Patterico's Pontifications

6/11/2009

Texas Constable Tasers Granny

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 7:03 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

This incident happened in mid-May and was covered by the Austin media last week, when Granny apparently went public. Now the story is getting online coverage, such as this Instapundit link of an analysis by the Wired.com Danger Room.

An extended video is posted by the Austin American-Statesman. The video plays in fits and starts on my computer but it shows more of what led up to the tasering.

Time for a poll:

Updated Thoughts: This occurred on Highway 71 near Bee Cave, an Austin suburb in the southwestern portion of Travis County. The location has been the scene of numerous fatal accidents that led TXDOT to begin emergency modifications to Highway 71. (That may be why there were repairs in that area.) The accidents have been more common when it rains. The video shows this incident happened on May 11, and the weather history for the Austin airport in southeastern Travis County shows it rained early and was humid later in the afternoon when this occurred.

— DRJ

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Don’t tase me, sonny!

63 Responses to “Texas Constable Tasers Granny”

  1. The only problem I have here is the officer could clearly over power her. Why he should have had to use physical force though? He gave her plenty of warnings and she was very confrontational. Not smart on her part.

    Plus, didn’t it seem like the cop was standing a little too close to the road? Oh, and I did vote yes.

    G (58c282)

  2. I’ve updated the post with background on Highway 71 and the weather. I’m not saying it should affect this incident but it might be interesting to have more context.

    DRJ (180b67)

  3. Yeah, the update really does help put in a great amount of context. Something I doubt you’d see in an article. Great job.

    G (58c282)

  4. When is it not OK to taser Granny?
    You don’t see her baking any cookies in that video do you?
    Didn’t think so…
    Unprofessional policemen are a liabilty and this guy should go home, rent Mall Cop, and learn to ride a Segway

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  5. Well, I’d say it wouldn’t be OK to taser Granny under different circumstances, like maybe being a bit older. In some cases I could imagine the possibility of a fall leading to a broken hip or something,

    G (58c282)

  6. I dunno much about cops and that “escalating use of force” or whatever they call it these days, but back in the day if you reported you’d had to tase grandma, the other cops would laugh you right out of the house.

    There has got to be at least a half dozen better ways to handle this and if this guy wants to keep his job he should rehearse those… by the way, if the grandma was black this guy would have bankrupted the whole county.

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  7. Any man who cannot deal with a 72-year old woman by taking his hat off, smiling, and calling her “ma’am”, is no man.

    nk (1ee3a9)

  8. What the heck is the difference if she
    signs or not?

    jack (d9cbc5)

  9. This is what The Andy Griffin Show would have been like…if Barney killed Andy, buried him in the basement, and had a tazer to use on Aunt Bea to keep her in line.

    Okay, it is not a total slam dunk in her favor because she said she was getting in her truck, but he could have easily overpowered her or blocked her from doing so. The officer was letting his own emotions go too. Reminded me a little of Andrew Sullivan, going after Sarah Palin (only difference being Sarah Palin could probably kick this cop’s and Andrew Sullivan’s ass at the same time).

    Joe (17aeff)

  10. Grannies have to obey the instructions of officers of the law just like everyone else. The officer is a taser instructor. She had it coming. His Sergeant says he’s cool.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  11. Key for me is when she says “give it to me and I’ll sign it” and control freak cop decides to say no..
    Sometimes it isn’t worth your job and the peoples money to be right and my clues on that are “traffic ticket, and 72 yr old grandma”.. dude, hand her the pen. If she wants to be a bitch so be it.

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  12. Do any of you know how many “grannies” in Texas pack heat?

    retire05 (27ac7e)

  13. Do any of you know how many “grannies” in Texas pack heat?

    Comment by retire05 — 6/11/2009 @ 8:16 pm

    Yeah, ok, but in this case she did not shoot the SOB.

    Anyway, I think I know that there are like a gazillion shitkicker police jurisdictions in Texas, with everybody’s unemployable cousin getting a badge and a gun, with no uniform qualification and training requirements. Am I wrong?

    nk (1ee3a9)

  14. Tasering grannies now. Texans can call that electoshock treatment for the elderly when national healthcare is established. And even bill Medicare.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  15. When they start tazering illegals crossing the boarder, let us know.

