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Friday, 23 November 2007
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Dare to Question a Cop - Get Tased

YouTube is doing an excellent job of shining the light on police abuse of Tasers.  As I've said many times before, because police are being told that they aren't lethal (which is clearly not the case), they are being used by many police to get "compliance", even when the only resistance is daring to question a police officer.  Here is a roadside stop in which a man questions why he's getting a ticket.  The audio is hard to get at times because of traffic, but at no time do I ever hear the motorist get verbally abuse, or angry.  He simply wants an explanation, and the cop refuses to give him one, and does a poor job of explaining why he won't.  Instead, the police officer orders the man out of the car, and then without warning tases him.  Then he jokes around about it with an officer who comes as backup.

The man in the video is planning to sue, since the police officer violated Utah State Law by not warning the motorist that he was going to be tased if he did not comply with his instructions.  Based on the video, I don't know what instructions the motorist didn't obey.  The police officer ordered the man out of his car to tase him, so clearly the police officer can't claim he was being threatened.  Is the officer really going to make the claim that it's appropriate to tase someone for refusing to sign a speeding ticket?  Really?  More at Hullabaloo, via VodkaPundit.

# Posted at 10:43 by Nick  |  Comment Feed Link 20 Comments  |  No Trackbacks

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Friday, 23 November 2007 13:41:25 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
The man was being placed under arrest and was not obeying
the officer's orders along those lines.

The story is dude was being placed under arrest for refusing to
sign the ticket. When you get a ticket or other such document
you generally sign off and the signature is nothing more than
an acknowledgment of receipt and perhaps a promise to deal with
the ticket according to the law.

That was hardly the faster taser in the west. Dude saw the
taser pointing at him and chose to ignore that fact.
Friday, 23 November 2007 14:05:16 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
But let's think about it this way. You're talking with the cop trying to find out exactly what you did wrong, and he finally asks you to step out of the car. You'd just been talking about wanting to go look at the sign, and so you think you two are going to walk back to the sign because he hasn't said anything different.

Then you're suddenly being told to put your hands behind your back, and while you're still processing that, you have a taser in your face. You're at a traffic stop. My first reaction would be to do exactly what he did, and back away, trying to figure out what the hell is going wrong because you'd never expect a cop to tase you for talking.

Clear and simple, more and more police are using tasers as a means to restrain people simply because they don't want to hassle with doing it the old fashioned way... through talking. I don't want to deal with you, so I'll tase you, because they think it's safe. Unfortunately, these things KILL PEOPLE!
Friday, 23 November 2007 14:46:31 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
"Don't tase me, bro!"
Andrew Meyer
Friday, 23 November 2007 14:47:11 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
BTW, I'm not dead yet.
Andrew Meyer
Friday, 23 November 2007 15:21:47 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Nick,

He was not tased for talking he was tased for resisting arrest.

He was asked to sign the ticket and refused therfore he was
arrested. Then he refused to obey the officer's orders. Commentary
at the Belmont Club indicate the hands of Taseree were in such
a position as to give concern to the officer. I have not
viewed the video with attnetion to that, but after viewing the
video the only thing I come away with is perhaps Utah and staets
should change the law to say if you don't acknowledge the issuance
of a ticket your license is suspended until the matter is
cleared up. Still, some will find a way to push it to
the point we see in this video.

If you wish to believe dude was tased for talking
go on but that is not what happened.
Friday, 23 November 2007 16:55:37 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
If I remember correctly, I thought that signing the citation was basically an admission of guilt, at which point you then have to go back to court to prove that you were not guilty in the first place, or that you contest the ticket. I don't know if you are legally required to sign those things or not. In my opinion, the cop was highly reactive, and didn't like the fact that the kid had some brains to him. Most stops where a person asserts that they might have some sort of right usually ends unpleasantly. What really bothered me though, is that the kid was begging for the officer to read him his rights, and the officer practically refused.
Friday, 23 November 2007 18:34:29 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
--
If I remember correctly, I thought that signing the citation was basically an admission of guilt, at which point you then have to go back to court to prove that you were not guilty in the first place, or that you contest the ticket.
--
100% wrong.

Signing the ticket is a promise to take care of the ticket / appear in court. If you refuse to sign the ticket, you are refusing to promise to appear. If you refuse the promise, they place you under arrest and take you jail either until your actual court date, or until you pull your head out of your ass long enough to promise to appear.

This kid wanted to take control of the situation and it just doesn't work that way. I don't know how much more of a warning you can get that you are about to be tazed than having a tazer pointed at you. He has his hands near his pocket and turns his back on the officer. At that point, the officer has to decide if he's going to get into a physical confrontation with this idiot or just bring him down with the tazer. I think he made the right choice.

Admittedly, the officer could improve his bedside manner, but this jerk did just about everything wrong and brought it upon himself.

