Using Tasers Over Mace: Police Taser Teenage Boy With Broken Back Up to 19 Times

In Ozark, Missouri, a family is wondering why their 16-year-old son Mace Hutchinson was hit by tasers up to 19 times after he fell (or jumped) from an overpass and broke his back.


Witnesses said that the boy did not seen out of control. Doug Messersmith said that “He looked a little agitated but, other than that, he didn’t look to be falling down drunk or anything like that.”

He was lying on the shoulder when the police arrived. There were no drugs or alcohol in his system and the family believes that he fell from the overpass.
The extensive use of the tasers forced doctors to delay the operation on the teenager for two days.

Ozark Police Capt. Thomas Rousset says that they hit him with the tasers up to 19 times “to keep him from getting hurt” by running into traffic. He added that “He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him. He is making incoherent statements; he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers.”

We still have a boy who just fell from an overpass with a broken back and no apparent weapon.

For the full story, click here.

53 thoughts on “Using Tasers Over Mace: Police Taser Teenage Boy With Broken Back Up to 19 Times

  1. Alternative headline:

    Suicidal man threatens to kill cops despite injured back after jumping off bridge.

    Police had to use Taser’s up to 19 times before they were able to control a young man who may have attempted suicide by jumping off a bridge.

    To complicate matters the young man may have then attempt “Suicide by Cop” while in an agitated state. Police stated that time after time they resorted to Taser’s to immobilize the young man. Fearful that he may have been on severe drugs that could make him much more dangerous despite his injured status police finally were successful in getting control of the situtation after having to resort to up to 19 Taser’s. The young man’s resistance to the Taser’s effect only made the officers more concerned that he was on severe and dangerous drugs that would make bringing him into custody very difficult.

  2. martha h,
    It doesn’t surprise me that you would be thanking the cops for being so modest with their use of their tasers. They were nice enought to let the young man off easy by only doing it 19 times. Have you seen anyone get tasered? The idea that it took 19 taser hits to subdue a person with a broken back and a broken heel would be difficult for officers to cuff and subdue is downright ludicrous. Nowhere in the story did it mention that anyone was concerned that the young man wanted to commit suicide “by cop”. The only thing happening here is attempted murder by “the cops”.

  3. Well, that puts a whole new outlook on the emergency medical system (ems) response. Having worked in trauma centers, the police were almost always an interference, but had not actively harmed and impeded the EMS.

    From this and other recent evidence, it appears that law “enforcement” officers are now torturing trauma victims and people with medical emergencies. (Nahsville using forced injections of versed to subdue people and other round the country reports of people being tasered when in fact they are suffering from acute illnesses or injuries).

  4. I think it is time to outlaw the use of tasers. There are studies confirming that their use has expanded well beyond the original idea of a (hopefully) non-lethal way of subduing violent suspects. Legitimate questions may be raised on both accounts: 1. they are not as sub-lethal as presented and 2. they are not being used only for their original intent. Time to stop tasing us bros!

  5. martha h
    1, July 26, 2008 at 9:31 am
    Alternative headline:

    Suicidal man threatens to kill cops despite injured back after jumping off bridge.

    Police had to use Taser’s up to 19 times before they were able to control a young man who may have attempted suicide by jumping off a bridge

    Hmmm… so the guy has a BROKEN BACK, but he was going to “jump off the bridge” with a BROKEN BACK.

    :|

    hmmmm… lemmee see…… broken back….

    …..carry the 2…..
    :|

    Nope.

    It just doesn’t add up. Sorry Martha.

    A guy with a broken back is by definition, immobilized. Tasers, are used to immobilize.And since he already was immobilized, then the use of a Taser would not be necessary.

    Much less 19 times.

    Which could have easily killed him.

    So I got a better headline.

    Police Use Tasers 19 Times in an Attempt to Jumpstart Martha’s Brain

    By Slappy White, AP Reporter, Inbreedia AL.

    Earlier today Police officers attempted to jumpstart Martha H’s brain by tasering her on the forehead 19 times. While the operation was unsuccessful, it is hoped that future attempts using higher voltages and embedding the taser hooks deeper into the brain by boring an access hole into the 16 inch thick cranial shell protecting the mustard seed like cerebrum inside, using a special, diamond tipped high speed drill, may prove more effective, although both doctors and police admit it is a longshot.


