Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Slice, Light, and Fire

Taser vs. Gun Topic #3,490,287,478

Discussion with some of my peeps lately has opened my eyes once again to the public's perception of law enforcement. I continue to be amazed at the lack of educated minds in my field. It is not because people are stupid. It is because they believe a certain way or they lack education on the subject.

For instance, the Knightstown Chief of Police recently got tased for charity to earn money for his department to afford equipment. Thank you, baby Jesus, our Chief never sacrificed the lambs of CPD for this event, nor ever had to do it himself, although I would have paid to see it. We always had large grants or a nice fat budget. Here, in Indiana, I am seeing that they have neither. I don't know if they just don't go after the grant money available, don't qualify, or don't know about it. It's out there. You do, however, have to fill out piles of paperwork and some things have strings. Maybe not all of it applies or departments don't want to comply with grant requirements. Our state offered a LOT of money in alcohol and tobacco grants as well. Not sure this state does that. I am surprised, however, at the continual lack of funding for first responders? Where is all the money going? We even have casinos and lottery here. It surely isn't going for road repair and infrastructure. Someone needs to dig deep into the state funding and cut the fat, and get to crackalackin' before things get real tough around here...like we have to have officers take a bullet for charity or something real stupid like that.

Knightstown was successful and the community also got an education in the Taser. This brought up lively discussion amongst my friends and coworkers who know I am a former cop. They told me, "You know, it is really nice that police have Tasers so they don't have to shoot people." The discussion led to the fact that a lot of people believe a Taser should always be used to disarm someone who is threatening an officer or person with a knife. I said, "No, mostly I would shoot that person."

Enter shocked looks and dropped jaws.

I gave a scenario...

A Taser would only be used in a very rare circumstance, like I shot the person holding a knife in the back while the cover officer had a gun on him and we could do it fast enough not to get cut. Rare instance.

Enter shocked looks and dropped jaws.

I don't know if I could ever convince the public with the preconceived notions in their heads. Many I work with or know around here think all cops are crooked. Why? Because some of them around here are. But some aren't.

Here's what police training with a Taser looks like...

Although this was a pretty clean video. I have seen a LOT of cursing and strange phrases coming out of people's mouths.

I told them to erase the thought that the cops they know are crooked and look at it with new light, putting out scenarios, showing them videos. They really don't know how fast someone could kill with a knife and many think 7 feet is a safe enough distance to not get stabbed. Wrong.



The Taser does not replace a gun or even come close. We don't use Tasers instead of guns and most often not in life threatening instances or against deadly weapons. Tasers are mostly used for non-compliant individuals that get physical, fleeing unarmed felons, or suspects who resist, fight, or threaten to fight, for examples. We use Tasers instead of beating them with nightsticks when possible. It's just a tool on our belt. It's not the SAVE-ALL device of the world.


Yeah, sometimes the Taser doesn't work.


Yes, because it doesn't work on all persons because of pain tolerance, alcohol or drug induced individuals, or missed shots, or other problems including device malfunctions or operator errors.

Then, what?

Beat them? Shoot them?


It's a tool. It's not the Light Saber. It's not the answer to a deadly situation. Some people will be killed by cops. It's the way it is.

If you don't believe these guys...what about these guys?

How about these dudes?

Use of Force. Google it.

And what if a cop doesn't have a Taser?


Yeah. Some departments don't have them. Some cops don't have them. We aren't required to use Tool 1 then Tool 2 in the continuum of Use of Force. You may have to skip tools. That's why cops are trained very well for the situations they may face and should recognize what they have to do. Sometimes, yes, they make mistakes.

Don't be so judgy. That is a word.

Ok. I feel better now. Whew. Like I had been tased or something.


Coffeypot said...

What do you expect? You work with a bunch of liberal academics. There world is peachy, not real.

Old NFO said...

Good precis of REALITY! :-)

Mad Jack said...

Well, you know there's two sides to every quarter.

Main Lady once asked me why the police had to kill him (bad guy with katana), why couldn't they just shoot him in the leg? And why couldn't they shoot the gun out of his hand? I explained that they couldn't make the shot, then explained that even I couldn't make the shot. Reliably, anyway.

Then there's the other myth about shooting the bad guy and down he goes, DRT. This myth is supported by the myriad arguments about what caliber of gun to carry, and the general agreement to disagree.

Dropping this whole discussion like a package of week old lunch meat that's never seen refrigeration, consider that the police, just like every other profession, are going to exist with varying degrees of competency. The cops I rode along with are absolutely stellar examples of what a policeman should be. Not all are. That's the way the world works.

And now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for my mid-evening bourbon.

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
BRAVO...very well said!

Now, I've never been Tased, and don't plan to be, but if it's ANYTHING like taking B+ voltage across the chest (I'm NOT a TV tech - found that out the HARD way), then I'd steer clear of it.

Like a Phaser on heavy stun!

Every situationm IS (if nothing else)...DIFFERENT (to say the least) and the more tools you have the better, but when the rubber meets the road (and the perp meets the cuffs) an officer is trained to be required to do WHAT IS NECESARY to "eliminate the threat", (ASAP) and that "can" involve deadly force.

Goos post, Kiddo.

Roll safe (and stay warm) down there.

Slamdunk said...

Always good insights here MF. My agency did not approve officers using tasers until i was a short-timer. Prior to the approval, when a situation could have been remedied by a taser it was instead handled by the officer in the best way that he/she could. Unfortunately, this often resulted in using more force than would have been used if the taser were available. It is a difficult concept to comprehend for some in the public--being put into a situation as an officer placing someone under arrest and a defendant who has no intention of going to jail.

I hope you and the family are doing well.