Court Staff Tasers Obnoxious Man Insisting On Entering Area With Camera

This video shows a clearly obnoxious and possibly unstable individual who hounds court security with a series of nonsensical statements about not being a person. The court staff shows considerable restraint and professionalism until the man is tasered for trying to get into a court area with a camera.

In the view, the man insists “I don’t have a last name. I don’t have a first name either. I got a name, my name is Robert. You can call me Robert.” He then draws a nonsensical distinction in saying “I’m not a person. You deal here with persons, of which I am not. I’m a man.” When he denies being a citizen of the United States, but admits to being a citizen of Idaho, he then refuses to produce his license on the grounds that “My person does [have one]. I don’t. And I don’t wish to create joinder with you.” He was soon joined with a taser.

I am highly sympathetic to the court security in such a situation and I do not contest the right to keep out cameras. However, I wonder why a taser was used rather than simply restraining the man and possibly arresting him. Once again, the man is clearly rude and seems a bit off. However, we have previously discussed how tasers have become the first response in such situation and used almost casually. This man was clearly in the wrong in trying to get in despite the warning. However, he took one step and was tasered by the officer. These tasers can be deadly in some circumstances and are similar in the legal level of force to the use of a police baton. Where officers (of which there were at least four here) once physically restrained such individuals, they often now use tasers.

What do you think?

110 thoughts on “Court Staff Tasers Obnoxious Man Insisting On Entering Area With Camera

  1. I struggle to find where “being obnoxious” is against the law and warrants having 50,000 volts of electricity sent through your body.

    Imagining the scenario without badges or uniforms would put the police officer in prison for assault with a deadly weapon.

  2. What do you think?

    In this case … four guards to one looney … they did not need the Taser risk.

    It looks Orwellian.

    Which the government does not need more of.

  3. From your description of his language, he appears to be a Sovereign Citizen, or some variation. They can be very dangerous to LEOs and officials.

  4. I wish he said, “Don’t tase me bro.” Having worked in a prison long before tasers, I conclude this was warranted. Having wrestled w/ psychologically disturbed inmates who weren’t properly medicated, I know how difficult it can be to restrain them.

    Some courthouses do not even allow cell phones since they all have cameras. They have been used by gang memebers to photo witnesses as intimidation. It’s very legit to ban personal cameras in the courtroom. There’s a record of everything that transpires in the courtroom.

  5. This is another incident of “Freemen on the Land” or “Sovereign Person”. It’s proponents argue that all statute law is contractual in nature, therefore if one states they do not wish to be a party to a contract, that contract cannot be enforced against them (or laws don’t apply, in this case). Really, it is an attempt to get out of debts owed by these people and uses legal jargon as baffle-gab make their point. They enjoy being pains in the butt.

  6. Like all things with our Police, as regulated by politicians. We are sold on one idea but the real motive is not reveled till much later and then its too late and politicians refuse to do anything about the abuse.

  7. The guy wasn’t a danger to the guards or anyone else, just an annoyance. He wasn’t going to get past the guards. Abusive use of their got a new toy. Causing hurt is just icing on the cake for them. What if we all had a taser to deal with annoying people?

  8. Interesting that JT, who has expressed grave doubts about the over use of tazers in general does not appear to have a problem with it to protect the court.

    I can’t watch the video at the moment so I won’t offer an opinion but the line of when to use force & how much force to use is never really very clear. This sounds like one of those gray area cases. I’m not trained to deal with this crap & have very little experience trying to. My hope would be that the court officers are well trained and that they only do this appropriately.

  9. I know someone who is not a person. She is a mother and she is a woman and she was a litigant. The law in Iowa says that a “person” can file an appeal of an agency finding and when she did so, the court informed her that when the law said “person” it did not refer to her.

    Shortly thereafter, the agency itself was a “person” in another context. We found that laughable but were too busy crying to give it full effect.

  10. bettykath, Shouldn’t write an opinion disagreeing with nick spinelli without expecting ridicule. Wait for it. Oh no, he’s been victimized again.

  11. Citizen of the World and I share the opinion of the political alignment of this person. There are many subgroups of this mindset but in general we call them “Constitutionalists” here.

    Here are some insights into this incident. The mindset that is of this person is that their are sovereign persons, meaning that essentially in their form of thinking, they are not subject to any jurisdiction of the state. Many of them, if not most, subsecribe to the belief they have the right to resist any requirement of the government they choose.

    This issue goes beyond just having twisted or bizarre interpretations of the constitution or political views. I won’t get into details that I cannot disclose but I ask that you take my word for it that these people can be dangerous and this is well known in certain areas of the country amoung LEOs.

    When these bailiffs were assessing this person, I am certain they knew of his risk. Then coupled with his actions of persistently resisting their orders to not enter the court room with the camera it began escalating.

    There are also a couple of elements that might not be noticed. When he calls out “don’t touch me.” this is indicative based upon tone of voice and body language that a fight will ensue upon going hands on with the person to arrest him. I know that readers of this might argue that anyone can say that having not want of being arrested but this person is displaying evidence of it being more than that.

    Another element that is not clear from the video is after the bailiff tells the man to get back as he is pointing the taser at him is whether or not this person made a furative movement such as reaching into a pocket suddenly or taking a fighting stance. That might have elicited the bailiff lighting him up when he, but I do not know. If the bailiff could articulate this to be the case, given all the people around the area if a weapon was going to be produced the tasing would have been golden.