    :|

    Film at 11:00.

  6. Here’s a few tips for you Martha, that should have made it clear your convoluted fairy tale didn’t add up.

    From the article;

    Witnesses said that the boy did not seen out of control.

    And;


    He was lying on the shoulder when the police arrived.

    And of course, he HAD A BROKEN BACK.
    :|

    If your saying that several police officers were not physically able to restrain a 16 year old boy, LYING on the side of the road, with a BROKEN BACK, then I perhaps we need to hire less wimpy officers.

    Because what kind of sissies, need to taser a 16 year old boy 19 times, who’s lying on the pavement with a BROKEN BACK, don’t deserve to be wearing badges or enforcing laws, since clearly they are not tough enough for such a position in society.

  7. In fact, when more than one cops feel they need to taser any 16 year old boy, because they aren’t man enough to control him just by grabbing him and putting him down using standard offensive grappling techniques, then they still don’t belong on the force.

    We have plenty of sissy’s in society.

    But we don’t need to be giving them badges.

  8. Bartlebee,
    You forgot that the boy was wearing his flesh colored anti-taser suit when the police attacked him! Nineteen times with a taser had to take some time to reload. It reminds of that the police in NYC that shot an unarmed guy about 70 or 80 times and they called that a proper use of force! So 19 tasers is a drop in the bucket for a tough, 16 year old boy with a broken back and a broken heel. I think I could have restrained him by merely asking him to hang in there, the paramedics are on the way. These officers should be shown the door and then sued in civil court by the boy and his family.

  9. Martha h,

    Here’s an alternative headline:

    Stupid thugs with no real skills as police officers either sadistic or too incompetent to immobilize a boy with a broken back. Many authoritarian citizens, happy to trust incompetent thugs no matter what they do, blame the victim.

    (I put in that second bit just for you.)

  10. rafflaw
    1, July 26, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Bartlebee,
    You forgot that the boy was wearing his flesh colored anti-taser suit

    Ahhh, the old flesh colored anti-taser suit on the broken back boy trick…. ay?

  11. Rafflaw said…

    These officers should be shown the door and then sued in civil court by the boy and his family

    Agreed. However I think its also time to start looking at the criminal aspects here. After all, being shocked with 50,000 volts 19 times in a row can easily prove fatal.

    Couple that with the massive trauma shock to the body caused by the boys broken back, and this could have easily killed the kid.

    Quite easily. In fact its a miracle he survived the “attack” by police given his condition.

    If I were an ambitous DA, I might consider some aspect of “Attempted Murder” be brought against the lowbrow officer pulling the trigger in this one.

    After all, death by tasering is reaching epidemic proportions.

    Recently a Dallas man was tasered to death after calling 911 while having a seizure.

    Last October Canadian police officers tasered to death a man pleading for help at the airport.

    Just last month Long Island police tasered to death a 26 year old Brooklyn man.

    Just recently a story in a trial finally produced an actual charge for an officer tasering one Baron “Scooter” Pikes nine times, killing him. The coroners report indicated mr Pikes was dead on the 7th shock from the weapon. The coroner ruled the death, a “Homocide”.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, more than 150 citizens have been tasered to death since 2001, and that date is clearly tied to this.

    After 911 the people were instructed to effectively elevate the police to a level of omnipotence, where the least question or challenge to authority would be met with overwhelming responses. No one was supposed to question this, after all, Mr Bush told us they were gonna “keep us safe”. And given the nations willingness to surrender their freedoms in exchange for a good nights sleep, it wasn’t too hard for police to push their newly found supremecy to the limit.Its like we were asking them to do it. To dominate us. Not “protect and serve”, but to terrorize us themselves, and our role, is to walk straight ahead, hands at sides, braindead smile on face and never, ever, make any gestures that might indicate discontent with the new order.

