Texas Police Officer Tasers 72-Year-Old Grandmother Who Refused to Sign a Speeding Ticket

RichardMcCainConstable Richard McCain insists that a grandmother deserved to be tasered in a recent roadside incident to protect himself from a violent attack. The suspect was Kathryn Winkfein, a 72-year-old grandmother, who had refused to sign a traffic ticket. Deputy Chris Bieze tasered Winkfein after she allegedly became belligerent.

Winkfein denies McCain’s allegations that she “used some profanity” and “got violent” before he was forced to protect himself with the tazer. The use of such a device on an elderly person is obviously quite dangerous and has resulted in heart attacks according to some reports, here. However, a recent university study found no increased risk of heart attacks from tasers, here. This contradicts the view of other experts, here, who say that the device can cause cardiac arrest. I think it would be obvious that with the elderly or pregnant women (as in this case) the risk is quite high.

This entire incident was over Winkfein allegedly doing 60 in a 45 mph zone. It is not a crime to refuse to sign a ticket.

We previously blogged on the case of Jared Massey, a 72-year-old great grandfather who was tasered for refusing to sign a ticket. He was awarded $40,000 as compensation for the assault by Trooper Jon Gardner.

The police department is reportedly examining the dash cam video in its investigation into the Texas matter.

UPDATE: The police department has ruled the use of the taser was appropriate, here.

For a television video, click here.

43 thoughts on “Texas Police Officer Tasers 72-Year-Old Grandmother Who Refused to Sign a Speeding Ticket

  1. I don’t care if she refused to sign the ticket. What purpose is the taser? I do not believe that it is intended for use under these circumstances. However, if we were in the Third Reicht then the use is authorized for any indiscretion. Sig Heil, Sig Heil, The Mother Land Returns, Sig Heil. These stories are too much to fathom.

  2. Great grannies are fast becoming a menace on our roadways and a threat to the physical integrity law enforcement everywhere. How dare JT diminish this national crisis. Save the country-report a grannie.

  3. What mespo points to is not a new phenomena in Europe. Here is the evidence.

    Humor aside, McCain had better be glad it wasn’t my grandmother he decided was so dangerous she needed to be shocked into submission for a signature. He’d be seeking medical extraction for his taser. He’d need medical help for the “inserted sideways” problem.

  4. Cops should be trained to use tasers only at times when they would otherwise use a gun. Right now, cops think tasering people is more appropriate than hitting, which shouldn’t have been used in this circumstance, either.

  5. The taser has proven an ideal tool for extrajudicial punishment and is now effectively used to coerce and terrorize US citizens. The taser sanitizes this process in the eyes of the general public by appearing to be a modern, defensive weapon which leaves little visible damage on the victim… if she survives the assault.

    How different is the abuse and torture of citizens with a taser from the tactics of mutaween religious police who punish violators of Sharia law in places like Afghanistan? While Americans may not need to cower in front of religious vice squads, they increasingly must bow and submit to the whims of the State and its Agents.

    Neither are free people.

  6. This is about power and control. The Officer was pissed that she wouldn’t sign the ticket, probably tried to bully her into doing so and then decided to arbitrarily punish her. He should be fired because unless she reached for a gun, there were no extenuating circumstances.

  7. This epidemic will not end until there are robust consequences for this sort of action by the police. This will either reach crisis levels or they will taser some powerful legislator. Until then this will rage on and on…

  8. As a former Taser International shareholder, I had the privilege of attending shareholder meetings at their corporate headquarters. I have even had the privilege of being tasered. (It hurts like hell). But it did not immobilize me, I was able to take the taser away from the person demonstrating it. This raised a few eyebrows.

    The Taser was originally designed as a non lethal way of knocking down a dangerous suspect without having to kill him with a sidearm. In theory, it is a brilliant idea. Unfortunately, many police officers have decided that the Taser is really a compliance tool, and have been using it as such. It is a new technology that will require a higher level of sophistication from the officers who are given Tasers to take out on the beat.

  9. It amazes me that a police officer in the fine State of Texas would react in an unprofessional manner and taser a poor old grandmother. I once again call for the secession of Texas from the Union. Let’s make the Governor of Texas happy. Why do so many of these immoral and over the top police reactions happen in Texas?

  10. Mike

    You wrote: this is about power and control. The Officer was pissed that she wouldn’t sign the ticket, probably tried to bully her into doing so and then decided to arbitrarily punish her. He should be fired because unless she reached for a gun, there were no extenuating circumstances.

    This is exactly the kind of think I’d expect to happen in Texas where there are probably people still doing time for a joint they had in their pocket in 1968 and said something like “F the Pigs”

    Men who do stuff like this are simply neanderthals who run out of ideas fast. They have no repertoire after “sign this” and reaching for the weapon of choice. They probably had parents who had no repertoire between “put than down right now” and beating their kids.

