Shock Video: Toledo Minister Beaten and Tasered After Alleged Joke to Security Guards

Rev. Al Poisson may be looking for some new material. The minister claims that he merely made a passing joke to a security guard when he was dragged out of a hospital, beaten, and tasered. Regardless of the catalyst, the video below has raised some serious questions on the level of force being used on this 66-year-old minister.

Rev. Al Poisson insists that, while visiting a man in the hospital, he made an innocent joke about the lack of a smile on a guard’s face. Security cameras then capture at least five officers whaling on the minister — though Poisson insists that some of the film has been cut out.

St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center insisted that “the response to the aggression was appropriate.” Yet, the original charges of assault against Poisson were thrown out of court.

He is now pursuing legal action in tort. This would include liability for the hospital through both direct and vicarious liability. Normally, violence by an employee is outside of the scope of employment. However, security officers are generally an exception, particularly when the hospital later endorses their actions.

For the pictures from CBS Early Show, click here.

For the full story, click here.

36 thoughts on “Shock Video: Toledo Minister Beaten and Tasered After Alleged Joke to Security Guards”

  1. If you guys are so smart about how cops and security guards should do their jobs, then go be one. I’m sure you can handle the pressure of that job and how fast a calm situation becomes threatening much better than anyone that’s currently wearing that uniform. I mean I can’t imagine anyone on here posting comments about an event and how it should have been handled unless they were ACTUALLY THERE and knew the ENTIRE STORY.

  2. Maybe this will make my point clearer.

    Look at it like this.

    Police want training. Training means career advancement. And more money…well, is more money.

    So in other words, the response of giving them better pay and training is simply rewarding police officers for abusing us.

    This isn’t a “spin” on it. A pay raise is the very definition of a reward. Training means career advancement.

    These are rewards, and I don’t think rewarding them is the best reaction to beating and tasering our people, particularly our handicapped population, our children, our mothers, and our senior citizens.

    I do think however, that legislation that involves some form of increased community oversight is a better response to this kind of abuse, and has the teeth needed to actually accomplish something.

  3. Also, I should point out that I have no problem with giving police whatever weaponary they think they need to do their jobs, from tasers to machine guns. As long as they don’t “misuse” them. When the bank robbers struck in North Hollywood I was appalled that the police didn’t have some semi automatic weapons powerful enough to stop them. No armor piercing rounds, nothing. That should not be. We should give the police the weapons they need to do the job. If they need armor peircing rounds give em armor peircing rounds. If they need helicopters give em helicopters. If they need tasers, let them have tasers. Just put some laws in place, that let them know that MISUSING these weapons we are entrusting them with, will mean losing their jobs, likely for good, and things will change.

    Its the “Zero Tolerance” of us, and the “Absolute Tolerance” of whatever they do themselves, that has permeated the police since 911, and its not getting better. We’re going to see more and more of these stories as time goes on if we don’t enact serious legislation now, and training is not the answer.

    We spent billions recently “training” TSA to stop abusing airport clientle.How’s that working out?

    Training is fine if you’re training them how to use the weapon, but no one needs training on how to not abuse people with the weapon. They just need a moral compass, and in leiu of that they need laws to control them, and a vehicle for enforcement of those laws.

    The “Community Empowerment Act” as I call it, would permit communities the power to remove corrupt officers, whether its one or a whole squad, and thus, change the nature forever of police abuse in our local communities.

  4. If congress enables communites to “police the police” so to speak, but only with regards to their jobs as police, then I think the problem will dramatically reduce.

    When an officer or group of officers shoot down an essentially unarmed 45 year old mom cause she waved a crochet hook at them, then the community, if no satisfactory offical actions were taken by the courts or the police themselves, then the community would call a meeting, and vote to suspend or remove the officers from duty in their communities. Their decisions in these matters would be final with regards to their communities and possibly even their states, depending on how states decide to define this new “community empowerment”.

    Allowing the people, the actual people, to petition the members of their own communties to oust corrupt and abusive officers, I think would effect a major change in attitudes from law enforcement agencies towards the people they are supposedly there to protect.

  5. rafflaw
    1, July 28, 2008 at 12:59 am
    I know that the police have abused their trust, but we have to have some official agency to protect us from the ordinary, but dangerous crooks.

    Oh no doubt. And I am not “anti-police” as some here try and label me. I am merely calling for legislation to permit communities to remove corrupt or abusive officers when it occurs.

    Its not a radical idea by any means, and would in no way diminish the safety of police, nor really their authority. It would only diminish their ability to abuse it.

  6. Bartlebee,
    I know that the police have abused their trust, but we have to have some official agency to protect us from the ordinary, but dangerous crooks. (Like George W.) There will always be a gamble that society takes by having an armed police force. I have more hope that they will use the weapons more carefully than the rent a cops that make up these security guards. I say you are closer than you may think with Jill because you can’t have more training without legislation. We need legislation that puts a serious price on the people that taser a boy with a broken back 19 times, but additional training might help weed out the individuals who can’t discern when there is a real need for the use of deadly force. Training might not be the only answer and legislation might not be the only answer, but if we train the security guards and require that training through legislation and if we legislate serious penalties for abuses, at least the companies that use these rent a cops must be held accountable through your legislation. I for one would be in favor of outlawing the use of the taser, but I think it will be tougher to outlaw it entirely.