    Now, 150 Americans have been executed via electrocution, by police who think they have the right to assault and murder the citizens at will. Its as if the taser, a tool designed to protect extremly violent people who cannot be subdued by usual means (i.e. offensive grappling) in a manner so as not to cause death, has been turned into a sort of portable electric chair for the police.

    And its not just killing people with them, that encompasses their misuse. Recently police in Witicha, Kansas tasered a NAKED DEAF man to the ground, while he was exiting his own shower, in his own apartment.

    They had the “wrong” apartment.

    These “heroes in blue” apoligized for the “mistake”, and advised the deaf man to put a sign on his door telling people he was deaf, so this wouldn’t “happen again” to him.

    Even worse police in Trotwood, Ohio recently tasered a PREGNANT woman.

    I mean a PREGNANT woman.

    What kind of cowardly cops in force are so afraid of a pregnant woman, that they hit her, AND her unborn child, with 50,000 volts?

    Seriously what kind?

    How freaking pathetic does a man have to be, to be so scared he has to taser a pregnant woman and her unborn child?

    How do these cowards get on the force?

    And as if that wasn’t bad enough, recently, in this blog, we have a thread about Police tasering a BLIND WOMAN.
    :|

    A BLIND WOMAN.

    No the fact is this is an epidemic.

    And the truth is, the biggest threat to safety to the American people, is not criminals, terrorists or the boogeyman.

    The biggest threat to the physical safety of the citizens of this country, is the Police.

  12. The cop pulling the trigger, in this case, should be charged with the same thing they’d charge you or me with had we done a similar thing to such a severly injured person.

    Attempted Murder.

    Because after the 3rd charge, the cop knew good and well he could kill the kid, regardless if he knew his back was broken or not. He knew he was injured, and thats enough information to know that death could occur.

    He’s lucky he didn’t kill him, but it wasn’t for not trying.

  13. Bartlebee,
    I am not a taser expert, but don’t those things shoot darts with wires on them in order to issue the voltage? If so, how much time went by before they were finished shooting the taser 19 times. You would think someone would have woken up before then and said, maybe this isn’t a good idea.

  14. rafflaw
    1, July 26, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Bartlebee,
    I am not a taser expert, but don’t those things shoot darts with wires on them in order to issue the voltage?

    You bet. There’s also models you merely need to touch to the victim, kind of like a cattleprod.

  15. rafflaw
    1, July 26, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    If so, how much time went by before they were finished shooting the taser 19 times. You would think someone would have woken up before then and said, maybe this isn’t a good idea.

    Thats a good question. Firing a Taser is essentialy a “discharge” of the weapon. The weapon contains a chargable power cell, so it seems that one Taser’s charge would expire before he could discharge it 19 times.

    I really hope the MSM, doesn’t sweep this one under the rug, like most of these events.

    They get back page coverage, and often are mysteriously removed from the web after a month or two by certain online press sites.

    We need this front and center, and we need a resolution. And the only resolution that I can think of, that would have any teeth, would be “Citzen Oversight” of the police which patrol their communities.

    Allowing the citizens to have a degree of say in who polices their communities and how they police them, would put a modicum of power back in the hands of the citizens of this country, to protect themselves from the one demograph which they are currently forbidden to protect themselves from.

  16. Groups like NACOLE are not nearly sufficent to curb this wave of police assaults on our citizens and communites. We need to empower local communities, to assemble, vote, and discipline, officers in their community found guilty by the community, of offenses against their citizens.

    These community groups would not get their power from the legal justice systems of their communities, but by Congressional legislation, and would have no powers to arrest, detain, or in any way levy civil or criminal charges, or imprison or collect monetary damages.

    Their only power, would be discipline of the officers in their community, within the confines of their roles as police. This power would extend from simple write ups on their records, to suspsensions with or without pay, and outright expulsion from the force and the communities in any offical capacity.

    This might sound extreme to some of you, at first. But chew on it for a while. Remember, you have as of now, no legal way to defend yourself from police attack. If an officer attacks you for no reason, you have no right to defend yourself. Now, some might argue you do, but try it sometime. Try “putting up your dukes” if a cop attacks you for no valid reason, and see what happens. The sad fact is we citizens, must yield to whatever assaults a policeman sees fit on inflicting upon us, and for whatever reason, and our only recourse is if we can get a DA to investigate it, or IA, or a Judge to consider it, and then try the case and hope for justice. And if that fails perhaps some civil action that might get you a few bucks, but its not likely under most circumstances because of laws barring suits against the police and local govts for doing “their jobs”. And of course all of that is assuming you actually “survive” the attack.