    There is also the possibility that if the two bailiffs had not controlled the man and he, albeit unlikely, went on a rampage afterward that might have been a concern. This rarely happens but would be something to consider.

    I would concede that I probably would have told the guy to leave the court house or he would be arrested for Disorderly Conduct since he was interfering with the court process by detaining the bailiffs which would have delayed the court from beginning its day and trying to push by the officers and in the process violating a court order to have no cameras. And if he refused I would have hooked him up. But I would put it at probably 50% or higher he would have resisted arrest to some degree. Generally you could have looked at your partner, conveyed what was to happen, then went on both sides of him and grabbed a wrist each and double arm barred him against a wall and cuffed him up.

    But then again I did not see what the bailiffs did. This was in my view probably could be justified upon an examination of all the evidence but I might not have pulled out the taser at the point the bailiff did.

  12. In some instances, using the Taser is preferable to a scramble in the hallway where someone could really get hurt. I am with Darren on this one.

    My youngest son worked for a time as as uniformed security/correctional officer at the maximum security unit at a large state hospital. He worked there after he got out of the military and was going to college. The forensic maximum security unit at the hospital housed people that could not even be managed at the state penitentiary. My kid was 6’6″ tall, weighed about 300 pounds, worked out regularly and was a black belt in Shotokan karate and Tae Kwon Do. He never needed an extraction team to get someone to come out of their cell and no one ever got hurt, although if he had to go in and get an inmate out of their cell there was usually some pain involved. :mrgreen:

    His little sister is also a CO, but she is only 5’3″, so how she manages confrontations is a different story. The way to handle a confrontation depends largely on the officer’s physical condition and skill set. Many bailiffs are semi-retired and in about the same physical condition as the customer greeter at Wal-Mart.

    If a citizen is trying to pick a fight, then they should know the officer is going to finish what the citizen starts.

  13. mkahill, Firstly bettykath can speak for herself. Are you her attorney? Secondly, where in the hell do you get victimization based on my simple declarative sentence referring to bettykath and not myself. This is a tired meme by people who either lack the intelligence or wit to respond w/ anything else. It also has a healthy dose of projection. Finally, how does “from the comfort of her own home” constitute ridicule; you’re projecting that on bettykath. When someone talks out of their ass w/ unequivocal statements like bettykath I’ll call them on it. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

  14. Thank you professor for reminding everyone that, according to the police themselves, the taser was originally intended as a replacement for the baton. You should ALWAYS visualize and rhetorically ask “Would a baton have been appropriate in this situation” when a taser is used.

    Also, I am pleased that so many commenters far have indeed framed their responses in this context, both pro and con.

  15. What Gene said..oh wait he didn’t say anything. I’m not looking for a battle so why don’t we just let this one go. I know you had your feelings hurt and left for awhile, but let’s save our conflicts for substance not on idiots who get tazed. There will be plenty of opportunities.

  16. nick,

    so sorry you can’t handle someone disagreeing with you and that you think insults will make it all right. I also think, in your second reference, to me that you were doing some projecting.

  17. Talk about a legend in your own mind, nick. You aren’t smart enough to hurt my feelings. I do, however, think you’re a douchebag who can’t argue his way out of a wet paper bag so he hides behind bluster. That hasn’t changed in my absence.

    The truth of the matter is I’ve been absent because a friend of mine has terminal cancer and I’m caring for a sick relative, but thanks for showing what assumptions do and thanks for again talking out of the improper orifice.

    You never disappoint. Then again, you create such a low level of expectation, one would have to be a non-verbal zombie to set lower expectations.

  18. >”and I do not contest the right to keep out cameras”<

    And why NOT? Doesn't the public have a right to observe what is done in their name? How can one make the case for photographing the police (of which I am a proponent) but say that photographing a Courtroom is off limits? The courtroom is the end product of what the police have begun. Seems to me that if one is allowed, so should the other. As for the tazering, the person was OBVIOUSLY mentally unstable. Four against one would seem enough force to subdue without injuring 'Robert'. Guess it's the 'If ya got 'em, use 'em' mentality.

  19. Gene, My prayers for your friend and relative. Cancer is horrible and it killed my sister @ a too young age. We can agree on that.

  20. bettykath, My problem w/ your comment here, and others are they are so unequivocal. Frankly commented right after you and had a more reasoned and less shoot from the hip response. You have a bias and it skews how you see the world. Now, we all have bias, but yours tends to blind you on some issues. Your derision for those bailiffs was palpable.

  21. Referring to the value of teaching civics:

    “[T]he reason that I said that I think it is the most significant problem that we’ve got is that I think that some of the aspects of current American government that people on both sides find frustrating are in part a function of the inability of people to understand how government can and should function. It is a product of civic ignorance.” – Justice Souter

    Interesting find, Dredd.

  22. Kraaken, Everything that occurs in a courtroom is documented and is public record. As stated previously, there are witness safety concerns. Gang members and other criminals have used cameras to photograph witnesses in court to intimidate them. If you watched the video a woman covered her face as she walked by the “douchebag” w/ a camera. With a few exceptions[juvenile, paternity, etc. cases] courtrooms are open to the public and you can get a transcript of everything said on the record.