    Joe (17aeff)

  16. border that is.

    Joe (17aeff)

  17. What they did not tell you is Grannie had Oklahoma plates, that is why the officer’s boss said he was “okay.”

    Joe (17aeff)

  18. Evidently he missed the lesson on deescalation. She was confrontational and uncooperative, without a doubt, but he is just as confrontational as she is. I guess the badge gives him the right to be a jerk. Perhaps a better way to handle this would have been to remain calm, keep her in the car in the first place, and try to resolve it.

    In my opinion, a taser is less-lethal (not non-lethal) force. Although the burden shouldn’t be as high as the burden for using lethal force, a police officer should not be allowed to resort to a taser unless there is risk to life or property. There is neither here.

    I think the taser is viewed by too many officers as a tool for enforcing compliance and not as a tool for preventing injury.

    Verdict: Mediocre cop — incapable of keeping his ego in check and doing his job. As my parents used to regularly remind me (and I now remind my children), be the bigger man and let it go.

    Steve (81dc80)

  19. If you don’t want to ride the lightning, allow yourself to be arrested and processed at the jail.

    If you don’t want to be arrested, sign the ticket that is your promise to appear.

    Sensible people know that the side of the road is a poor place to play amateur lawyer. Not a lot of sensible people out there, I guess.

    pdb (b467f9)

  20. pdb

    I agree

    It isn’t wise.
    But the constable could have been wiser.
    We pay Police to be wise, the woman with the bad attitude? Not so much… well unless some dumbass unleashes the Taser on a 72 yr old b**** instead of letting her sign the ticket

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  21. Just a comment in general. If there has to be a physical altercation there is the opportunity for injury no matter what happens. If the officer has to restrain a flailing arm of an elderly person they could just as easily break the arm. If the person loses balance and goes down you’re risking a hip fracture, and elderly people can die of pneumonia while bed-bound waiting for a hip fracture to heal.

    Yes, a good cop could handle some situations in a way that prevents the escalation, but once the escalation starts, it’s not like every cop is Walker and can judge the exact amount of force needed for each situation.

    I think the taser is viewed by too many officers as a tool for enforcing compliance and not as a tool for preventing injury
    I imagine you’re right, but as you suggest they are linked. A compliant captive will be less likely to get hurt or injure a police officer. A tazer is probably better then several officers physically manhandling someone who is fighting getting the cuffs on.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  22. Why did he get her out of the car in the first place, especially in such a dangerous area? It was a speeding ticket, not a contraband stop. If she refuses to sign, you note that, try to hand her a ticket, and even if she crumples it up and throws it away the appearance citation is on the books once you file it. You move on.

    Yes, yes, granny is a crazy, disrespectful bitch who should just cooperate with police like we all should, even if the police aren’t acting completely correctly.

    But I don’t understand why he hauled her out of the car in the first place, and then escalated the situation to the point where he had to tazer her. At worst, he could have simply crowded her onto the hood or trunk of either car without electrifying her.

    I actually live in Travis County, and the media here isn’t running in favor of the Sheriff’s office, and yet also everyone’s conceding that the woman is a crazy coot. It’s more like, deputies have a tough job, and the people they stop often act irrationally and against their own interests, but geez this could have been much better handled for at least a half dozen reasons.

    Aplomb (5a3869)

  23. “a police officer should not be allowed to resort to a taser unless there is risk to life or property. There is neither here.”

    Steve – The officer stated he was worried about her going onto the roadway and endangering her life. Why are you reluctant to let him do his job?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  24. Also, just to give more context, you can find a longer, uncensored video
    here, which especially raises the question why she was hauled out of her car (which is not the norm for speeding stops.

    Aplomb (5a3869)

  25. Aplomb – It doesn’t matter why she was hauled out. Once she’s out, what matters is the physical behavior leading up to the tasering.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  26. Why couldn’t the officer just gotten Obama on the phone and let him plead with her. I am sure she would have relented.

    It just goes to show ya, Don’t Mess With Texas. And that goes for both of them.