    No the fact is its grown serious since 911, and Americans are being beaten, tortured, and killed by our police across the board at an alarming rate. And the only way I see to curb that is putting power across the board into the hands of the citizens to protect themselves within the communities in which they reside.

    Once the police know that the people of a community can “vote him out” and he can lose his job, and even be barred from ever practicing law enforcement in that state again, they’ll think twice before shooting a pregnent lady and her unborn child with 50,000 volts of electricity, or shooting a 45 year old Salinas California women to death for pointing a CROCHET HOOK at them.

    Or shooting a child injured with a broken back laying on the side of road, 19 times with a taser, for God knows what reason.

  17. Do you know who’s going to be patrolling America’s streets in the next 5 years and going forward at least a couple of decades? The guys who are currently working as mercenary contractors in Iraq and elsewhere. Sociopaths with a history of steroid and methamphetamine abuse, suffering from PTSD.

    State and municipal police forces in America have always given preference in hiring to applicants with military backgrounds. So far that policy doesn’t seem to be working all that well. When KBR and Blackwater goons start hitting Main Street USA, be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

  18. I’m no fan of George W., but cops have been stupid and brutal as long as there have been cops. Not all of them, of course, but lots and lots of them.

  19. LJM, its not so much that someones accusing them of being stupid and brutal, save the ones in these particular incidents. Its drawing attention to the prevailing mindset since 911, of placing the police in a position of omnipotent authority, and placing them so high up the hero worship pole as to turn a blind eye to such things as tasering a blind woman or kid with a broken back.

    We do ourselves no service by downplaying or ignoring the obvious change in police power and behavior post 911.

    The new mentality of the police is “we aren’t gonna take no sh$t from no one” and thats it.

    This ain’t rocket science or some obscure thought. These are crime’s hiding in plain sight, but the public outrage is muffled because of the new mentality towards the police and by the police, and their oversight bodies.

    We in fact, do ourselves a disservice to turn a blind eye to it.

    Most people cannot, or will not see subtle assocations or trends, but need some key defining incident before outrage will occur.

    When I was growing up, a pregnant and her baby being tasered would have been that defining incident. But today it just blends into the white noise. So people need to stop saying things like “its always going to be that way”, or “cops are always jerks”, and start looking at the obvious trends, that not only myself but many others, with bigger brains than I, who are seeing these trends towards more and more abuse of power. Its starts at the top but the spirit of power abuse, trickles right on down the line.

    And it seldom improves, until the people confront it.

  20. I’m reminded of an old scene from an early epidsode of COPS, where a very restrained State Trooper or Deputy has pulled a man who is extreeeemly irate over being stopped. The guy is not intoxicated apparently, but just really cursing, swearing at the cop, being as ignorant as he could possibly be.

    Its really funny, because the cop just calmly writes out the ticket to the man, nodding uh huh once and a while, and then hands the man explaining the usual court appearance times and such, and the guy takes the ticket, crumples it up and tosses it on the ground as the cop is walking back to his car. The cop calmly walks back to the man, and informs him to either get out of the car and pick up the ticket tossed on the ground or he would recieve another ticket for littering. The guy gets out and picks up the ticket and hes cussing and swearing and threatening the to get the cops badge, etc..

    The cop just laughs it off, and sends the guy on his way. Avoiding any confrontation, any difficulty. It was hilarious, and the cop in it, is what I’d consider a hero of sorts. Here’s a guy who already knows he holds the card, and doesn’t need to prove it to himself everyday by beating up the people he’s been entrusted with protecting.

    There’s no doubt that today, that same man would have been dragged from the car, kicked, punched, tasered, and arrested for some sort of felony assault or resisting or something.

    Thats the difference, I see in what police were pre 911, as opposed to what they are post 911.