    Parents who beat their kids breed children who become cops with tasers that they use on seniors and who then go home, kick their dogs and beat their children. They may be bigger and stronger but they are not smarter than the people that they bully

    and at the end of the day, there is no legal requirement that says a person has to sign a traffic ticket.

    is there?

    today I called 911 when I saw 2 small kids apparently abandoned in a parked car. They were alone in the car when I went into the grocery store and were still alone in the car when I came out 30 minutes later. The police were very nice about sending a patrol car. I hope no one was tasered.

  11. Glad to see that the police department has summoned the courage to investigate itself once again. I’m sure there will be no bias in their investigation …

  12. ‘he sued his taser’

    Funny pun, if it wasn’t the millionth typo on the blawg of one of the most respected law professors.

    I’m telling you JT, let me be your spelling checker/windowdresser. You don’t have to pay me much, damnit :)

  13. It is a new technology that will require a higher level of sophistication from the officers who are given Tasers to take out on the beat.

    That will be quite difficult with the Neanderthals that are deemed officers.

  14. I meant to add to my post that Travis County is not known for the high level of sophistication in it’s constabulary.

    I believe that in Texas, it is not illegal to refuse to sign a traffic ticket, but at that point, the officer has the option of arresting the person and booking them into the local jail for the offense. This way, the defendant can not say they never recieved the ticket.

    I have lived in Texas for many years, and have had encounters with cops from local constables to State Troopers. The local guys are all pretty predictably unsophisticated, to put it diplomatically, but the State Troopers are some of the best cops in the country. Stand-up guys, every last one of them.

  15. People who understand behavior modification will always try to prevent a problem from occurring. The constable obviously didn’t read that chapter, as he was probably “just doing his job” the only way he knows. But let’s cut him some slack. To expect this constable to modify someone’s behavior without force is asking too much. He’s not interested in such an approach, and he’s not intellectually capable of understanding that concept. I suspect he believes (or has been taught) that the best way to control a contentious situation is with raw power and authority. I predict that he will “be allowed to pursue another form of employment” since he is now quite a liability.

  16. I guess people don’t report all of the facts. You can’t hear it in all of the video, but he tells her if she doesn’t cooperate, he’s going to taze her. She says I dare you. She refused to sign the ticket, and in Texas you get arrested. He attempted to arrest her and she resisted. She said let go of me and pulled her arm away from him and said she was getting in her truck. He pulled the taser and said it again and she said go ahead I’m getting in my truck and attempted to walk away and he tazed her. It’s better than him trying to wrestle her and break bones, or loose grip and fly into the oncoming traffic.

  17. I don’t care what she said, there is no excuse for that. I can ask a cop to shoot me, but should he. People get upset when they feel wronged should that warrant an electric shock? we are the dogs and this is another way to get us to “stay in the yard” or “stop barking”. We arrest people for anything these days.
    Cops are a waste of tax dollars to protect the rich from the poor.
    Look up the term “to protect and serve”.

  18. dxh,

    In Texas, don’t tempt em. They might just oblige you. I think that they have had a run in before and this time it got out of hand. I tell ya, we have some tamer Mustangs in Texas than some women. Oh yeah.

  19. He should be fired. He was not in any danger from gran at any time. He was about twice her size and could have just handcuffed her, it’s not like she posed any danger at all to him.

    The US is becoming a police state – “land of the free” is a joke.

  20. Peter,
    I wonder if you have ever ventured outside of the U.S. Go somewhere where this is the norm, then bitch about the land of the free.

  21. Chris,
    Don’t you see the fallacy of your own point. We are trying to keep that from happening here, this is after all our country and we’d like to maintain our freedoms.

    morte,
    Accepting for argument’s sake the truth of your version, don’t you understand that a taser can kill a person? Would her death have been worth the satisfaction of having her sign the ticket? Is that what you want our laws to be? He could have arrested her, without the taser and without breaking bones. He tasered her to show her a lesson and that’s why he should be fired. Police are Public Servants, not the public’s bosses.
    95% of America’s LEO’s would not have tasered her. The other 5% should find new occupations.

  22. Mike,
    My point is that people take for granted how free we are. You said in your own post that 95% of the LEO’s would have done the right thing, so one idiot doesn’t mean we are becoming a police state, or that we are no longer the land of the free.

  23. “so one idiot doesn’t mean we are becoming a police state, or that we are no longer the land of the free.’

    Chris,
    what you say is true and I think we agree that it all must be put into perspective. My confreres in the Anti-War Movement kept talking about the Johnson Administration being fascist and then came the Chicago Police riot, Nixon and the killings at Kent State. Sometimes you bring on what you’re trying to prevent by intemperate words. Today we are seeing that with President Obama, by some who are calling him both socialist and fascist without really knowing what those words mean. We see others trying to de-legitimize his Presidency and I fear that this will really bring out the crazies who will want to kill him..

    Despite all that and still believing that 95% of the LEO’s are people trying to do good jobs, I think it is important to speak out against incidents like these to ensure that the wrong message isn’t being sent to the other 95%.