    Alta Bob (9f2c33)

  27. Daley, it does matter why she was hauled out, in that there was no reason she should have been hauled out, so like anyone else who hates getting bullied unreasonably by uniformed police she got angry. Right or wrong, it’s a natural reaction not in a “let’s think about it when we are safe in our homes” context but in a situation where it is happening right now. I think people should strive to cooperate with police whenever the police are at least sticking to the forms of acting reasonably, but it’s not an unreasonable reaction to get upset when the police go into physical bullying mode for no other reason than the injured pride of the police or the idea that everyone has to follow their orders or face the consequences. It’s actually an admirable reaction by a free citizen who is simply not willing to comply with unreasonable actions by a person wearing an official uniform; i.e., anyone who refuses to believe they live in a police state should have a right to object to excessive treatment.

    But conceding that point, watch the longer video. The deputy isn’t concerned about her physical behavior or safety (She’s safely in her truck, and he’s the one arguably standing in the road when he pulls her out to join him in the zone of physical danger). The only reason he hauled her out is she refused to sign and made a bluff to haul her in. He actually calls that bluff, even though as has been made clear over the last few days that is no reason to take anyone to jail in Travis County for speeding, or for refusal to sign a speeding ticket, or even for urging the cop to haul them to jail for refusing to sign. (To be clearer, it is no reason to remove a person from a car or arrest them because they refuse to sign a speeding ticket in Travis County, Texas; it happens all the time and the proper response is to let them deal with non-appearance at their hearings and the subsequent arrest warrants as they later happen.)

    He hauls her out of the car onto the side of the road, she goes willingly, he then shoves a 72 year old woman back, and when she expresses offense to that unwarranted physical treatment he doesn’t explain the dangers of doing this on the side of the road, he immediately reaches for a taser.

    He’s not there to keep her safe, he’s there to make her submit to his authority. He screams at her, pushes her, and ultimately tases her.

    All for a situation where the deputy could just write up the situation, accept the verbal abuse from a motorist angry they got a ticket, and move on. Like most good highway police do every day. Like, as a resident of Travis County, I have heard better trained city and county officers say should have happened, both personally, in the press, and on the radio.

    Just think about it. You are an Austin police officer or Travis County deputy trained to handle a wide range of responses to routine citations and interventions. Stuff like this happens every day, from people far more intimidating than 72 year old great grandmothers, that never escalate to this point, because of smart officers and good training.

    From what I can tell, other officers in the area are torn between standing behind a fellow officer, and infuriated by some idiot who handled the situation all wrong and calls all of their competency and judgment into question.

    Aplomb (5a3869)

  28. 1. Why was she taken out of the car?
    She said she wasn’t going to sign it, take me to jail. He told her to get on out there.

    2. Why, when she said she would sign the ticket, did he not allow her to do so?

    3. Why did he push her after yanking the ticket book out of her reach?

    4. Why did he then escalate the incident by telling her that he was going to tase her and then trying to handcuff her?

    Seems to me that this guy got angry and let his emotions run away with him.

    Jay Curtis (8f6541)

  29. The Taser is supposed to be an alternative to lethal force, not a means to enforce submission or to punish disrespect. This should not happen in this country. If this Officer could not handle a small 72 year old granny then any normal man would have shoved that Taser up his butt. We are legally required to obey a police officer’s orders. Are we also required to show obeisance and submission? If he did not have the Taser could he put her in a choke hold and make her “dance the chicken”? The officer was in no danger except to his ego. He should not have a gun or a badge.

    We don’t allow torture to get vital information from terrorists but we can torture old ladies to teach them who’s boss?

    Machinist (6218d0)

  30. 1. It’s obvious to me that he could have physically restrained her.

    2. Given the camera, any questions of inappropriate contact or unjustified restraint wouldn’t hold up.

    3. He could have waited for backup while physically restraining her.

    4. Her behavior, while disrespectful, stupid and dangerous, did not at any time threaten the officer.

    5. She might have been in an altered mental state or simply confused — short term memory is an issue in the aged. (Not sure she should have been driving if so, but I’m sure that she’s had to defend her right to drive already now.)