  23. Unless there is a PHYSICAL THREAT to the officers or bystanders, there is NO REASON to resort to a taser.

    I also notice that police always use the excuse they want to be “safe” on the job…if they want to be safe, then they need to go to barber school…

  24. The dude “was asking for it.”

    Why should court security potentially harm themselves first…or possibly someone else in the crowd, first, before tazing the puke…

  25. DigitalDave asks, “You should ALWAYS visualize and rhetorically ask “Would a baton have been appropriate in this situation” when a taser is used.”

    *************************************

    Not necessarily in that order. I am trained in the use of a baton, and the first words out of the instructor’s mouth at the start of the first class was, “Keep in mind that this baton is a bone-breaker.”

    A baton should not be used unless the officer has reason to break bones, including possible infliction of a skull fracture.

  26. After watching the video, it didn’t seem necessary to use the taser. The guy was clearly being a douche. But, it looks to me that he wasn’t in any way being violent or threatening. If he needed to be arrested for some reason (I’m skeptical there’s cause for that), then security should have told him he’s under arrest and at a minimum attempted to arrest him. If he resisted then maybe use of the taser might be warranted.

  27. nick spinelli, Ridicule is the coward’s tool. This is a blog where differences of opinion are encouraged and ridicule of a person sitting in her home is no answer to the opinion she expressed. It’s just a retired PI trying to be a tough guy and shut up anyone who might hold an opinion that is at odds with his own as if he’s still on the street snapping pictures of scumbags instead of in a salon discussing ideas. Tables are turned here and you have no credentials other than the strength of your intelligence and your ability to reason. Holster your rhetoric taser, and stop claiming you’re just the victim of others misunderstanding. And thinking Gene H was off the blog because someone, probably you’re thinking it was your superior self, hurt his feelings is beyond stupid. The only thing dumber is actually posting it.

  28. A corporation is a person correct? The STATE is a person.
    Person means mask.
    The guy seems like he was duped by the PAY-triot movement
    They espouse the idea that “person” means only corporate entities and does not include “natural persons”.

    As far as being a citizen of a State and not a citizen of the United States goes, the courts have repeatedly said there is a dual sovereignty. In the past people were only referred to as citizens of a state and not as US citizens. Why can not some elect to be of one and not the other???

    as an aside…
    I think that sovereignty can not be possessed by an incorporeal state because of Calvin’s Case (which is cited in 400+ federal cases as authority)

    “1. Ligeance is a true and faithful obedience of the subject due to his Sovereign. This ligeance and obedience is an incident inseparable to every subject; for as soon as he is born he oweth by birth right ligeance and obedience to his Sovereign…

    But between the Sovereign and the subject there is without comparison a higher and greater connexion: for as the subject oweth to the King his true and faithful ligeance and obedience, so the Sovereign is to govern and protect his Subjects…

    It is true, that the King hath two capacities in him: one a natural body, being descended of the blood royal of the Realm; and this body is of the creation of Almighty God, and is subject to death, infirmity, and such like; the other is a politic, body or capacity, so called, because it is framed by the policy of man…

    … First, every subject (as it hath been affirmed by those that argued against the Plaintiff) is presumed by Law to be sworn to the King, which is to his natural person; and likewise the King is sworn to his subjects which oath he taketh in his natural person: for the politique capacity is invisible and immortal; nay, the politique body hath no soul, for it is framed by the policy of man…

    4. A body politique (being invisible) can as a body politique neither make nor take homage: Vide 33 Hen. 8. tit. Fealty, Brook. 5. In fide, in faith or ligeance nothing ought to be feigned, but ought to be ex fide non ficta.”

    Read the last sentence again and again and again. .

    I won’t even get into the fact that the States and Federal government disclaim any individual duty of protection which is the very substance of sovereignty.

  29. mkahill, I’m not trying to shut anyone up, I’m trying to get them to back up what they say. And again dear sensitive mkahill, if saying someone is “in the comfort of their own home” is ridicule then you need to buck up, buttercup. The point is she was @ home and these bailiffs were involved in a confrontation. We’re all presumably in the comfort of our homes, offices, coffee shops as we write. Myself and others have a frame of reference since we’ve been involved w/ conflicts like this. But, we’re still being Monday morning quaterbacks. The difference is we’ve played the game .Not all opinions are informed or equal. This isn’t grammar school.

    “Life’s hard, wear a f@cking helmet.” Dennis Leary

  30. Neither baton nor taser were warranted by the apparent threat, I feel. But there are those who know better how these sovereign types function. If he truly feels he is sovereign then he does not rely on the protection of laws and those who enforce it. He might therefore be armed to protect himself.

    The bailiffs and their chiefs have to consider other matters: Does this disturbance create a hinder to the operation of the court? Does taking him down, other than a successful “up against the wall” and cuffing, as mentioned give an assured and low profile outcome. The simplest and fastest was to taze him.

    I think we will see this more and more often, for reasons of convenience. That the tazed dies is of no concern to them, it is part of the job to do it and innocent old ladies are expendable. And the bailiffs are covered, if death occurs.

  31. A Taser is a deadly weapon. When you use one against a human being you are assaulting that person with a dealy weapon. There is a body of law which dictates when you have reason to assault a person with a deadly weapon. To suggest that they just tased the guy is like suggesting that they just smacked him with a donut. No, they fired upon him with a deadly weapon. In the years to come there will be a number of jury verdicts on behalf of plaintiffs who are the heirs of dead guys who were tased. Then you will see the err of just saying that the pigs tased someone. Tased: shoot to kill! That is what it is. Y’all dont get it Mr. Turley.