  21. First off let me start by saying that I am so surprised at the the amount of uneducated IDIOTS that post here. Everyone wants to armchair quarterback every situation that they don’t like. Grow up people. What would have happened if the cops forcibly subdued the kid with a broken back? I am no doctor but would paralysis occurred? Then you have the redneck father saying that his operation was delayed because the taser affected the white blood cells? again I am no doctor but white blood cells are usually affected by disease or the healing process? just my two cents but I think most of you people should walk a mile in a cops shoes before you judge them.

  22. sean
    1, July 27, 2008 at 6:28 am

    Grow up people. What would have happened if the cops forcibly subdued the kid with a broken back?

    ..uhhhh gee…Sean is it?

    I think the point here mr Maturity, is that there is no need to “subdue” an accident victim lying on the ground with a broken back.

    See, the key there, is that he was LYING ON THE GROUND.
    :|

    Go any other bright ideas?

  23. sean
    1, July 27, 2008 at 6:28 am

    First off let me start by saying that I am so surprised at the the amount of uneducated IDIOTS that post here

    No doubt.
    :|

    Don’t worry though, we’ll still make room for you.

  24. @ Martha H:

    It must be nice to live in the little world you’ve created; where it rains gumdrops and preemptive wars justify every casualty.

  25. Bartlebee,

    The new mentality of the police is “we aren’t gonna take no sh$t from no one” and thats it.

    This is not a new mentality. It’s simply a mentality that has been documented more frequently of late thanks to new technologies. It’s only in the last 30-50 years that cops have had to answer to the public for their actions.

    There’s no doubt that today, that same man would have been dragged from the car, kicked, punched, tasered, and arrested for some sort of felony assault or resisting or something.

    I saw that clip and I think you underestimate the officer involved. He wasn’t holding back, he was acting professionally and maturely, and there’s no reason to believe that he’d act any differently now.

    While you and I are in complete agreement that police misconduct is rampant and a serious issue which must be addressed, there’s no evidence I know of to suggest that police misconduct or brutality has increased since 9/11. I mean, just ask a black man over 60 who lives in the south if things are better or worse than they were. Again, that’s not to say it’s not a huge problem.

    This is a great website that documents police abuse and praises police professionalism.

    http://www.policeabuse.com/

  26. sean, before you call people idiots, ask yourself why a kid with a broken back who’s lying on the ground needs to be subdued? See, if you think about things before typing in reflexive support of the government, then you’re less likely to appear to be an idiot, yourself.

  27. LJM
    1, July 27, 2008 at 5:30 pm
    Bartlebee,

    This is not a new mentality. It’s simply a mentality that has been documented more frequently of late thanks to new technologies.

    Another great myth that they want you to repeat as often as possible.

    No sir. There was a national “ZERO TOLERANCE” rule put out nationwide after 911. This rule was vocalized at first, but gradually we heard nothing about it. Then as the police forces and security forces began communicating nationwide, with new technology (thats where the new technology comes in) this mentality permeated every single law enforcement agency and private security force out there. Police took on an almost militaristic look, with drastic uniform changes for so many depts. A combat look. Military police like. A look that prior to that time was reserved for SWAT.

    It was this “Zero Tolerance” that we are now feeling today, as each and every day we see more and more cases of police abuse of citizens.

    We’ve had this technolgy for a while. And the internets been around a while. It doesn’t account for the increase in both quantity and severity of these police attacks.

    Nor does it account for the increase in multi officer attacks. Most police abuse cases except for a few notable ones like Rodney King, involved a single officer. Since 911 we see more and more cases involving multiple officers and this points to a mindset being employed throughout depts as well. Its the Zero Tolerance that was declared post 911, publiclly at first, and now, its just the norm.

  28. The only thing that will change it is legislation. We can talk about it, document it, etc, but until congress passes legislation to permit communities to have some level of ability to protect themselves from corrupt officers, or worse, entire police agencies where corruption trickles down from the top.

    Legislation is the right way to empower the people with the ability to help curb the abuses on the citizens within their communities. Now what that legislation might look like, might not be anything like what I suggested specifically. I think my idea is a good one, but we always look at our own ideas with bias.