  7. I’m not trying to be difficult here, just clear. I don’t think you can “train” someone to not taser a pregnant mother.

    If someone hasn’t developed that much cognizance by the time they’re an adult, then giving them a badge and gun is a bad idea. And no amount of training is going to help.

    Legislation is the only answer here from my chair. But I am open to any specific suggestions for resolutions anyone may have. I’m not saying my way is the only way, or even the best one. I’m saying its the only one I’ve heard so far that has a chance of actually doing anything.

  8. Leave them in the hands of the police?

    Are we forgetting the thread we just concluded on the police tasering a 16 year old accident victim lying on the ground with a broken back 19 times?

    Or the tasering of the blind woman? Or the hundreds of other cases coming to an epidemic?

    I see no distinction between this attack or the police raff. And Jill and I are not saying the same things. She is saying training.

    I am saying LEGISLATION.

    We’re poles apart on this one.

  9. I step up for the day to attend a family function and I guess I missed alot. Jill and Bartlebee, I think you are saying similar things. I would suggest that training of security guards might help, but as suggested by Jill the security guards are usually under educated and under trained. With some of the “security guards” that I have run across, I would be frightened to see a taser or a gun in their possession, even with training. Leave the weapons to the police and get rid of the so-called non-lethal tasers.

  10. So forgive me if I ask someone to clarify their canned, coined response, which we hear from EVERYONE, EVERYTIME one of these things happens.

    Which now is like every week.

    Hell last week alone we had like 3 of these incidents.

    THREE in one week!

    And we get “the poor cops need better training”.


    I mean, they need better training to do what?

    Not taser a 16 year old accident victim lying helpless on the side of the road?

    Get a clue folks. Better training is what THEY want you to say.

    LEGISLATION, is what we need.

  11. See thats the thing. No one has any ideas. No one wants to be specific. This is why police get away with this. No one really cares.

    Until it happens to one of their own family members. Then they’re Norma Rae.

    I think better training for police, is a pat answer, and a coined phrase, created by DA’s who didn’t want to prosecute the police they work with daily.

    I think the very notion, of responding to a group of men beating up an elderly Minister, with the men “need more training” is appalling.

    And worse, its empowering.

    If a group of LA Gang Members had beaten up the same 66 year old Minister, would anyone here be calling for “better training” for these gang members?





    Or would you be calling for their HEADS?

    We can scroll through the threads now, and find each and everyone in here condeming CITIZEN criminals, particularly street gangs.

    But when its the police who are the gang, then its “better training”, and “their jobs are so hard”, and “they must keep themselves safe”.

    Yea, safe from that 45 year old mom with the crochet needle they shot to death a few weeks ago.

    And it wasn’t “one cop” but lots of them, and THEY ALL tried to excuse it, from the cops who blew this moms chest apart with their big bad guns, to the division commanders and every cop in the country asked about it.

    Because they stick up for THEIR own.

    Which is why they no longer stick up for us.

  12. Ok Jill.

    I’m not sure what your point is, I tend to be pretty specific and I thought you did too, so I wanted to hear what you really wanted to do about it, other than repeating the canned safety phrase, “they need better training”.

    I just wanted to know what that training would be and why we should be giving badges and guns to citizens that require special taxpayer funded training to not shoot our grandmothers in the face.


    Anyway nice talking to you, but forgive me if I stay on topic. Just consider my comments rhetorical from here on out, lol.

  13. Also you might include what you have against the idea of legislation to empower communities to remove corrupt police officers from the force?

  14. bartlebee,

    I strongly feel you don’t understand what I’m saying. I don’t know a better way to convey what I mean. We both share the goal of a good and just society. I don’t think we can resolve this misunderstanding. Be well and we’ll be sure to discuss another topic.


  15. By the way, I saw you reference some supposed vague statistics that you never actually produced, but I didn’t see an explanation of why you thought training works.

    Or what that training even looks like, for that matter.

    Not being picky, but since you mentioned it, lol.

    You said this;
    There are other people who will either commit or allow sadistic action. These people are weak and/or terrified. With proper training and with leadership who neither tolerates or engages in sadism, they will not coimmit crimes

    But you never even hint to how this miracle would be accomplished.

    I’m offering a real, action item. Something tangible, and functionable. Something that can work. If anyone has a better idea, and I’m sure theres some out there, then by all means let me hear it. Let everyone hear it. We need to do something.

    But your answer Jill, the “better training” doesn’t suggest anything about the training, or what it would like like, how it would be uniformly enforced, etc. What would this training be, that would teach a grown adult that kicking in the face of a blind woman is a bad idea?

    I always thought that was training provided in prison, but if you have a better idea I would love to hear it.

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