  32. Gehe I am so sorry. They are lucky t have you there for them.

    At first read i thght maybe the man was trying to turn citizens united on its head, I am not a person… but the more I read (cant see vidoe at moment) the more it seems apparent that this man is ill.
    I suppose it comes down to deciding, in the blink of an eye essentially, can this man injure us and others? and if so how do we deal with him. A lot of the videos we see with police ‘overresponding” are clearcut instances of overreach and reaction. This one I am not so sure.

  33. nick, “Your derision for those bailiffs was palpable.”

    hmmm. Four big guys being confronted with a guy who’s talking gibberish in their opinion. He moves to go where they don’t what him to. They block him. He talks some more. TASER.

    Why couldn’t they put the cuffs on him without the taser? If four guys can’t arrest one, they don’t belong on the job. Whatever the charge, it existed before the taser.

    I don’t like tasers. They kill and they are being used when less force will do the job. Someone said they replace the baton. Would hitting the guy with a baton have been justified?

    Yeh, the tough guy has a new toy and he likes using it.

  34. Gene,
    You are a good friend and caregiver.
    I do want to take exception that this guy needed to be tazed. I think he needed to be taken into custody since he refused the orders of the bailiff, but with the camera in his hands, it was not too likely that he was going to be able to batter(to use his words) the bailiffs.
    They could have diffused the situation without the use of a Tazer.
    OS,
    I have felt the baton and the riot stick in May of 1970 and I can attest that they hurt like hell.

  35. JT says something to the effect that a taser is the equivalent of use of force as a police baton. Where have you been the past ten years? A taser is a deadly weapon. Get out of the Ivory Tower and take a shower! If you believe that JT then bring your mom down for a demonstration– on her while you watch. Get a brain.

  36. Anytime officers have to deal with one of the so-called “sovereign citizens” the situation can turn dangerous in an instant. Several officers have died in incidents involving these sovereign citizen types. They tend to be delusional and do not believe they have to follow any law they don’t want to follow. Being armed is common for them, whether it is legal to carry or not. They do not believe in getting concealed carry permits, since the laws of the US do not apply to them and courts have no jurisdiction over them. Due to the reality of what is known about them from painful past experience, officers have to expect the worst. And sometimes get it.

    As for Ratty, with an attitude toward law enforcement officers such as you display here, I would not be surprised if you get rousted once in a while. Your alligator mouth tends to overload your hummingbird a$$.

  37. nick spinelli, Sure, tough guy. You were just trying to get her to back up her opinion. Why were you trying to get her to back up her opinion? And what about your dumber than dumb assumption that Gene H had left because his feelings were hurt. What were you trying to do there? Come on Mr. retired PI, back up your words. This is a kitchen that can get a lot hotter than the streets you skulked trying to repossess cars and get black & whites for divorce attorneys. That’s your frame of reference, wannabe tough guy.

  38. In the view, the man insists “I don’t have a last name. I don’t have a first name either. I got a name, my name is Robert. You can call me Robert.” He then draws a nonsensical distinction in saying “I’m not a person. You deal here with persons, of which I am not. I’m a man.” When he denies being a citizen of the United States, but admits to being a citizen of Idaho, he then refuses to produce his license on the grounds that “My person does [have one]. I don’t. And I don’t wish to create joinder with you.” He was soon joined with a taser.
    ===============
    Why does Idaho keep getting bad press? I was born in Oregon, but I attended Boise State University, and I lived in Boise for about eight years..

  39. Captain rtty

    You are incorrect in stating a Taser is a deadly weapon. It is not. I also would point out to you that the number of lawsuits filed against government employees for their use of Tasers is overwhelmingly held to be in favor of the state. That is the reality of the numbers, and it is not likely to budge greatly in favor of the plaintiffs in the forseeable future.

    I would also venture to say that Professor Turley understands the issue quite clearly and on balance. I would also believe Professor Turley brings topics such as this to the public forum in an effort to foster a debate on the topic which is a healthy exercise in formulation of future policy and understanding on both sides of various topics. Perhaps this might be something you should consider.

  40. Gene H. 1, September 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Referring to the value of teaching civics:

    “[T]he reason that I said that I think it is the most significant problem that we’ve got is that I think that some of the aspects of current American government that people on both sides find frustrating are in part a function of the inability of people to understand how government can and should function. It is a product of civic ignorance.” – Justice Souter

    Interesting find, Dredd.
    ==========================================
    My jaw hid the keyboard when he said 2/3 of the people in the U.S. do not know that there are three branches of government, and that is a threat to our everything (@1:27).

  41. It is the 80/20 rule. Or perhaps the 90/10 rule.

    I don’t mean to be rude, but what if a situation develops where nobody cares what your authority is? And you can’t do anything about it?

  42. Darren, “the number of lawsuits filed against government employees for their use of Tasers is overwhelmingly held to be in favor of the state. ”

    Absolutely. Cops get to stop and frisk youth for wwb or wwl. Cops get to shoot unarmed people, get a week or two on a desk and go back to work. Occasionally a trial where the prosecutor does such a p… poor job that the jury doesn’t see the murder. Cops get to beat up “suspects” for existing usually w/o provocation. It’s what’s needed to keep us all in line.