    I’m open to suggestions. But whatever it is, it must have teeth, otherwise, we’re just throwing more money at the problem.

  29. Bartlebee,
    I am not sure that legislation is the answer. It may be part of it, but I also think you need a complete change in our thinking as a nation. We have to put aside the Bush mentality that we must be afraid and we must not allow the police or security guards to taser a person because we do not like what he/she is saying or how he/she is saying it. The First Amendment right to freedom of speech must be strengthened. The Free Speech zones must stop and we must realize that we all have the right to say something stupid. We must not allow authorities to taser an injured boy or a minister. We cannot sit back and just say, well he or she must have deserved that harsh treatment. I can’t tell you how many people told me that the young man who was tasered at the speech by John Kerry deserved it because he was a “jerk”. So the standard has shifted to the point that you deserve being tasered because you are a pain in the butt. I am glad that tasers were not available when I was a young college student or I would have a few more scars on me. I can remember the uproar at the conduct of the Chicago Police at the 1968 Democratic convention. If that happened now, people would be saying, they are jerks and they deserve anything that they got. This is not a generational issue, it is a change that was, at least, made worse by the Bush “be afraid” message of the last 7 years. However, the answer needs to start at the local level and we must not sit back and let these “official” beatings to take place. There must be an uproar from the community where these events happen and the perpetrators and enablers of these taser attacks must be dealt with quickly and publicly.

  30. Bartlebee,

    Another great myth that they want you to repeat as often as possible.

    If you have a link providing documented evidence that the frequency and severity of police brutality has increased significantly since 9/11, I’d appreciate it. Otherwise, I’ll remain highly skeptical of the claim that brutality is significantly worse now than it was 30 – 50 years ago.

    I agree we need legislation to help solve the problem.

  31. LJM
    1, July 28, 2008 at 3:00 am
    Bartlebee,

    If you have a link providing documented evidence that the frequency and severity of police brutality has increased significantly since 9/11, I’d appreciate it. Otherwise, I’ll remain highly skeptical of the claim that brutality is significantly worse now than it was 30 – 50 years ago

    And thats the difference between having been around for those 30 to 50 years LJM, and not having been. Because if you had, you wouldn’t need a link to tell you whats on your tv set every night.

    But ok.

    Since you won’t believe lest ye thrust your hands in, and feel the flesh, you can start with this USA today story, oddly enough, entitled, “Police brutality cases on rise since 9/11″

    Here’s a few excerpts from the story to get you going. You’ll find if you don’t believe USA today, that a quick jaunt over to the Department of Justice website will confirm that since 2001, cases of police brutality are up a whopping 25 percent. And those are just the ones making it that far.

    Another “fun fact” you may find illuminating, is that a whopping 96 percent of cases referred for prosecution are rejected. Which is a striking example of why letting the law enforcement agencies police themselves, is a bad idea. (like I need a statistic to figure out that Rubik’s cube)

    Some excerpts from the article;

    Last year, 96% of cases referred for prosecution by investigative agencies were declined.

    Federal prosecutors are targeting a rising number of law enforcement officers for alleged brutality, Justice Department statistics show. The heightened prosecutions come as the nation’s largest police union fears that agencies are dropping standards to fill thousands of vacancies and “scrimping” on training.


    Cases in which police, prison guards and other law enforcement authorities have used excessive force or other tactics to violate victims’ civil rights have increased 25% (281 vs. 224) from fiscal years 2001 to 2007 over the previous seven years, the department says


    Federal records show the vast majority of police brutality cases referred by investigators are not prosecuted

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-12-17-copmisconduct_n.htm

  32. Here’s some excerpts from an article about that brutal beating last year by Milwaukie police officers, that revealed the “code of silence” I’ve been referring to all night.

    Its the unspoken “ZERO TOLERANCE” against US Citizens, and it’s growing by the day.


    Last year, when a Milwaukee jury did not convict three local police officers on battery charges for a beating in which Jude was kicked in the head and stabbed in both ears, the public fury intensified. A demonstration followed the verdicts, which Mayor Tom Barrett characterizes as a breakdown of the justice system.

