Can You Hear Me Now? Police Officer Tasers High School Student In Dispute Over Use of Cellphone

180px-m26_taserA police officer assigned to a Penn Hills, Pennsylvania high school tasered a student who allegeldy refused to end his conversation on a cell phone and then pushed away the officer’s arm.

Students are allowed to use cell phones but only for emergencies during school hours. It is not clear if the officer then allowed the student to his cell phone for an emergency call after being tasered.

Chief Howard Burton sees the use of a taser as perfectly appropriate in such a situation: “The kid refused to listen. The officer took him by the arm and said, ‘You have to go to the office.’ The student resisted, pushed the officer. The officer, defending himself, took out his stun gun and did a drive stun.” Burton’s reaction to the tasering reflects the increasingly reflective use of the weapon in a wide variety of circumstances where force might have been avoided. It seems to fall into the old military adage that, when you only have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Where an officer might have grabbed hold of the student or issued another warning in prior years, the availability of the taser allows for this type of escalation of force. While we should know more facts about the level of resistance (and whether it was simply a case of the student pulling or swatting back the officer’s hand) the use of the device in the school over such a minor matter is troubling. It is also curious to see an officer policing the halls for such school violations as use of a cellphone as opposed to focusing on security issues.

We have seen a regular array of such taser cases in questionable circumstances recently, here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

In fairness to the officers, another officer found a loaded gun in the bag of another student that day (though the authorities indicated that the eleven-year-old girl might not have known that it was in the bag).

Burton says that the student continued to resist on the floor and had to be handcuffed. The student complained of dizziness following the tasering and was sent to a hospital.

For the full story, click here and here.

43 thoughts on “Can You Hear Me Now? Police Officer Tasers High School Student In Dispute Over Use of Cellphone”

  1. J Gloss,

    I just had a question about your comment about the woman in the bar u made……I thought that by law you can only use the same amount of harm against someone that is being done to yourself….For example if someone punches you in the face…you can’t grab something and hit them with it like a broken beer bottle or a knife… can only punch them back in self defense….Also if your being attacked I thought that you had to try to find a way to avoid the situation and leave…if that is not possible by any means and your life is in danger you can only use force that is greater and sadly you can kill them….Correct me if I am wrong….

  2. The cop or any school has the right to touch someone just cuase they are on the phone, the police thought he could use his badge to inforce a rule that isn’t a law police inforce the law and there isn’t any school rule that when violated give them the right to assault someone , police put their hand on people for breaking the law not for random rule based on the location they’re at .

    “Fascism [(fash-iz-uhm)]
    A system of government that flourished in Europe from the 1920s to the end of World War II. Germany under Adolf Hitler, Italy under Mussolini, and Spain under Franco were all fascist states. As a rule, fascist governments are dominated by a dictator, who usually possesses a magnetic personality, wears a showy uniform, and rallies his followers by mass parades; appeals to strident nationalism; and promotes suspicion or hatred of both foreigners and “impure” people within his own nation, such as the Jews in Germany. Although both communism and fascism are forms of totalitarianism, fascism does not demand state ownership of the means of production, nor is fascism committed to the achievement of economic equality. In theory, communism opposes the identification of government with a single charismatic leader (the “cult of personality”), which is the cornerstone of fascism. Whereas communists are considered left-wing, fascists are usually described as right-wing.”
    fasc´ism Pronunciation: făsh´ĭz’m
    “A political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government; – opposed to democracy and liberalism.”
    a political system based on a very powerful leader, state control and extreme pride in country and race, and in which political opposition is not allowed

    1 someone who supports fascism
    2 a person of the far right in politics
    3 DISAPPROVING someone who does not allow any opposition”

    Three definitions of Fascism/Fascist from different, non political sources. Found by 15 minutes of Googling. Jonah Goldberg was, is and always will be a man born on third base who thought he hit a triple, like GW Bush. His book was a laughable screed by a little rich boy, who has been proven wrong in so many predictions, that if it wasn’t for his influential in Republican Politics Mother and his trust fund he’d be unemployed. Kind of like William Kristol.

    Your last few posts essentially were of the childish “Nyahh! Nyahh! Nyahh!….I’m right, Your wrong variety.” I would expect that from an 8 year old, rather than an adult.

    “Mr Spindell,
    You crack me up! You pride yourself as an intellectual and some kind of expert of history and the constitution taking hand picked bits and pieces from both which bring you to your ill conceived illogical conclusions that in your mind support your socialist ideology.”

    Show me where in any of my comments I’ve called myself an intellectual or an expert on anything. I didn’t, you can’t.
    As a matter of fact there were two comments in the last week where I specifically said I supported Capitalism. Your problem is rather than deal with people’s words and beliefs, you deal with myths about them, driven into your skull by the actions of your own prejudiced nature. You are the real believer in a political religion here and you are too lacking in self awareness to even know it. The more you write the more you show yourself to be just the perfect little Nazi I was talking about: Someone who follows authorities blindly. You’re not even aware that true conservatives would never act that way.

    The truly ignorant person is one who is unaware of his/her own prejudices. You fit that mold. Note: I’m not calling you stupid which I don’t think you are. However, you are quite ignorant which is a different matter. The ignorant person is one unable to look beyond their own beliefs, to test those beliefs out in their own minds and who blindly follows the authorities that they feel express their prejudices. You fit into this category and for that reason there is nothing to be gained in needlessly tormenting you with facts, which you are incapable of absorbing, not because of stupidity, but because of prejudice.

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