  24. Mike S writes: My confreres in the Anti-War Movement kept talking about the Johnson Administration being fascist and then came the Chicago Police riot, Nixon and the killings at Kent State. Sometimes you bring on what you’re trying to prevent by intemperate words.

    I remember those days. quite clearly. we were not inciting riots we wee engaged in peaceful protest, demonstrations to end an unjust war. we thought our activities were justified by the senseless loss of American and Vietnamese lives. I can’t see how any of that created the police response in Chicago or the murders at Kent State. our words should not have resulted in that kind of response and if you remember the police in Chicago were not isolated in their hatred and fear of the youth movement. we were harassed everywhere we went. we were refused service in restaurants, harassed by police for blowing bubbles in the park and flying kites on the beach for playing music on the streets. okay so we might have danced topless in Golden Gate park but hell we did look good
    and then one day, it all ended. we realized that getting in out VW busses to go to peace marches was no different than getting in mustangs to go to pep rallies. kitty genovese was murdered while people stood and watched. phil ochs was right.

  25. “I remember those days. quite clearly. we were not inciting riots we wee engaged in peaceful protest, demonstrations to end an unjust war.”

    GWLSM,
    That’s what you were doing, that’s what I was doing and that’s what most of us were doing. I believe today in the idealistic nobility we had. Unfortunately, at the time I was prominent in arguably most radical union in the US. I got to see close up that while most of us saw this as an exercise in idealism, there were those who were using it for their own ego driven purposes. Dave Dellinger, for instance was a good man, Abby Hofman not as much and Jerry Rubin in it for himself, as a for instance. I personally knew Marxists of all stripes, from Communist Party, to Maoists on to Trotskyites. There were also Young People’s Socialist League types, Fabian Socialists and Progressive Socialists. Many of these types lived for confrontation, which they saw as a recruiting tool and they pushed the rest of us hippies and yippies with Machiavellian plans to assist in our radicalization. While they had the look and the lingo, they were less idealists, than they were political animals on the make. In that sense they bore little difference, except in
    dogma, from the people we opposed.

    Certainly Johnson screwed up and was wrong in prosecuting the War, but his administration was by no means fascist as we were pushed to believe. Then came Nixon and with it a mild fascist patina, that would have gotten worse were it not for the man’s own paranoia.

  26. I was a peace activist at that time in Chicago, also, but I stopped short of going with Bill Ayer’s group. My kids think the stories are cool especially when Ayer’s became a celebrity again in last year’s campaign. I live in Texas now and am very unlikely to run into anyone with a similar past.

  27. Swartzmore Mom,

    You can always hook up with Richard Friedman better Known as Kinky and The Texas Jew Boys. He is taking a run for Governor against Perry and Hutchinson.

    It was good to see you today.

  28. He ran the last time and lost. If Hutchinson wins the primary, no one will beat her. I went to a reception Monday for Bill White. He is running for the Hutchinson Senate seat. He seems like a nice man but a conservative democrat.I hope our friend whose name begins with an E makes it back.

  29. I used to work on Mark’s staff and election committee, then he got to sassy and did not work hard enough to beat Billy that BTW donated 100 Million to UTSouthwest, Nothing wring with be socially liberal and financially conservative. E, went some place? Where?

  30. 1 CHAPTER
    HOW TO KILL A 92 YEAR OLD BLACK WOMAN LEGALLY

    Did the title grabs your attention? Get you to thinking? What ever your race please just think about how a 92 year old black woman must of thought as 39 bullets ended her life! In the safty of her home ……SO SHE THOUGHT HOME!…Young and old blacks are murder and arrested by cops over and over in American. The treatment of blacks in America is one of the highest disrespect and Ms. Johnson murder is prove of that.Of course, in this day and age, we all know that there are children who need to be handcuffed, children who commit horrific crimes, children with no idea of right and wrong, no concern for the welfare of others. Even children who murder others in cold blood, like the white kids in the Columbine killings or Kip Kinkel . So when we read that police handcuffed a child, the natural reaction is to wonder what the kid was doing. Maybe there was a weapon involved, or perhaps other students or bystanders were at risk.
    There is a subset of cases involving police handcuffing black children that does not fit the greatest country on earth theme. A black kindergarten student arrested for a temper tantrum. A little black boy fingerprinted for being on a dirt bike. A black girl handcuffed and detained because she had a pair of scissors in her backpack. Is this just unavoidable backlash as the terrible crimes committed by a few children naturally alter our evaluation of the danger posed by any child? Or is something else going on? Is this setting the stage to murder a 92 year old black woman?

  31. Shame on you Mr. Richard McCain!
    Your disgusting behaviour seems to be spreading to Europe

    Signed
    Very concerned European citizen

  32. I support the police in this situation. She was clearly an agent of Al-CIA-DA, err, I mean Al-Queada. You’ve never heard of US citizens.. errr,I mean homegrown terrorists? Plus, she was obviously a threat to the State Revenue Collectors… errr, I mean the Police Officer.

    Heil Hitler! Errr, I mean Obama! (damn, I’m getting my terminology ALL mixed up today.

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