Here is why a cop must take control of every traffic stop:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=TG1rhLvrm7o
or this:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=0dBMHF3QvtA
or this:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=yz5--_qI_hU

Pretty simple rule here. In a traffic stop, YOU don't get to make the rules. The officer doesn't know why the guy is heading back to the car. He doesn't know what is in his pocket. He doesn't know what the wife may or may not have access to in the car.

Like I said, the officer could have explained things better, but that does not excuse this mans behavior.
Friday, 23 November 2007 18:38:29 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I think trying to pinpoint times when officers are shot during traffic stops is in poor taste in this context. The officer is the one who escalated the situation by pulling the taser, not the other way around. And as I said, there was very little time for that guy to react between seeing the taser, and being shot. So basically, because there are some evil SOB's out there, the cops can just shoot first and ask questions later? I don't think so.
Friday, 23 November 2007 18:39:46 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
oh... and the officer didn't have to read him his rights. He was under NO obligation do so. The man wasn't being questioned. This is another case of this whiny idiot thinking he was some kind of victim. Your "rights" have to be read to you after you've been placed under arrest before you can be interrogated. He wasn't being interrogated, therefore, no Miranda warning were needed.

So see Momma... you got all worked up over nothing. :-)
Friday, 23 November 2007 18:43:22 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
That's not true Dan. Being questioned is not what triggers your rights... being arrested does. When you are arrested, anything you say to a police officer, even if not under direct questioning would be admissable, and you have a right to know that. Also, you have habeus corpus rights that a lawyer would make you aware of as soon as you are under arrest.
Friday, 23 November 2007 19:00:47 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Nick, what do you think the officer should have done? She he have let the guy go back to the car? Should have have physically grabbed him and roll around on the highway?

Did you watch this thing? You think the officer is the one that escalated this? This guy obeyed ONE command the officer gave him. (Get out of the car)

It's absolutely NOT in poor taste to pinpoint times when officers are shot. We can't ask these guys to put their lives on the line, then not allow them to do what is needed to take control of a situation. This guy was clearly out for a confrontation and all he had to do was listen rather than argue. That's what a court is for.

What IS in poor taste is to follow the Amnesty International line and call the taser a "lethal" weapon. The percentage of deaths to shots is so low that it's laughable. Of those people that DO die after being tazed, most hit their head on something or have chemicals in their system that cause them to die.

If it's between a cop having a physical confrontation with an uncooperative jerk or using a taser to get him to comply, I'd say light him up and tase him, bro! :-)
Friday, 23 November 2007 19:05:39 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Nick, what do you think the officer should have done? She he have let the guy go back to the car? Should have have physically grabbed him and roll around on the highway?

Did you watch this thing? You think the officer is the one that escalated this? This guy obeyed ONE command the officer gave him. (Get out of the car)

It's absolutely NOT in poor taste to pinpoint times when officers are shot. We can't ask these guys to put their lives on the line, then not allow them to do what is needed to take control of a situation. This guy was clearly out for a confrontation and all he had to do was listen rather than argue. That's what a court is for.

What IS in poor taste is to follow the Amnesty International line and call the taser a "lethal" weapon. The percentage of deaths to shots is so low that it's laughable. Of those people that DO die after being tazed, most hit their head on something or have chemicals in their system that cause them to die.

If it's between a cop having a physical confrontation with an uncooperative jerk or using a taser to get him to comply, I'd say light him up and tase him, bro! :-)
Friday, 23 November 2007 19:16:37 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
http://www.legal-definitions.com/criminal-law/miranda-rights.htm
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. Based on this right, the Supreme Court has determined that criminal suspects cannot be subject to custodial interrogations without first being informed of their constitutional rights to remain silent and to have defense counsel. When a suspect is taken into custody, the Miranda warnings must be given before any interrogation takes place.

http://www.hmichaelsteinberg.com/yourmirandarights.htm
IS AN ARREST ILLEGAL IF THE POLICE NEGLECT TO READ THE MIRANDA RIGHTS TO THE SUSPECT?
No. These rights are your protection against self-incrimination only, not against being arrested. The only thing the police need before making an arrest is "probable cause" -- a sufficient reason, based on facts and observations, to believe you have committed a crime. Police must recite the Miranda rights only when they are about to interrogate a suspect. If they do not, then a judge might later throw out any statements made, though the arrest may still be valid.

