Police Taser Man Sitting on His Front Porch

This video has raised objections over why police appear to walk up to a man sitting on his porch and taser him without any violent act on his part. There appears to be more to this story, however, given the large number of officers who are present. Does anyone know the back story? You can hear an officer yelling “Taser, Taser, Taser” — reminiscent of another such video.

What is equally disturbing is the neighbor who is taking the video and laughing at the scene of someone being hit by a 50,000 volt shock. He appears to find in enormously funny when someone is in pain. A voice is heard saying “it is about time” — indicating an earlier disturbance by the tasered man. However, these people need to seriously examine their sense of what is funny. I am not sure about the tasered man but I would not like to live across from people who find such violence to be a fun or funny distraction.

Once again, the question is why tasers have become the standard response to an uncooperative person — regardless of any sign of aggression or violence. It seems in too many videos to be a common measure to make people easier to deal with in such circumstance — despite the large number of officers present.

19 thoughts on “Police Taser Man Sitting on His Front Porch”

  1. I find that I have omitted a valuable blog from the list of taser related blogs that I provided earlier.

    It is Electrocuted while Black http://electrocutedwhileblack.blogspot.com/.

    The reason that I left it out was that I had conflated it in my mind with the similarly named “Tasered While Black”.

  2. Lottakatz,
    You are right that the change has already come. The difference is that those in power have it so thoroughly in hand that they can allow some dissent, which they know can’t touch them It is also easier to maintain control, if those under control don’t realize it. This is incidentally a world wide phenomena be it the US, UK or any of the other industrialized societies.

  3. AY,

    “Are you sure things have really changed that much?”

    Have you seen the Italian PM? Or any of them since WWII? If you’re a waistline or race Formula 1, modern Italy is a fearsome foe. Otherwise? Yeah, things have changed for the Italians a LOT since the Romans. But in general, you are correct. Things have not changed that much. We are still closer to mean poo flinging monkeys than we are to being civilized interstellar explorers. It’s the people that are scary – no matter their nationality, race or creed – not the tools. The tool itself remains ethically neutral until the supervention of a user (with very few exceptions – like biological weapons). This new tool is proving to be quite prone to abuse.

  4. lottakatz wrote: “We keep waiting for literal brown-shirts to patrol our streets, some obvious visible symbol of the fascist mentality that we can point to as historically resonant to alert people that the country has hit the bottom of that slippery slope that the Patriot Act started us down.”

    They’re already patrolling our streets (and entering our homes), but for now are below the radar of most.

  5. Mike Spindell, I agree with your last two postings, I’ve thought that the only difference between the bad old days and today is the tech. and that the pool of abuse victims has widened to include people that were off limits then, women, kids, handicapped and white males of other than the ‘lower’ class. IMO that tells us something profound about the relationship of the citizen to the government.

    We keep waiting for literal brown-shirts to patrol our streets, some obvious visible symbol of the fascist mentality that we can point to as historically resonant to alert people that the country has hit the bottom of that slippery slope that the Patriot Act started us down. I think we are seeing it now, almost daily and that the local law enforcement have been re-purposed and militarized to do what troops were called upon to do in previous eras.

    IMO the coup has come and gone, we are no longer a democracy with a Bill of Rights and while we wait for the olive green flatbeds to arrive and disgorge their contingent of troops to patrol our streets as the bellweather of the new regime we didn’t notice (in any meaningful way) the local police being turned into the first line of widespread oppression.

  6. A followup thought just came to me on all of this and while I deplore the tasering practice on all counts, what we’re seeing in these incidents is an improvement over the past. Much action by the police has always been brutal especially to people of color and people who were in poverty. The “rubber hose” method of interrogation was commonly used throughout the country to coerce confessions. The billy club and nightstick administered rough justice on the street. Police would routinely allow lynchings in the South of Blacks and in many cases participate under white robes.

    The truth is that as egregious as things are today, in many places in the past the police were owned outright by local gangsters, or local businessmen. LA imported officers from the south to keep down their Mexican and black populations. Union organization was stifled with the help of local law enforcement.

    With the advent of mass media and now videos so commonplace, this has brought to clear light, what was only hinted at, though totally real in the past. So in a sense, while very far from the societal standards I believe are absolutely necessary, this has decreased. Yet the constant barrage of fearful propaganda and admiring TV dramas has turned the public from being rightly suspicious of police actions, to support of the even more draconian ones.

  7. “Once again, the question is why tasers have become the standard response to an uncooperative person — regardless of any sign of aggression or violence.”

    My answer is that this has become a way for police to administer their own justice through direct punishment. The case may be overturned in court, but at least the miscreant got something that was deserved. This falls into the common police meme these days of we arrest them and the damn system lets them go free. Now they have what they see as a method of administering their own equivalent of “30 lashes,” without having the court judge if the arrest was justified.

