Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today's TASER Travesty

New Hanover County, North Carolina Sheriff Sid Causey has publicly apologized and promised to discipline five deputies after they TASERED a man while arresting him on a failure to surrender warrant.

At his father's funeral, at which he was a pallbearer, and while he was physically putting his father's body into the hearse.

"Relatives said two deputies dressed in coats and ties grabbed Russ and kneed him in his back before using a Taser on him. One deputy's gun fell out of its holster."

Yes, the doltish deputies who decided that this particular moment was the perfectly appropriate time to collar the man were undercover, in plainclothes. The story doesn't report if they actually identified themselves as police officers. We're guessing not. The poor mourners had no idea what was going on, and some were scared that it was some kind of crazy robbery attempt, apparently.

To be fair, the man, Gladwyn Taft Russ III, did have an active warrant out for his arrest. However, he had contacted the sheriff's office and promised to appear after the funeral, according to the article. He just wanted to bury his father first.

"When deputies approached Russ, he "went wild" and spat on the officer"

I suspect that just about anyone would behave the same way, given similar circumstances.

At any rate, at least Sheriff Causey seems to be a decent, professional law enforcement officer who is genuinely sorry that his dipstick officers caused such a gruesome, unnecessary scene, and he appears ready to impose severe punishment on them:

"'I apologize to anyone that was there,' Causey said. 'Family, friends, relatives. ... That was a bad decision.'"

Thank you for being a stand-up guy, Sheriff. That goes a long way around these parts.

A TASER is designed to be a "less-than lethal" weapon, to be deployed in defense of self and others ONLY. It simply has no place being used as a "compliance" tool, allowing FIVE lazy cops to effect an arrest on ONE distraught man at his own father's burial.

1 comment:

Macker said...

I smell a lawsuit!