Now, it's Haiti's new frontier, a landscape of squatters whose greatest hope is a home of their own. Gray and blue shacks and shanties extend for miles. Small gardens and...(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)
Event: The Prospects and Ethics of Political Reform. justino, DFW Alliance of the Libertarian Left (2010-09-27).
What: As we near election time, candidates for office will inevitably present themselves as an alternative to the status quo that plagues us. But what types of reform in practice, if any, are consistent with a libertarian political philosophy? The first article we will study is Ron Paul’s “My Plan...(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)
Event: ‘For the Bible Tells Me So’ Movie. justino, DFW Alliance of the Libertarian Left (2010-09-22).
What: 1919 Hemphill, a local DIY collective, is hosting a screening of the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So (2007) as part of its long-time movie series Conscientious Projector. A recipient of numerous international awards, the film documents the turmoil Christian families with a gay child face and “sometimes...(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)
Grieving Student Suspected of Using Marijuana Reinstated. DFW Alliance of the Libertarian Left (2010-10-12). Narco-Statism Vs. Compassion and Human Decency (Cont'd) (Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)
Getting Away With Murder. Center for a Stateless Society (2010-10-12). Cops are here to keep us safe. (Cont'd) (Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)
- This Is the Modern World. Jesse Walker, Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2009-11-06).
This month's edition of Cato Unbound tackles one of the most interesting questions historians have: Where did modernity come from? Stephen Davies leads off with a revision and synthesis of several classical liberal theories about the issue; his essay has attracted a friendly critique from Jack Goldstone, one of the...(Linked Friday 2009-11-13.)
- Queer Victorians. Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2009-11-13). It turns out that there was far more public discussion of same-sex conduct in the early Victorian period than previously thought. Perhaps not surprising that so much was missed: the earlier studies were based on press indexes and keyword searches. But most of the words that we use to describe homosexuality (among them, "homosexuality") date from the medicalizing discourse in the late Victorian period. It's not that it wasn't being talked about; it's that researchers were searching in the wrong language. (Linked Friday 2009-11-13.)
- Uncle Sam Goddamn by Brother Ali. Kelly W. Patterson, Las Vegas Anarchoblogs (2009-11-12).
This might just be the most kick ass song ever recorded. It's a show tune, but the show ain't been written for it yet. Hopefully, a team of writers somewhere is working on that.(Linked Friday 2009-11-13.)
- Re: Daddy Issues. cherylcline, der Blaustrumpf (2009-11-02).
In “Daddy Issues,” Dennis Perrin wonders why we offer our presidents not merely obedience but also filial piety: What is it that makes Americans feel a family connection to the presidency? Yes, we are indoctrinated from birth about our unique goodness, our special qualities; and yes, the president is viewed...(Linked Friday 2009-11-13.)
Cops in America are heavily armed and trained to be bullies. They routinely force their way into situations they have no business being in, use violence first and ask questions later, and pass off even the most egregious forms of violence against harmless or helpless people asself-defenseor as thenecessarymeans to accomplish a completely unnecessary goal. In order tostay in control of the situation,they have no trouble electrifying small children, alleged salad-bar thieves, pregnant women possibly guilty of a minor traffic violation, or an already prone and helpless student who may have been guilty of using the computer lab without proper papers on hand. They are willing to pepper spray lawyers for asking inconvenient questions and to beat up teenaged girls for not cleaning up enough birthday cake or being out too late at night. It hardly matters if you are an 82 year old woman supposedly benefiting from acare check, or if you are sound asleep in your own home, or if you are unable to move due to a medical condition, or if the cops attack you within 25 seconds of entering the room, while you are standing quietly against the wall with your arms at your sides. It hardly even matters if you die. What a cop can always count on is that, no matter how senselessly he escalates the use of violence and no matter how obviously innocent or helpless his victims are, he can count on his buddies to clap him on the back and he can count on his bosses to repeat any lie and make any excuse in order to find that Official Procedures were followed. As long as Official Procedures were followed, of course, any form of brutality or violence is therefore passed off as OK ….
Note that Gardner never, at any point in the video, claimed that anything that Massey did in the encounter was threatening or that he felt he had to defend himself. He explicitly stated, over and over again, to Jared Massey, to his wife, and to a fellow cop, not that the reason for his actions was self-defense, but that it was to coerce compliance. Gardner also never told Massey that he was under arrest until after knocking Massey to the ground with his taser. However, cop enablers are not about to let the mere evidence of their senses get in the way of fabricating excuses for police violence …
Some days, I really hate being right.
