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Friday, June 5, 2009

What A Cop Thinks........

 
 

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via VoxRoxx.com by Maverick on 6/4/09

I have three main problems with Tasers:

1) they're used too readily,

2) the pain they cause isn't geared toward the compliance I want, and

3) people die.

Nine times out of ten officers exercise *more* restraint that allowed by departmental policy and law (See Dave Klinger's book "Into the Kill Zone" for lots of examples of this). In Baltimore I didn't have a Taser, but the use-of-force guidelines for Tasers and mace (actually pepper spray) is generally the same–for compliance. That's too low a bar.

If I followed departmental policy, I could have maced about 3 people a shift. Instead, I maced one person in 14 months. Mace has a natural check and balance: it goes everywhere. No officer quick with the mace will be popular in the department for long.

Physical force can often be done without too much pain. And the pain caused is directly proportional to your resistance. For instance, I need you to put your hands behind your back. I use force. Force isn't the same as pain. It might hurt if you fight it. But as soon as you stop resisting, any pain is over.

Officers use Tasers quicker than they otherwise would apply hands-on force. "Comply or I Taze you." You don't comply so I Taze. Clean and legal. But wrong because it's not necessary.

We're talking about pain compliance… hurting somebody. Tasers cause pain as punishment. That's not right. We shouldn't pretend that causing pain is clean process. It never is.

Force is part of the police job. No suspect puts handcuffs on himself.

Taser Cop

Without a Taser, I just say "Comply." You don't. So I keep talking to you, cajoling you, ordering you, threatening you. But the point is I'll work harder trying to convince you to comply if my only alternative is hands-on force. Officers *should* be reluctant to use force. You don't want to use physical force because there is some danger… and also you break a sweat–something you always want to avoid while wearing body armor. Departmental regulation be damned! It's too easy to press a button.

When I do use hands-on force, at least my force is geared toward getting you to do what I want (like getting your arms behind your back so I can cuff you). With a Taser, it's just about disabling pain. That's torture. And consider this, it's not easy to follow instructions after being in the greatest pain of your life. So you get tazed again.

And oh yeah, Tasers kill people.

by: Peter Moskos

Source: marginalrevolution


 
 

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