    Law enforcement and legal analysts say the cases — which federal prosecutors refiled under different charges and won earlier this year — underscore the difficulty in winning convictions against officers

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-12-17-Copside_N.htm

    Don’t forget to take a look at this guys face while you’re there.

  33. usatoday.com —

    Last year, 96% of cases referred for prosecution by investigative agencies were declined. In 2005, 98% were declined, according to a TRAC report.

    The high refusal rates are because Juries are conditioned to believe cops, and victims’ credibility is often challenged.

  34. Keep on not believing it.

    Keep on erring to the side of the police, and not to the side of your friends, your family, or your community.

    And when it happens to you or one of yours, maybe then you’ll be able to see with your eyes, and not need statistics to convince you what you could learn by simply staring wrong at a cop the next time you see one.

    Just doing what the police say anymore is not enough. Nowadays, if they even think you’re defiant in any way, you will go down.

    Don’t think so? Don’t tell me.

    Try it.
    :|

    Then tell me.

  35. You’re right Legislation is the answer. Legislation for COMMUNITY oversight.

    Because asking the courts to prosecute their own police officers is just not going to deliver any results anytime in the next 100 years.

    The courts won’t prosecute these cases. They just won’t. 98 percent tossed in 05? 96 percent last year?

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. We can see that law enforcement cannot be trusted to police itself.

    Therefore, its time for Legislation empowering communities to police themselves.

  36. And rafflaw, sorry, didn’t forget you.

    In your post you spell out a lot of great ideals, but absolutely no way to bring these high ideals for improving our “way of thinking” and enacting these high ideals.

    Legislation is how we make changes on the level you are talking about. Good legislation, that puts some power back in the hands of the people to protect themselves when the courts fail them.

    Which according to the Dept of Justice, is 96 percent of the time.

  37. Geez, Batlebee, all I asked for was some evidence (thanks for providing some, btw), which is what a thinking person should do in the face of any claim, right?

    And while I see that you’re right that cases of brutality are up since 2001, I wonder how many cases were even pursued 40 years ago? If I had to be, I’d much rather be a victim of police abuse now, as at least now there are venues for seeking justice that didn’t exist back then (not to mention many more cameras).

    Your post at 5:04 was really condescending. I don’t think I’ve given the impression that I believe that police brutality isn’t a huge problem, it certainly is, and it deserves as much attention, I believe, as terrorism does. I only said that, historically, I don’t think it’s worse than it’s ever been.

  38. LJM
    1, July 28, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    And while I see that you’re right that cases of brutality are up since 2001, I wonder how many cases were even pursued 40 years ago?

    Well, I can start pulling stats there too if you want. In fact, if you like, I can post a similar finding done in 1995, where police abuse cases were up dramatically from the previous decade.

    Its been steadily increasing as the norm for police forces, and the trend has been away from individual officers committing these acts, to large groups of them, indicating a widespread issue with police attitudes towards the general population.

    As for my posts being condescending, sorry if they seem that way but I’m not trying to be. I tend to drive points home sometimes, but I meant no disrespect. I sometimes use irony to make a point and some people take it wrong. I’m just trying to make a point, and that point is this is not something you need statistics to understand. Its not something you need a report to understand. If you live or work in a major metropolitian area especially, like DC, or New York.

    “Zero Tolerance” is the new policy across the board. They told us this post 911, but then they stopped talking about it. They just started employing it, and thats what we’re seeing now.

    My point was we shouldn’t always need statistics or “links” to convince us of crimes “hiding in plain sight”.

  39. I don’t want to get in the middle of this, but I will say that with regard to the question of if this is a new attitude among police, I recall writing in a personal journal over 40 years ago about police having an “us v. them” mindset and how those attracted to police work tended to be those with strong leanings toward order, dominance, and control.

    As for whether there’s been an actual increase in police brutality since 9/11 (as opposed to being more visible by being directed more against targets who had less experience of it previously), I note that the same article which Bartlebee quotes also has this:

    “University of Toledo law professor David Harris, who analyzes police conduct issues, says it will take time to determine whether the cases represent a sustained period of more aggressive prosecutions or the beginnings of a surge in misconduct.”