Utah taser probe: Trooper acted reasonably
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah trooper who used a Taser to subdue a stubborn motorist who was walking away from him during a traffic stop felt threatened and acted reasonably, state officials said Friday.
Trooper Jon Gardner remains on leave, primarily for his safety, after numerous anonymous threats were made against him, said Supt. Lance Davenport of the Utah Highway Patrol.
Gardner twice zapped [sic] Jared Massey with a Taser when the driver walked away and refused to sign a speeding ticket on Sept. 14. The incident was recorded on Gardner’s dashboard camera. Massey filed a public-records request and posted the video on YouTube, which said it has been viewed more than 1 million times.
We found that Trooper Gardner’s actions were lawful and reasonable under the circumstances,Davenport said at a news conference, joined by Scott Duncan, commissioner of the UHP’s parent agency, the Utah Department of Public Safety.
The investigation was conducted by officials in the Department of Public Safety, which oversees the highway patrol. The officials have asked the Utah attorney general’s office to also review the case to determine if laws were broken.
Massey was not at the news conference and could not immediately be reached for comment.
The video showed Massey arguing about whether he was exceeding the speed limit on U.S. 40 in eastern Utah. Massey got out and walked to the rear of his vehicle. The trooper pulled out his Taser when the driver tried to return to his seat.
Massey shrieked, fell and said:Officer, I really don’t know what you’re doing.
Face down! Face down! Put your hands behind your back,Gardner said.
This seems to be more or less how most cops seem to think that all their conversations with the public that they
serve and protect should go.
When Massey’s wife emerged from the passenger side, the trooper ordered her to get back in —or you’re going to jail, too.Moments later, when another officer arrived, one of them said,Oh, he took a ride with the Taser.
Davenport said that comment was inappropriate.
Well, that’s mighty white of him.
Officials said Gardner could have issued the ticket without Massey’s signature.
The investigation found use of the Taser was justified because Massey had turned his back and put a hand near his pocket, Davenport said.
For a law-enforcement officer, that is a very, very scary situation,he said.
Nonetheless, the trooper now realizes that other options were available, Davenport said.
Remember that at no point in the encounter did Gardner ever claim that he used the taser because he felt threatened or because he believed that Massey was reaching for a piece. In fact, he explained several times why he used the taser, to Massey, to Massey’s wife, and to another cop, and every time he said the reason was that Massey didn’t
follow instructions. I’m sure he just forgot to mention that he feared for his life, too. It’s wonderful how a gang of cops investigating possible after-the-fact excuses for another cop’s use of violence can jog the memory.
However, once we strip out the self-serving lies, note that we are left with the following:
Officials said Gardner could have issued the ticket without Massey’s signature.
… Nonetheless, the trooper now realizes that other options were available, Davenport said.
Officials said Gardner could have issued the ticket without Massey’s signature.
… Nonetheless, the trooper now realizes that other options were available, Davenport said.
And there you have it. In the view of the Utah Highway Patrol, it is
lawful and reasonable to torture you with 50,000-volts of electricity in order to force you to comply with their orders, even when those orders are completely unnecessary and even when other options are available.
What a shock.
Law and Orders #3: John Gardner of the Utah Highway Patrol tasers Jared Massey in front of his family for questioning why he was pulled over
Update 2007-11-29: Some of the quotes from commenters were re-ordered to correct for a misplaced copy-and-paste.
Cops in America are heavily armed and trained to be bullies. They routinely force their way into situations they have no business being in, use violence first and ask questions later, and pass off even the most egregious forms of violence against harmless or helpless people as
self-defense or as the
necessary means to accomplish a completely unnecessary goal. In order to
stay in control of the situation, they have no trouble electrifying small children, alleged salad-bar thieves, pregnant women possibly guilty of a minor traffic violation, or an already prone and helpless student who may have been guilty of using the computer lab without proper papers on hand. They are willing to pepper spray lawyers for asking inconvenient questions and to beat up teenaged girls for not cleaning up enough birthday cake or being out too late at night. It hardly matters if you are an 82 year old woman supposedly benefiting from a
care check, or if you are sound asleep in your own home, or if you are unable to move due to a medical condition, or if the cops attack you within 25 seconds of entering the room, while you are standing quietly against the wall with your arms at your sides. It hardly even matters if you die. What a cop can always count on is that, no matter how senselessly he escalates the use of violence and no matter how obviously innocent or helpless his victims are, he can count on his buddies to clap him on the back and he can count on his bosses to repeat any lie and make any excuse in order to find that Official Procedures were followed. As long as Official Procedures were followed, of course, any form of brutality or violence is therefore passed off as OK by the mainstream media, while a chorus of sado-fascist bully boys in the newspapers, talk shows, and the Internet will smear the victim and howl for the obliteration of any notion of restraints on the use of force in securing compliance with police demands. Then they will sanctimoniously explain how cops need to be able to shove you around and then beat and torture you with impunity so that they can
protect you. Whether or we ever wanted or asked for their
protection in the first place.