  43. mkahill, You accuse me of ignorance while you make stereotypical, ignorant comments. What you know about PI’s is obviously what you watched on television in the comfort of your own home. I would add eating bon bons but that would be stereotypical. While there are PI’s who do divorce cases I can tell you, under oath, I never worked a divorce case as a PI. When I started @ the law firm in Chicago I worked product liability, subrogation, personal injury, arson and medical malpractice cases. When I started my own business[Wi.] I worked a lot of workers comp. and personal injury cases. As stated previously, I also did some collections work. As attorneys got to know me I worked higher end subro, product liability and med malpractice cases. I’ve worked on 75 million dollar cases and routinely worked on cases involving 6 and 7 figures. You mkahill are why when I’m sitting on a flight somewhere, or in a bar, I hardly ever tell people I was a PI. I get tired of the stupid, uninformed comments like yours.

  44. mkahill 1, September 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    nick spinelli, Sure, tough guy. You were just trying to get her to back up her opinion. Why were you trying to get her to back up her opinion? And what about your dumber than dumb assumption that Gene H had left because his feelings were hurt. What were you trying to do there? Come on Mr. retired PI, back up your words. This is a kitchen that can get a lot hotter than the streets you skulked trying to repossess cars and get black & whites for divorce attorneys. That’s your frame of reference, wannabe tough guy.
    ==============
    mkahill,

    Spinelli says he lives in the Badger State. My name is in the phone book.

  45. OS, When I first moved to Wi. there were Posse Comitatus in the northern counties, particularly Shawano County. Most were just “douchbags” but some heavily armed and very dangerous. This “soveriegn citizen” craziness is akin to the Posse kooks.

  46. bettykath, Others seem more offended than you about what I said to you. We’re simply going to have to disagree on this courtroom incident, but I respect you not playing the victim card. You’re tough enough to stand on your own. Ciao!

  47. nick, et al,
    Never underestimate the dangerousness of someone who is both nuts and stupid. We had a female deputy sheriff shot in the face at close range by a guy with a deer rifle not long ago. She was not killed, but that is an undivided miracle. Another officer killed the shooter before he could get off another shot at her. Those people live in an alternate reality.

  48. nick spinelli, Sure tough guy. Sooth your aching ego with fantasies of ignorance. You dig in the dirt and somebody pays you to do it. You are not law enforcement. And back up your words, tough guy, “I know you had your feelings hurt and left for awhile”. Come on PI, support your statement the way you wanted bettykath to support hers. Don’t want to get the reputation as the blog’s hypocrite.

  49. Pretty funny when ol’ happy b*ll-buster Nick finds it objectionable that commenters are “unequivocal” in response to an always thoughtful and temperate assessment rendered by Nick – he who posesses the only valid point of view. All others are only deserving of his ridicule which he bestows with the most winning charm and he is most profoundly SHOCKED when piled upon.

  50. Darren Smith: >”You are incorrect in stating a Taser is a deadly weapon. It is not.”<

    Darren, a Taser can indeed be a l lethal weapon. There have been numerous cases brought where a Taser has killed someone. As a CCU/ER nurse, I know that in people with certain arrhythmias (NOT as uncommon as one would think), an application of current at the strengths of most Tasers can cause a fatal arrhymia, or just completely 'short-circuit' the sinus and/or the AV nodes causing death. There are several cases of just that sort here in Maricopa County at present. I would say the greatest reason that the lawsuits filed against the government are won by the government are because in MOST people, the serge will knock the person down. In a person with a cardiac defect, however, it CAN and HAS killed, therefore making it a 'deadly weapon'. Because the Taser is sold to police as 'non-lethal', and because people see 'demonstrations' on volunteers who are generally in perfect health with no cardiac problems. LEOs tell the Court what it wants to hear, namley that there is no danger to the person Tased. Juries tend to believe that, and THAT is the reason why people say Tasers are non-lethal.

  51. Kraaken, One more point to add to your excellent post – cardiac problems are hidden, much too frequently from the person who has them, but they are also obviously hidden from anyone wielding a taser.

  52. Kraaken

    While I agree with you that people can die from Taser use it is not considered a deadly weapon in the legal sense. If in that definition where something can cause a death, nearly any object can cause death if used with the intent to cause death and if it can be articulated it can through actual use.

    The reason for this is as follows. Firearms are by definition deadly weapons. Fists and feet are not considered deadly weapons, yet fists and feet can cause death. A police nightstick can be a deadly weapon but is not considered one in the ordinary legal sense.

    Consider this, if the Taser, the nightstick, the kubaton, pepper spray and punches and kicks were defined to be deadly weapons no LEO could use them to defend themselves unless deadly force was considered to be reasonable in a given situation. Moreover, nobody else would be able to use these items to defend themselves or another person unless there was an imminent threat of great bodily injury or death to the potential victim.

    There are circumstances where the use of a Taser is not considered to be a low level use of force. The training is generally is (thought it might be different as my last refresher course was 2 years ago) not to tase anyone who appears to be over 60 years old unless highly threatening circumstances require it.

    We had an appeals court ruling last year I think it was here were a person using a hard surface such as a concrete floor or such could be considered to have committed a felony assault (concrete floor as a weapon) due to the suspect continually beating a person’s head to the ground. So I can see your point as to an ordinarily non lethal object becoming a weapon or a deadly weapon.

    The alternative to not using a Taser means that people can more often get hurt by having to use other means. An officer who I know about 24 years ago was attacked by a man who tried to hit him with a club. The officer took out a night stick and struck the suspect, shattering every metacarpal bone in his right hand. The pain was so intense the suspect fainted from the shock. I would suspect he had to undergo surgery to repair his hand.