    So, no, there was no good reason to tase her. If he had not had that option, would clubbing her have been justified?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  31. You need to wait about 5 minutes for the download to complete. It streams much slower than it plays.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  32. The cop decided to play mind games. I don’t care how you slice it, this is bad policing. If his intention were to actually arrest her upon refusal to sign, fine. Order her out and unequivocally order her to assume the position behind the car and cuff her.

    Instead, we get a mind game and a “who’s is bigger?” contest. If this is an example of the typical patrolman in this county, somebody best retrain them.

    You have a gun, officer. Figure out what you want to do and go about your business. If you aren’t sure what to do, do NOT escalate. You want validation as a man? Don’t do it wearing blue.

    Ed from SFV (a53c07)

  33. Daleyrocks: The officer stated he was worried about her going onto the roadway and endangering her life. Why are you reluctant to let him do his job?

    Yet the tasering endangered her life as well. Sorry, it seems more like refusing to take guff than worrying about her safety. If her safety was his primary concern, leaving her in the truck cab would have been the logical course. So, nice try, but no.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  34. I have been reading posts about this story on officer.com, Danger room and other places. It seems that most Law Enforcement personnel are of the opinion that the cop was justified in tasering her. After repeatedly watching the video, after the officer opened her car door and told her to get out, she changed her mind and said she would sign the ticket.

    From that point on, everything else is a direct response to his escalating the situation. He could have allowed her to sign and leave. He could have not pushed her. He could have not reached for his taser as a first response. Everything he did directly triggered a further escalation from her.

    I am not in law enforcement. I do not have a degree in criminal justice or anything else. I do have a number of friends and family members that are in law enforcement, though. I know how to be polite, defuse tense situations and avoid unnecessary violence. I was under the impression that LEOs were supposed to be similarly trained.

    I am very disappointed that so the blue wall is so prominent in these posts. LEOs can make mistakes. They can be wrong and when they are, other LEOs blindly supporting them simply because they wear a badge is even more egregious than the original infraction.

    If he is out of line, make him man up and take the heat. When he is actually in the right, then support him to the end.

    Jay Curtis (8f6541)

  35. I was a cop and carried a Taser. Personally I wouldn’t have tased grandma but I see how it came to that.

    Our Taser training stressed that the device was very low on our use of force scale. Right after verbal commands, really.

    A three-second application of the taser was very painful but left no injury (I know, I know – I’ve read Radley Balko and the stories of how many people Tasers have “killed”). Many cops have to get tazed in training.

    Grabbing or hitting someone left bruises or other injuries. It also puts the officer closer to a suspect increasing the officer’s risk of injury.

    Drill that into someone enough and it’s easy to see how that guy decided a Taser was his best course of action after he decided he just had to have that signature.

    Reader15 (e1964d)

  36. In Illinois, maybe thirty years ago, the Illinois Supreme Court, by rule, established a uniform complaint for all police, statewide. It can be used to charge anything short of a felony. The only signature is the officer’s, under oath.

    nk (1ee3a9)

  37. Our Taser training stressed that the device was very low on our use of force scale. Right after verbal commands, really.

    […]

    Grabbing or hitting someone left bruises or other injuries.

    This, to my mind, is the problem, and related. That it doesn’t leave the typical indications of use of force makes people think it is less serious than it is. I do think tasers are massively overused, not as an alternative to lethal force, but as pain compliance.

    Training should be changed when grandmas are being tased for being lippy (and my first reaction, was that this guy should be laughed at in public for the rest of his career as the Cop who was Afraid of Big Bad Granny).

    It may have been a ‘justified’ use of force in terms of policy and training, but that hardly makes it justified in terms of living in a society where cops are supposed to be public servants. He did clearly escalate the situation and clearly has an authoritay problem. Reminds me of some frustrated little middle manager types I’ve worked with in the past, only they didn’t get to play with pain compliance tools to boost their egos.

    fishbane (41d01a)

  38. nk: “with no uniform qualification and training requirements. Am I wrong?”

    Yep, in Texas you have to pass an officer’s qualification course and be sponsored by an law enforcement entity such as the Sherriffs office or Constable’s district.