One increasingly popular means for out-of-control cops to force you to follow their bellowed orders is by using high-voltage electric shocks in order to inflict pain. Now, in fact, tasers were originally introduced for police use as an alternative to using lethal force; the hope was that, in many situations where cops might otherwise feel forced to go for their guns, they might be able to use the taser instead, to immobilize a person who posed a threat to them or to others, without killing anybody in the process. But in practice, police culture being what it is, any notion of limiting tasers to those situations very quickly went out the window. Cops armed with tasers now freely use them to end arguments by intimidation or actual violence, to coerce people who pose no real threat to anyone into
complying with their
instructions, and to hurt uppity
civilians who dare to give them lip. They often do so even when the supposed offense that they’re responding to is completely trivial; they often start tasering, or keep on tasering, after their victims have already been rendered helpless by the circumstances or by an earlier use of force. Among civilized people, deliberately inflicting severe pain in order to extort compliance from your victim is called
torture; among cops it is called
pain compliance and is considered business as usual. So shock-happy
Peace Officers can now go around using their tasers as 50,000-volt human prods in just about any situation, with more or less complete impunity. In those rare cases where media criticism, mass riots, or a lawsuit does force some minimal accountability on the police force, the handful of low-level officers who face punishment are portrayed as
bad apples and the whole thing is written off as yet another isolated incident.
Last week, the latest isolated incident came to light thanks to a pending lawsuit and a dash camera video posted on YouTube. John Gardner, who works for the Utah Highway Patrol, pulled over Jared Massey on U.S. highway 40. Here is what happened:
The nearly 10-minute video clip, which has drawn nothing but negative comments toward the trooper on YouTube, shows Gardner approaching Massey’s SUV and asking for his driver’s license and registration. Massey asks how fast he was going, which prompts Gardner to repeat his request.
I need your driver’s license and registration — right now,the trooper says.
Massey continues to question Gardner about the posted speed limit and how fast he was going but hands over his papers. The trooper walks back to his car.
Gardner returns to the SUV and tells Massey he’s being cited for speeding. On the video, Massey can be heard refusing to sign the ticket and demanding that the trooper take him back and show him the 40 mph speed limit sign.
What you’re going to do — if you’re giving me a ticket — in the first place, you’re going to tell me why …Massey says.
For speeding,the trooper interjects.
… and second of all we’re going to go look for that 40 mph sign,Massey says.
Well you’re going to sign this first,Gardner says.
No I am not. I’m not signing anything.Massey says.
Gardner tells Massey tohop out of the car,then walks back to the hood of his patrol car, setting down his ticket book. Massey is close behind the trooper pointing toward the 40 mph speed limit sign he’d passed just before being pulled over.
Turn around. Put your hands behind your back,Gardner says. He repeats the command a second time as he draws his Taser and takes a step back.
The trooper points the Taser at Massey who stares incredulously at him.
What the hell is wrong with you?Massey asks.
Gardner repeats the command toturn aroundtwo more times as Massey, with part of his right hand in his pants pocket, starts to walk back toward his SUV.
What the heck’s wrong with you?Massey can be heard asking as Gardner fires his Taser into Massey’s back. Immobilized by the weapon’s 50,000 volts, Massey falls backward, striking his head on the highway. The impact caused a cut on Massey’s scalp.
The newspaper account omits that at this point Massey is screaming in pain. While the cop kneels and handcuffs him, he gives Massey a lecture about how he
should’ve followed my instructions.