    Now given this level of trauma caused by the night stick it could be argued that (had it been available at the time) this type of injury could have been easily prevented by lighting the suspect up with a Taser. I know this is just one example but it is illustrative of the point.

    So to respect your views on the Taser, the medical issues are ones to consider. I don’t know anything else that would work better than a Taser would, if one could be found without any of the medical issues, I would have no objection to using it.

  53. Thank you, Darren. I DO understand your point.

    >”Consider this, if the Taser, the nightstick, the kubaton, pepper spray and punches and kicks were defined to be deadly weapons no LEO could use them to defend themselves unless deadly force was considered to be reasonable in a given situation.” “…no LEO could use them to defend themselves unless deadly force was considered to be reasonable in a given situation Moreover, nobody else would be able to use these items to defend themselves or another person unless there was an imminent threat of great bodily injury or death to the potential victim.” < That should be the ONLY time those things are used. However, I do bow to your knowledge of LEO procedures, and I do realise that there are situations that arise 'out there'. I worked in the County Hospital ER for a number of years, and I became friends with a number of LEOs who regularly brought prisoners in for treatment, so I am not completely unfeeling (I agree it sounds that way from my writings) toward LEOs. I will have to agree to disagree with you on the use of Tasers, but rational people CAN disagree with respect for both opinions!

  54. Part of the problem with the reputation of the Taser is that there have been too many instances where they were used indiscriminately and inappropriately. Those have been documented and reported ad nauseum. Some officers pull them out and use them as a first resort rather than next to last resort–a firearm is the last resort. Properly used and with good judgement, the Taser is just another tool to keep both officer and bystanders safe when a suspect or perpetrator becomes violent or physically threatening and talking does not work. Pepper spray is sometimes effective but if pepper spray or Mace is used indoors, overspray and backspray often gets on bystanders and the officer as well. Also, spray devices do not work on some mentally ill persons–I have seen a manic schizophrenic simply shake Mace off. All it did was make him angrier and more dangerous than he was before being sprayed.

    As for the hyperbole about 50,000 volts, it is true they have that much voltage, but it is the amperage that kills, not voltage. Voltage can be considered a kind of pressure, while amperage is volume. The Taser works on very high voltage, but amperage is measured in milliamps. 2.1 mA
    (0.0021 Amps) to be exact. A comparison might be a garden hose versus a fire hose. Both work on about 60 pounds per square inch of pressure, but the stream from a four inch fire hose will hurt you while the garden hose is uncomfortable but will not hurt you. The difference is volume per unit of time.

    An auto battery is only twelve volts, but the one in my car has 750 Amps to crank the engine. That is a lot of amperage and has to be respected. Your house electric current is about 115 volts at 20 Amps, and can kill instantly. Most houses are wired to handle up to 100 Amps per line safely. 0.0021 Amps will sting, but should not kill except under the most extraordinary circumstance, or if grossly overused.

    So, the whole idea of the Taser is to incapacitate a violent person long enough to get handcuffs on them. Any more that that is abusing the Taser. Any time you hear of an instance of a Taser being overused, you need to look at the training protocol of that department. Either you have poor training or a rogue officer–or both.

  55. Google: Taser and deaths. One blog has 181 deaths since the year 2001. That is one hundred eighty one dead people who were assaulted with deadly force by a taser gun. It is deadly force.

  56. Taserdog.
    How many deaths or injuries would have occurred in that twelve year period had the Taser not been available and the officers were forced to resort to firearms instead? Argument is a logical fallacy. I am too tired to get into picking it apart, and am about to hit the sack–I have been up since five this morning and am about used up. At any rate, you assume that every death was unjustified and would not have happened if the Taser had not been used. That is simply not so. Almost all Taser deaths appear to have occurred because the device was used excessively or inappropriately. There is no excuse for that but is an issue to be corrected with proper training and monitoring Taser use within the department.

    Given a choice between a Taser and a Glock, I think most suspects would prefer to be shot with a Taser unless they are trying to commit suicide by cop.

  57. First Taser International warn that that their product should be considered lethal force.
    Second , Sovereign citizen is an oxymoron and only a fool would refer to themselves as one.

    you might as well call yourself the master slave.

  58. Kraaken contributed:

    I will have to agree to disagree with you on the use of Tasers, but rational people CAN disagree with respect for both opinions!

    Yes, a welcome exchange of ideas. No worries about the italics, for some reason when I am at my home computer the fonts on this website change several times, ending up in the Wing Dings font; which forces me to hit <F5> to refresh the screen.

  59. OS,

    Thanks fro giving the figures on Tssers: ca 50,000 volts at 2.1 milliamperes.

    As an old radio op from the HV days, we knew that 200 milliamps would kill. 90 volts is considered the safe limit. Arm to arm, passing the heart was of course most dangerous. I once forgot the general rule to keep one hand in your pocket and took 1100 volts DC hand to hand.

    Higher voltage in radio equipment generally generates high eoough current to seize up/stop the heart, and if contact is broken, then the healthy heart will resume.

    That Tasers are currrent limited was good to know.
    Difficult to explain why anyone should die from that current level. Possibly defective equipment.

    Or perhaps Kraaken can confirm that the heart is more sensitive that my rule of thumb info would indicate, thus making the amperage factor irrelevant. Afterall, the nerve impulse levels and isolation between nerve thread in the sinus and AV area is only microvolts.