  8. Buddha Is Laughing,

    “What if the Romans had had tasers?”

    No, the Romans were terrifying enough with bronze weapons and ballistic siege engines.

    Are you sure things have really changed that much?

  9. Carlyle,

    Thanks for the links. “Excited delirium” is the attempt to medicalize abuse by law enforcement out of existence, something we are familiar with in our govt.’s actions on torture. This is like saying the detainees on hunger strike are engaging in asymetic warfare.

    “Excited delirium is a controversial term used to explain deaths of individuals in police custody, in which the person being arrested or restrained shows some combination of agitation, violent or bizarre behavior, insensitivity to pain, elevated body temperature, or increased strength.[1] It has been listed as a cause of death by some medical examiners.[2][3]

    It only appears as a cause of death where police are involved in restraining agitated individuals.[4][5] The term has no formal medical recognition and is not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There may also be a controversial link between “excited delirium” deaths and the use of Tasers to subdue agitated people.[6] In August 2007, three months before Robert Dziekański died shortly after being tasered at Vancouver International Airport. Based on that situation the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has changed its protocol on Taser use. It previously discouraged multiple Taser shocks, but now recommends multiple shocks to bring a subject under control more quickly, under certain circumstances. They believe that multiple Taser jolts may lessen the risks of prolonged and dangerous struggle.[7]”

  10. Digby, filling in for Glen Greenwald who is on holiday put this excellent post on Glen Greenwald’s Salon blog a few days ago.


    If you want to keep up to date with the taser controversy there are at least four excellent blogs in the following list:-

    Excited-Delirium.com http://excited-delirium.blogspot.com/.
    Tasered While Black http://taseredwhileblack.blogspot.com/.
    Tasered While Latino http://taseredwhilelatino.blogspot.com/.
    TNT – Truth … not TASERS http://truthnottasers.blogspot.com/.

    I recommend going through the archives of Excited-Delirium.com and TNT Truth Not Tasers if you are more than a little interested in this issue. These two blogs have something new almost every day, the other two are worth visiting once a week as they are updated much less frequently. TNT has very good coverage of the Braidwood inquiry in British Columbia into the taser execution of Robert Dziekanski. Excited-Delirium.com has much information on debunking the “Tasers are completely safe” propaganda of the manufacturer and police apologists.

  11. JT.

    I am not so sure that the laughter is malicious appreciation of the event, it sound very much like “nervous laughter” indicating shock or incredulityto me.

  12. Jill,

    “What if the Romans had had tasers?”

    Aside from the obvious cruelties they’d use tasers for, the Romans might have gotten us to the moon by about 1500 if they’d had the underlying technology to build tasers contemporaneously to the life of Christ.

    But it would have been bad for the non-Romans and enemies of the state. Yes, indeed. Just think of what they could have done to the level of carnage by just adding electric agitator collars to the animals in the Coliseum? No, the Romans were terrifying enough with bronze weapons and ballistic siege engines.

  13. I think that it is commendable that the Sheriff’s department did not call Childrens Protective Services to take care of the children.

  14. I had the pleasure of reading the account by the Creation Museum on the day they were “visited” by the angles of death, aka, a group of atheists. It was unintentinally hillarious with many references to “mocking” behavior by said evil-doer atheists. But it did get me thinking about Jesus and the Garden of Gethsemane. What if the Romans had had tasers?

    I’m hoping someone will make the arrest and passion of christ using a montage of video from many of the innocent civilians the police have tasered. It could be a very powerful video, even for evil doer atheists.

    (Here’s a link to the mocking:)


  15. Surprised you missed this one:


    “How does a law-abiding mom driving home with two kids end up being Tasered, handcuffed and arrested — while her children are left alone for 40 minutes in the car, waiting for someone to come get them?

    That’s a question that Audra Harmon hopes will be answered by a lawsuit she has filed against the Onondaga County (N.Y.) Sheriff’s Department. In the process, she and her attorney told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira Friday in New York, they hope to spur a debate over whether police should be carrying Tasers at all.”


  16. I looked for more info and could not find anything but this link and the comments below:


    I tried finding more information about this, but failed.

    I’m curious why the commentator said “it’s about time” when the man was tasered. He must have some history with the law or something?

    However, I find it hard to justify a group of police officers walking up to a person sitting peacefully and tasering him as the first action.

  17. I’m worried (notionally) that we, the public, are becoming “familiarized” with the practice of tasering. Seeing it done so much that the reaction becomes a shrug, it being impossible to maintain outrage indefinitely. This creeping barrage of emotional conditioning is leading us towards the state of mind that had Romans laughing and eating grapes at the theatre as they watched somebody pulled apart by lions. We’re not at Circus Maximus yet but the Empire is in a similar decline. Give it 50 years.

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