Binks Is Here

Commentary on the World

Another TASER Video

No, TASER is not all capitalized for emphasis… I’m pretty sure TASER is an acronym (like SCUBA) and should be all-capped…

(Okay, here’s one where you can win friends.. TASER stands for Thomas A. Smith’s Electric Rifle)

I remember Liam especially was interested in the last vid; well here’s a whole new one:

Best/most shameful part? The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing.

There were tons of places where the officer could’ve just given a little bit of ground… sat back and actually talked with the guy, reasoned with him, and maybe disarmed this situation. Every experienced cop (at least in Canada…) will tell you that they use communication skills more than weapons. You can hear the cop in the first minute or so of the video; he’s like those people at fast food joints who just don’t care. Officer: “how you doin’, you were goin’ kinda fast, can I see your license and registration?” Dude: “I just have a quick question, how fast was I going (ininteligeable)?” Officer: “Can I see your drivers license and registration… like now?” Dude: “No, I’m serious, I’m just wondering how fast I was going” Officer: “SIIIIIIGH”

Really? A sigh like that? What, are you 6 years old? The guy wants to know how fast he was going; it should take 2 seconds to say, “I clocked you at 60 in a 40. I’m going to have to write you a ticket. You’re going to have to sign it, but don’t worry - that’s just a promise to appear in court. You’ll still have every opportunity to fight the ticket at a later date”

What was the big risk here? The threat that required such brutal force? You had the guy’s license plate and information - what was he going to do? Fly to a country without an extradition treaty? Even if the guy jumped into his truck and drove away at full tilt, you would’ve been able to get him again. A man with a pregnant wife and a baby in the car isn’t going to start a gun battle.

Let’s take another look at this…. If the TASER wasn’t available, would the cop have pulled his sidearm? Would he have put three in the guy’s back because he was slowly walking away? Probably not.

How about pepper spray? Should the officer have doused him with that? Again, likely not; that seems really disproportionate.

How about using the baton? A few strikes, break some bones, stop him from his masterfully planned getaway? I think not.

This officer was using the TASER as a shortcut because he appears to have the communication abilities of a polar bear (and an ego sized to match…)

NOTES: You’ll notice some cuts in the video. This user page has the uncut video available. Uncut, it’s just shy of 23 minutes long. I believe the video was put up by the man who was TASERd. I looked through it; and nothing particularly notable seems to have been cut - most of what was cut was just the officer sitting in his car writing out the ticket. There were also some cuts when we hear the guy pleading with the officer off-camera. Interesting, but doesn’t change the real focus of the story.

Here’s a Fox news story on it; if nothing else it’ll give you a jumping off point for more info, if you so desire.

In the poking about I did, apparently the signature that the cop was so excited about getting is a promise to appear in court. Without the promise to appear, you’re arrested so that you can be required to appear. At no point do I see that being made clear in the video. I assumed (as the driver probably did…) that the signature was an admission of guilt; so rather then admit guilt, he wanted to explain his side of things. NOTE: No such signature is required in Canada (if memory serves…). You don’t sign anything when you’re issued a ticket. You only sign a document later, at which point you either admit guilt and pay the fine, or declare your intent to fight the ticket in court. One assumes that, if you never showed up to sign and pay or sign and fight that the court would just issue a warrant and require you to appear in court. At that point you’d probably get a nastily worded letter giving a date and time. Failing that I guess an officer would be sent to your house to collect you. That’s how theses things are done in a civilized country.

The side of the road is no place to settle anything. Tempers are running high; nothing productive will happen.