    Warning: Don’t sneeze too hard! Just joking!?

  60. “series of nonsensical statements about not being a person.”

    Actually they aren’t nonsensical statements. JOHN DOE, all caps, is controlled by the gov’t., they can give him a speeding ticket, make him pay fines, collect income tax, etc… but John Doe is a natural person. That may be way over a lot of people’s heads. You can with varied success, “redeem your strawman” and take back your JOHN DOE name since it basically is being used without your permission. It’s a huge uphill battle, however. You’ll need a lawyer that is proficcient in UCC law.

  61. This is assault unless there is reason to believe the person poses a threat. Officers must be required to use the minimal force available to effectively avoid physical harm.

  62. Taser your mom and dad. If they have a heart condition it is likely to kill. Do they wear a big sign on their chest which says: “Do Not Tase, I have a heart condition”? Or for you who believe the good use of the taser, use it on your kid when he is out of line.

  63. OS, thanks for the explanation about the workings of a taser; I found it interesting. At the end you state “So, the whole idea of the Taser is to incapacitate a violent person long enough to get handcuffs on them.” That makes sense to me. I don’t see anything in the video to suggest this guy was violent or threatening violence. Hence, my problem with its use in this particular situation.

    I’m also a little skeptical that most taser deaths are the result of excessive or inappropriate use. I believe most taser deaths are the result the electrical shock causing fatal heart problems in the victim. The victim’s reaction to being shocked cannot be known ahead of time, so every time a cop uses a taser on someone, there’s a risk (certainly low) of death resulting. Thus, it seems to me that there needs to be a fairly high threshold met before use is warranted. And, the guy was a douche or a nuisance or uncooperative isn’t good enough.

  64. This “person’s” goal from the beginning was to initiate a negative contact with security personnel, record it, and sue them. Wrestling with any person who does not want to be subdued often results to injuries to both the suspect and the police. The taser is a perfect tool in this situation. End of story.

  65. Nick, I notice that some commenters use “end of story” when they finish writing what they want to post. It strikes me as odd, because most stories do not end. I think one book in the Bible ends with the advice to not “change one word” but after all, none of us here is writing Holy Grail.

  66. Tazing? No sweat, ask Nick. How many times have you done it while angry.

    NB. Did not hurt his camera which continued to function without screaming ouch.

    Lesson from this anecdotal recording?
    Bailiffs have learned to curb their tongues when facing cameras.

    Was it seized and released after new scenes replaced the old ones? Just joking?

  67. Nick,

    Have I not said before? I will repeat: lower your profile. Riding roughshod over idiots does not work here. We are all geniuses here. And reality, if that is what you feel you got straight, most do here—gained over 30 years is not transferred in a few lines.

    Now go tell me to piss off. Just prove you are pressed in not getting the acceptance on the Taser view you espouse.

    People are just not going to love those who use them.
    We don’t even have them or mace or peppar spray here.
    We get by without. Are yours wilder than ours.

    I am not subtle and neither are you.

  68. I’ve never used a taser or pepper spray, although I bought a taser for my daughter when she moved into a tough neighborhood.

  69. Nick Spinelli,

    My bad. I think,at least it is mine. Not even sure which thread I am on. Too many hours sitting here. I had some remembrance of ??? but it was associated with a taser outside the courtroom, etc. Now can’t find it to cite it to justify my complaint. Thanks for the kind correction. You’re the one in the Badger state, right? ;-)

    Not completely out of it, but should have eaten houuurrrsss ago.
    Bye for now. Food time.

  70. It was the other Nick. Ain’t my first miss. Too many balls in the air. Use it or lose it, they say. Over-use is not beneficial, maybe.

    “Nick
    1, September 19, 2012 at 11:47 am
    This “person’s” goal from the beginning was to initiate a negative contact with security personnel, record it, and sue them………”

  71. idealist707: >”Or perhaps Kraaken can confirm that the heart is more sensitive that my rule of thumb info would indicate, thus making the amperage factor irrelevant. Afterall, the nerve impulse levels and isolation between nerve thread in the sinus and AV area is only microvolts.”<

    ID, The problem is in the exchange between the Sinus and the Atrio-Ventricular (AV) node. The electrical charge can cause the AV node in particular to fire prematurely, causing, in many cases, atrial fibrillation, in which the heart more or less 'quivers' without the contractile force needed to circulate the blood, ergo, death. That is a really basic explanation and probably much more than you wanted to know, but that's why Tasers can be fatal to people. The bad part is that, as Bettykath stated, LOTS of people might have a cardiac flaw and not even know it. I myself had a double bypass eight years ago after having never been sick a day in my life, not even the usual childhood diseases.

  72. RE: Taser deaths.

    From all I can glean from scouring the intertoobz for data, it appears that most, perhaps all, deaths from Tasers came from repeated jolts. The fellow in the Vancouver, BC airport and the woman in the Phoenix airport were reportedly hit with a large number of jolts, not just one or two. I cannot conceive of any realistic scenario where that many jolts is justified. In the UCLA library incident, the student was tased nine (9) times while the officers were screaming at him to “Get up.” How could he get up if he is flopping around like a fish in the bottom of a boat with no voluntary muscle control? Those kinds of instances are abusive, and as I said above, reflects either a rogue officer or lousy training–or both.