Massey’s wife Lauren, who was seven months pregnant at the time, gets out of the SUV screaming and is ordered to get back in the vehicle or risk being arrested. Gardner handcuffs Massey and leaves him on the side of the highway while he goes to talk to Massey’s wife.
He’s fine. I Tasered him because he did not follow my instructions,Gardner explains to the audibly upset woman.
You had no right to do that!she responds.You had no right to do that!
While Gardner is still talking to Lauren Massey, her husband gets to his feet and approaches the trooper from behind. Gardner takes the handcuffed man back toward his patrol car and again orders Lauren Massey to stay in her vehicle or risk being arrested.
Officer you’re a little bit excited. You need to calm yourself down,Jared Massey tells Gardner before being put into the trooper’s patrol car where he continues to demand an explanation for his arrest.
Gardner’s response was to sanctimoniously tell Massey, who never made any threatening motion, and who hardly even raised his voice until a weapon was pointed at him, that
No, you’re a little excited, because you weren’t following my instructions. As he marches Massey to the police car, and informs him that he’s
going to jail, Massey demands to be read his rights. The officer’s response is to threaten Massey with another shock from the taser. Please note that, at this point, Massey is already handcuffed and has done nothing other than talk back.
The video concludes with a demonstration of the cavalier buddy-buddy culture of policing:
When a backup officer arrives on the scene and asks Gardner what happened he tells them Masseytook a ride with the Taser.
Oh, how was it?the unidentified officer asks.
Painful, isn’t it?Gardner responds.
After they’ve finished jeering at their handcuffed victim, the other cop asks what happened, Gardner tells some plain lies about the sequence of events, and gets a clap on the back for his efforts. Meanwhile, the bellowing blowhard brigade chimes in in the reader comments:
This reminds me of what is wrong with America, and what, if not rectified will be the recipe for our demise. Respect. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, I was taught to respect authority. That meant my elders, law-enforcement, teachers, whatever. Kids now have this sense of entitlement that is unmatched anywhere else on this Earth. They think that if they make a mistake they can just hit the ‘reset’ button like on their video game and start over. Well, life is not like that. There was once what is called the Greatest Generation. This is not it. What we have is the Worst Generation. No wonder other countries hate us. We are gluttons in every thing we do. This sniveling little brat needs the full measure of the law brought against him and that trooper needs a pat on the back for doing his job. I’m still dumbstruck by this. To have it called into question like the officer was in the wrong. WAKE UP MORONS! It’s not the teacher, the officer, the bus driver, or etc. IT’S YOUR KID.
—Erick, 12:44 a.m., 21 November 2007
Accept to sign the paper … Than between a trooper and a driver could be argue, misunderstand, etc. Next step to see a judge to have speeding charge or dismiss the ticket, which the judge, the driver and the trooper have neutral and work together. The trooper has a reason is protect himselif when the driver was too close to him. (the school or the trooper training trained him the rules).
—Anonymous, 6:17 a.m., 21 November 2007
Those officers out in the desert put their lives on the line every day. They don’t know when stopping someone if they are a housewife or a murderer. If an officer places you under arrest you don’t turn around and walk away. The guy was way out of line. Sign the ticket and fight it in court.
—not right, 8:28 a.m., 21 November 2007
I think releasing the video is Massey’s way of testing the waters for his lawsuit. But as he should see, he’s not getting everyone on his side. He started the who incident by his disobedience to an officer. He left the officer no choice, and a jury will see that.
—Testing the waters, 9:04 a.m., 21 November 2007
As for some requirement to show him the sign I have never heard of anything of the sort. The kid kept ranting about his rights. Funny. Too much tv for him
—Relax, 9:44 a.m., 21 November 2007
Please also note that attempting to ask a police officer a question constitutes
resisting police, and that a 50,000-volt electric shock is just a natural
consequence of the resistance. Cops certainly haven’t any discretion in whether or not to escalate the use of force:
It amazes me that people think that they can resist police and expect to not suffer the consequences. The man was willfully disobeying a lawful command from an officer, and got tasered for it. Why should anyone be surprised? If it were otherwise, everyone would be non-compliant towards officers. If the guy felt that he was being ticketed erroneously, he should have fought his battle in the courtroom, not on the street.