Just sayin'
Friday, 23 November 2007 19:32:40 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
So, being bothered by something means I'm getting worked up? I don't like what I see. I see an officer who is obviously abusing his power to "gain control", and thinks it's a big joke. He never warned the guy that he was going to use the taser, and he refused to tell the guy why he was getting a ticket other than "speeding". He didn't tell the guy how much over he was going, so why should the guy sign the ticket? The situation was handled poorly by both sides, but the officer really should have kept a level head instead of getting "worked up".
Friday, 23 November 2007 19:38:17 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
You are correct about the Miranda warning. That is something that I was not aware of. However, one can't be too careful in situations with cops anymore. If you say the wrong thing, you can be thrown in jail. Most cops these days are on a power trip, and situations like this, where the guy was simply trying to find out the details of the situation, are not few and far between. Even asserting that you have a Constitutional right to anything puts you into a terrorist category right away, at least according to what these cops are being taught nowadays.
Saturday, 24 November 2007 00:29:32 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I'm on both sides of the fence here.

I think the cop was a little itchy to pull out the taser as soon as he did. That being said, once the fact the taser is out, the kid shoulda realized his options, and gotten on the ground under his own power. He tried to play the 'reasoning' card with the officer, and the officer was having none of it. Once the taser was out, the kid did turn his back to the officer, and did have his hands in/near his pockets. That's asking for trouble, even if it might be an honest reaction by the kid.

What was pretty funny was the last 30 seconds of the clip, when the backup officer asked "What happened?" The first officer recounted his version, and stated; "I said if you don't comply, I'm gonna tase you.".... which he actually never said. And he recounted his events infront of the camera that he had to have known was there.

I'd be interested to see how this one plays out in court.

And as for your rights being read to you, as someone who's been arrested, previous posters are correct in saying your rights only need to be read to you if you're being questioned. When police detectives make an arrest, they read you your rights, because they're in the business of making a case against you, so you need to be careful of what you say. Regular police officers make arrests for various reasons, and don't ALWAYS need to read you your rights. Sometimes they do, but not always. If they see you taking a leak on a fire hydrant outside of a bar, they don't have to ask you questions about it, they just arrest you, process you, and give you a ticket. Or if there's a warrant out for your arrest, they just arrest you, because that's their job. A judge issued the order, so they have no questions to ask you regarding the reason for the arrest.

I asked the kind officer in my situation why he didn't read me my rights. (the reason for arrest is a story for another time) His answer was he 'didn't legally have to read me my rights, because detaining me was the state's way of saying I couldn't go home until they sorted things out.' He did say in the state of Wisconsin, they are required to ask if you know why you're being arrested. He said you can say no, and the officers are required to tell you why ( only once ). Sometimes the legaleze I find facinating, although I never would have the fortitude to make it through law school.
Saturday, 24 November 2007 09:36:37 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
"What was pretty funny was the last 30 seconds of the clip, when the backup officer asked "What happened?" The first officer recounted his version, and stated; "I said if you don't comply, I'm gonna tase you.".... which he actually never said. And he recounted his events infront of the camera that he had to have known was there. "

Yeah, that was pretty obvious. I wonder how that one will hurt the officer.
Saturday, 24 November 2007 13:20:02 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Amazing how the police seem to feel that anyone they arrest is a jerk, as referenced frequently in the dialogues above. The police 1st tool is verbal, talk to the person and tell them what you expect and what is going on. ie "you need to sign this ticket, or I will have to arrest you. The ticket does not indicate you are guilty, it merely says that you have received the ticket." How hard is that? I think a lot of time the cops are bored and want to provoke a reaction. Many police, not all, are insecure little pricks hiding behind a badge which they use as an excuse to bully anyone in their way. The police are trained to intimidate and belittle, to respond with overpowering violence to anything that they in their great latitude deem an inappropriate response. The police are apparently terrified of the civilian population, they dress like storm troopers, in mostly black with boots, to intimidate by their mere presence. The cop searched the vehicle without a warrant and without asking for permission which seems to be S.O.P. in the new American Police State.

If you don't think tasering a guy who's traveling with his pregnant wife is a abit over the top, then you are insane or incapable of reasoned thinking. A little conversation on the cops part could have avoided all of this. The driver probably never got a ticket before and didn't understand what was going on, the cop didn't make it easy, in fact he had a chip on his shoulder as evidenced at the end of the clip when he brags to his buddy about giving the driver a ride on a taser. Cops like these need a little waterboarding to break down there antisocial behavior. If they are to enforce the law, the must make sure we understand what they expect of us and why. The power of the police does not come down from god.
The police serve at the discretion of the civilian populace, the voters, the taxpayers. If the police continue to abuse their powers, they will be revoked. The choice lies with the police, either the good professional cops get the bad boys in line or we the people rewrite the rules of engagement. In a civilized society the police and populace must work together, we are heading into a police state, some would say we are already there.

Jane Quatam
Saturday, 24 November 2007 14:41:05 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
-------
Many police, not all, are insecure little pricks hiding behind a badge which they use as an excuse to bully anyone in their way.
-------

and there goes the rest of your argument.
Sunday, 25 November 2007 17:16:35 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Actually, I've met several who fit that description.
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