  73. Lol at Yael. Would you rather him use a gun? He was unlawfully trying to enter an area after being told not to. He was defiant, and therefore was restrained. It’s simple: follow the rules of the place you’re at, and nothing will go wrong. The rightfully tasered man may not recognize himself as a US citizen, but when entering a building/area that is, you must obey that places’ laws.

  74. Taser’s were sold to us a an alternate to using deadly force. Now they are becoming the first choice for law enforcement who does not wish to have any physical contact with anyone.

  75. Regarding what Otteray S contributed:

    I cannot easily see, unless there were outlandish circumstances rarely encountered, where a person needs to be lit up more than twice with a Taser, and three times is a stretch.

    The default setting of a LEO issued Taser is to jolt the person for 5 seconds per trigger pull (Unless it is manually turned off by putting the safety into the Safe position which will stop the shock early)

    My experience with the Taser is that most of the time one hit with the Taser 90% of people will give it up and submit. I had a couple times were the person needed a second application. I suspect the reason for this might, and this is speculation, might have believed that there was only one shock to be had, the one that sent out the probes and they thought it was all we could give them. They then continued fighting and the second shock ended this belief and they gave up, knowing another one could follow.

    I have only witnessed one time where we had to light up a guy a third time. This was because he was acting deranged, intoxicated and possibly on drugs, his hands and body were cut and bleeding, he was known to be Hep-C Positive and he was flicking blood around while he flailed around in his attack on us. It took three of us to control him. I ended up with a Hep C exposure due to this, but after the third test I underwent turned up negative, I guess I was lucky to not have contracted it.

    Generally you don’t want to go hands on someone who is squirming around when the Taser is shocking them because if you hit one of the wires you get a jolt or two. But when the Taser stops, dogpiling the person and cuffing them up is better if it is safe to do. Best if there are two or more officers. Generally one can wait until Backup arrives under the threat of another jolt if the suspect does not behave.

    Have to leave, got to stop here.

  76. Kraaken,

    I am intimately familiar with a personal pacemeker, sinus controlled, which now is 100% active, ie no pulse arrives at the AV within the specified time. It

    also initiates a pulse when none is generated by the sinus, which last I heard was about 14 percent of the time. Have had it for seven years and just got it replaced for battery reasons last Spring.

    Before that I had a double bypass and an aorta valve replaced by a mechanical one. That means, as you know, warfarin and other restrictions. I am a grateful patient.

    Could write much more than YOU would like to read, but of course for different reasons. I am a freak about medicine. ;-)

  77. bettykath,

    mkahill 1, September 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    nick spinelli, Sure tough guy. Sooth your aching ego with fantasies of ignorance. You dig in the dirt and somebody pays you to do it. You are not law enforcement. And back up your words, tough guy, “I know you had your feelings hurt and left for awhile”. Come on PI, support your statement the way you wanted bettykath to support hers. Don’t want to get the reputation as the blog’s hypocrite.
    ==================
    bettykath 1, September 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Matt, The game is put up or shut up.
    =============================
    Don’t know what your statements or those of anybody else were, bettykath, so can’t put up or shut up.

  78. nick spinelli 1, September 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve never used a taser or pepper spray, although I bought a taser for my daughter when she moved into a tough neighborhood.
    ============================================
    Why did your daughter move into a tough neighborhood? Was it in Madison? I worked there on a contract basis for about seven months. Just before being hired by the Service.

  79. A circuit court judge in Waukesha County was talking about, during a 12 person jury trial, how he was going to have to discuss this with his daughter who was in law school. He said he was going to ask his daughter if she had ever researched any case studies like this. It was a farce. I’ve got the court reporter transcripts to prove it.

  80. Matt J.,

    Beside your point is another. How to remain competent when old tools and talents no longer are sufficient?

    I presume the judge can not handle the tools which his daughter can. But to admit it in open court seems senile and grounds for some action.

  81. ID,

    Appealed to the Wisconsin State Court of Appeals. Received a single judge reply that they wouldn’t overturn a properly arrived at jury verdict. Decided to let it go. I keep all the documentation.

  82. The man committed no battery. He used no force. Was he obnoxious? Yes, of course, but that isn’t a crime. He was no threat to the bailiffs and in fact had stepped back after being blocked. He was not warned that he might be tased. The fact is, the one who should be prosecuted is the bailiff who tased him. Tasers are abused and this is one of the worst abuses I have ever saw of a law enforcement officer in regards to a taser. The bailiff should have been fired. I know though that the prosecutor will side with the LEO, as they almost always do no matter what. Their loyalty isn’t to the public or the law but to cops, no matter how much the cop is in the wrong.

  83. I can’t get enough of this video!!!! People like this should be tasered regularly and often; I would NEVER find a bailiff, LEO, or anyone guilty of any rights violation with video evidence like this.

  84. What a blatant (and potentially dangerous) abuse of power. Imagine if YOU were just verbalizing your beliefs – even strongly. (FREEDOM OF SPEECH, ANYONE?) Is this how our “law enforcers” are trained to combat WORDS? I hope that bailiff gets struck by lightning while standing in a puddle so he can see how 50,000 VOLTS IS NO JOKE! What an over-empowered piece of crap. I pity his children if this is how this dolt dishes out HIS IDEA of justifiable physical abuse. (And no, I’m not a punk – I am a 55 year old, law-abiding, educated business professional who believes we STILL have constitutional rights.)

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