—Jim, 7:42 a.m., 21 November 2007
Note that Gardner never, at any point in the video, claimed that anything that Massey did in the encounter was threatening or that he felt he had to defend himself. He explicitly stated, over and over again, to Jared Massey, to his wife, and to a fellow cop, not that the reason for his actions was self-defense, but that it was to coerce compliance. Gardner also never told Massey that he was under arrest until after knocking Massey to the ground with his taser. However, cop enablers are not about to let the mere evidence of their senses get in the way of fabricating excuses for police violence:
Everyone knows you can’t approach a cop from behind, especailly after you have refused to sign the ticket (which you have to do). Then you walk away when he tells you 4 times to put his hands behind his head. The taser wasn’t called for, and then the reason why he was getting pulled over was shady for sure. And the cop started to lie to the other officer in the video about what happended. Both in the wrong, but the kid posed a clear threat by walking behing the officer (twice in fact). STUPID!!!
—Both are in wrong!!, 7:32 a.m., 21 November 2007
From the video I saw, the guy deserved it. He was ignoring orders, started to walk back to his car and started to put his right hand in his pocket. I can see why the officer wanted to end his refusal to obey right then. It’s easy to see that the officer might have been concerned that the guy was going to reach for a gun, or go get one from his car, or just get in his car and take off. Had the driver obeyed, there would have been no need for the Taser. But, looks to me like he asked for it. No sympathy from me.
—Deserved it, 8:41 a.m., 21 November 2007
It is pretty apparent from the you tube video that the gentleman that was tasered was not cooperative with the officer. While he had a right to ask the questions he asked, he has a responsibility to follow the directions given him by police. I stand by the officer; when someone chooses to act the way this gentleman did, and place an officer in a situation where he may feel at risk, that person has to accept the consequences for his actions.
—Derek, 9:19 a.m., 21 November 2007
Third, you start walking away from a cop that is telling you that you’re under arrest, expect something bad to happen.
—l, 10:11 a.m., 21 November 2007
I think the officer was well within his rights to protect himself. When a command is given, you obey it? If you don’t then it is considered not compliance, then you fry them.
—Funny, 12:58 p.m., 21 November 2007
Meanwhile, an anonymous contemptuous thug asks:
OK all you couch-Cops, once the guy refused the cop’s orders and was walking back to his car, clearly to drive away, what do you think the cop should have done? Some how, some way, he had to keep the driver from doing that. Had he not, how do we know there wouldn’t have been a much more dangerous high-speed chase. It’s clear the guy wasn’t going to sign the ticket, and when you don’t do that, cops are instructed to arrest. The solution wasn’t to let the guy go free just because he disagreed. The driver caused this confrontation.
—Better suggestion, 9:00 a.m., 21 November 2007
Even if it were clear, which it certainly is not, that Massey intended to drive away, the notion that the cop
Some how, some way … had to keep the driver from doing that is completely preposterous. If he just drove off, then the cop can bloody well look up his license plate number and mail him the ticket. But the notion of letting a Bad Guy temporarily get away with a minor speeding infraction is so repugnant to the nature of both cops and their sycophants that no solution other than a 50,000-volt shock on the side of the road even comes to mind.
Meanwhile, while many commenters show a healthy outrage at Gardner’s obviously abusive behavior, most of them seem to feel compelled to pepper their statements with cavils about how Massey could have acted better, or about how
I support police officers,
I have sympathy for the difficult situations policemen face,
both people behaved badly,
The public should be respectful of law enforcement as a matter of principle, etc. etc. etc. Most of those who suggest a concrete penalty for Gardner suggest that he should be reprimanded, or re-trained, or reassigned to a desk job, or temporarily suspended, or perhaps even fired. To hell with that. The behavior of both Gardner and his fellow cops, based on the contents of the video and the laggard pace of the investigation, is despicable. Gardner should be indicted and prosecuted for assault and battery, and he should be forced to personally pay compensation for Massey’s pain and suffering.
If you’re baffled that cops could feel free to indulge in this kind of outrage, and that numerous fellow cops, prosecutors, and freelance bullies would rush to defend it, while even the opponents make only timid and isolated efforts at mild criticism, it may help to remember that in most of America, there is no such thing as a civil police force anymore. What we have instead would be better described as elite paramilitary cadres, often referred to as
Troopers and organized into a chain of command with military ranks, who are occupying what they regard as hostile territory. Here as elsewhere, the occupation forces are going to serve and protect us, whether we want them to or not, and if we don’t like it then they’ve got more than enough firepower to make sure they can protect the hell out of us all anyway.