    Finally, I have to say to Bartlebee that whatever the truth about how much brutality has increased over the past nearly seven years and despite not having been the target, I would have used considerably less polite language than “condescending” to describe your 5:04am comment.

  40. Alright, lets see whats so appalling in this notorious “5:04 Comment.

    Lets take a look.

    —–
    BARTLEBEE
    1, July 28, 2008 at 5:04 am
    Keep on not believing it.

    Keep on erring to the side of the police, and not to the side of your friends, your family, or your community.

    And when it happens to you or one of yours, maybe then you’ll be able to see with your eyes, and not need statistics to convince you what you could learn by simply staring wrong at a cop the next time you see one.

    Just doing what the police say anymore is not enough. Nowadays, if they even think you’re defiant in any way, you will go down.

    Don’t think so? Don’t tell me.

    Try it.

    Then tell me.

    —-

    :|

    Gee….I’m having a hard time seeing the horrible language, or overwhelming condescension.

    Perhaps while you’re condescending to me LarrE, you could show me what it is you find so appallingly outrageous in this comment.

  41. I mean, is a little lecturing?

    Ok. Sure. Its a little lecturing.

    Is it a little condscending?

    Perhaps. Not any more than any of the condscending comments made to me at various times but ok, it could come off that way.

    Is it profane? Nope. No profanity.

    Name calling? Nope, no name calling.

    Threatening? Nope, no threats.
    :|

    So I’m having a hard time understanding why someone merely expressing a fairly accurate statement, is so terrible.

    And if you think its not accurate, I make the same invitation to you that I made to him.

    Then come back, and tell me how inaccurate it is.
    :D

    I’ll be waiting.

  42. Ozark police cleared in Taser use incident
    Wednesday, October 29, 2008 | 1:10 p.m. CDT
    BY The Associated Press
    OZARK – Several Ozark police officers have been cleared in the July 18 use of a Taser on a teenager after he allegedly jumped from a highway overpass.

    A report released Tuesday said witnesses told state Highway Patrol investigators that Mace Hutchinson had been at a party where alcohol and drugs were being consumed prior to the incident.

    A friend of Hutchinson’s told troopers that Hutchinson had consumed LSD, a hallucinogen. The report said that Hutchinson suffered a bad reaction to the drug and jumped from a moving vehicle near the overpass at U.S. 65 in Christian County.

    He fled but later returned and jumped from the overpass onto the highway.

    The report says two Ozark officers used a Taser on Hutchinson nine times each after the youth failed to heed their order to stay down and place his hands behind his back.

    »Contact an editor with corrections or additional information
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  43. Well, most likely this was a suicidal patient but unknown to police this patient may have been a pshyc patient. Not only that most likey if he was not following police action…it was most likely because HE FELL OFF A DAMN OVERPASS AND HAS A BROKEN BACK and most likely went into shock due to major trauma. So not only did police taser him for unneeded reasons…they as well put his life into danger by making his trauma surgery delayed for 2 days. Police need to be trained on using tasers and also have to know they are not big and bad and just cant taze any person they want. As a EMS provider…I think the police should be sued and termenated from the force.

  44. “Toronto-Canada’s federal police will no longer use stun guns against suspects who are merely resisiting arrest or refusing to cooperate. Commissioner William Elliot of the RCMP told members of Parliament’s public safety committee yesterday that the guns can cause death”

    (from Toledo Blade on Feb. 13, 09)

  45. If we can have volunteer fire departments & paramedics/EMTs, we can have a volunteer police force too. (at least in certain cases). Now more than ever, there is an urgent need for a special C.D.F. “Citizenry Defense Force”, to protect ourselves not from criminals, but from criminals in uniform. We have a human right to defend & protect ourselves from the corrupt, rouge & criminal police departments that seem to be multiplying at exponential rates. We need mandatory civilian oversight committees, with the power to hire, fire & even arrest/convict corrupt police (+ judges & prosecutors). We need to abolish blanket immunity in our justice system. Put forward a motions & have a vote in each city/town. Any DA, Judge, Police refuses to comply, people should refuse to recognize the authority of those rogue organizations.

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