Tuesday, May 04, 2010
The Monday morning quarterbacking is in full swing here in the Philadelphia area, and around the country, regarding an incident which took place during the Phillies-Cards game last night. A 17 year-old male ran out onto the field at Citizens Bank Park, and Phillies security personnel tried to run after him, plus one Philadelphia policeman (in the light blue shirt), who shot him with a Taser.
The law enforcement policies of different municipalities vary somewhat with respect to the use of non-lethal force -- when it is indicated and when it is not. There have been many reports which call into question exactly how non-lethal the Taser technology is, since there are quite a number of instances of lethal side effects. The downside of not stopping the intruder as quickly as possible is the chance that he could injure himself or a player, and of course, in that moment, it is not known with certainty whether he is armed in some fashion. This particular policeman evidently acted within the guidelines set forth by the Philadelphia police department, and is being supported by his Police Commissioner. There is discussion in the Department and with the Phillies, however, as to whether police will become involved in any such future incidents, or simply allow Phillies security personnel to deal with the situation (if the latter is the case, the Phillies might want to lend first base coach and former base-stealer Davey Lopes to security to teach them how to run faster).
What say you?
A taser is only a semi-nonlethal device, using it casually is a great danger to the fiscal pocketbook of the city. "Stop! *Zzzaap!* Hey Bob, he's not breathing." can wind up running a city millions of dollars worth of lawsuits, not to mention the hazards of making a taser a first choice instead of the second to last choice.
In short, the police should have the authority to use a taser on somebody they are unable to restrain in any other reasonable fashion, but the common sense not to unless they really have no other choice.
Bet 'cha behind the scenes, that officer is getting the dressing down of his life, as well as some criticism from his fellow officers. Or at least I would hope so.
After watching the video I'd say the situation warranted use of reasonable force - neither the police nor security can ever tell what the individual's motives are, or whether they are concealing a weapon. Remember Monica Seles in 1993?
It's not like he slipped onto the field accidentally and security sent in the Predator Drones.
Back in the late '60s, the willfully moronic thought it was cool to interrupt professional football games by running around on the field. This had gone on for a couple of seasons, until one idiot ran too close to a Bears huddle. Mike Ditka decked him with a forearm shiver, to a roar of cheers from the fans. There weren't many idiots running onto football fields after that.
At the time, the nation wasn't beset by terrorists acting alone or as part of a group. Today we are. Baseball players are too soft and ignorant to deal with this sort of thing effectively. The waste of human flesh couldn't be clearly identified as not a threat (that he probably was not isn't good enough, given the stakes), and so he got what he deserved: he got tased.
Where's Ditka when you need him?
Key factor: what is least likely to cause the police officer to endure even a scratch? Not dispositive, but key.
Taser. Wonderful technology even if it is lethal sometimes. And if there is a civil liability issue, the legislature(s) should address it as they deem fit.
Tase 'im, blue ... but be very careful please you don't miss and hit a New York Met.
The Taser in the hands of many cops is just legalized torture.
Where are all "don't torture information out of the terrorists" crowd when people are being tortured and in some cases killed by the cops?
The Taser was supposed to be a substitute for deadly force, not the first response by cops to someone who dosen't "Respect their Athorata".
Yep, Web(no)sense blocked a bunch of Blogspot blogs here just recently. TH, Directorblue...
And since Websense is the web blocker that the Federal Government uses, now these blogs who publish material critical to Obama can no longer be seen in D.C.
What an amazing coincidence.