    Although, that really doesn’t say anything about the quality of the course other than it meets minimum state standards.

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  39. “Steve – The officer stated he was worried about her going onto the roadway and endangering her life. Why are you reluctant to let him do his job?”

    I’m afraid you might hurt yourself in the road, so I am going to zap you 50,000 volts, and make you writhe in agony on the shoulder of a busy highway??

    Chris G (4b7853)

  40. Thank you, GM. I’m glad to be wrong about this. With 254 counties and God only knows how many nome-rule municipalities, a statewide standard for police is vital.

    nk (1ee3a9)

  41. There was a case, out of Texas, a few years back that made it to the U.S. Supreme Court about a lady who was taken into custody just for not wearing a seatbelt. A $50.00 offense. That’s all. The officer just happened to be a big fan of seatbelts.

    nk (1ee3a9)

  42. I usually always give the police the benefit of the doubt, but this was just ridiculous – no reason for the officer to so completely lose control of the situation. Another Barney Fife who’s only a cop for the power and control he has over others – disgraceful, no matter what the abusive granny was saying to him at the time.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  43. I voted “no”. I normally side with the LEO, I know how tough their job is and the people they have to deal with daily, but you have to know when to let it go. I do not think the tasering was appropriate because I believe there were better options; not because I think it was “wrong”.

    Thomas (4d15b9)

  44. Aplomb,

    Much of Highway 71 has a narrow shoulder so Granny’s truck is stopped next to the traffic lane. If the Constable had stood by the driver’s window to discuss the ticket he would be too near the traffic and might even be standing in the highway. You can see how close they are in the video, and I assume that’s why he was trying to move Granny away from the road. It also appears they had passed the construction zone by the time she stopped/he stopped her, so this could be an area with a 60 mph speed limit.

    DRJ (180b67)

  45. @MD in Philly – A compliant captive will be less likely to get hurt or injure a police officer. The flip side of that is that if he’d been a little more like Walker and a little less like a thug with a badge, he could have found a way to resolve the problem without needing to arrest her or use the taser. I’d hate to see how he would handle my 12-year-old daughter, because she’s skilled at abusing the ego.

    I don’t think she really wanted to be arrested — she just wanted to be a jerk. She succeeded in being a jerk and he took the bait. If he had remained calm and let her little passive-aggresive spell pass, the situation probably could have been defused, she would have signed the ticket, and everyone would have been fine. That wasn’t likely to happen because he was too concerned about getting her to comply to his authority.

    It’s a nasty feedback loop we’re in. People resist the authority of police officers because some officers abuse their authority. That makes it more likely that the abusers will try harder to enforce their authority, which in turn makes the resisters that much more resistant.

    Steve (81dc80)

  46. DON’T TAZE ME, BRO !

    JD (321903)

  47. Bad attitude by everyone – but the cop’s paid not to escalate. Throwing down the clipboard before telling her to put her hands behind her back?

    He’s not even trying to de-escalate. He’s looking for a fight, and she’s happy to give it to him.

    The cop needs, at the very least, some substantial additional training.

    The idea that tased granny=bad cop is absurd, but this case isn’t good.

    –JRM

    JRM (de6363)

  48. Steve-

    I agree that the officer should have been able to manage himself and hence the situation better. I was reacting I guess to the issue being presented being the use of the taser.

    While very different from the granny scenario, my general point is illustrated by the following:
    A few weeks ago my son and his partner respond to a call about a “disturbance”. They find the first floor corner business with doors open but abandoned, then hear something from a second floor doorway above the building. My son encounters a youngish fellow over 6 ft, 250+ lbs in a doorway who will not show his right hand in spite of repeated warnings with his gun drawn, a man and woman visible inside looking nervous. The male victim then yells, “He’s got a gun” and dives to tackle the suspect, I guess while he is trying to load the chamber for my son. Scuffle ensues, suspect gets by son and goes down the stairs (suspect did not have gun drawn/visible at this time). Runs into several officers at the bottom of stairway. My son has come down and has taken a handgun from suspects coat pocket. He is fighting the police while they are trying to cuff him. What is safer, several cops trying to physically manage a formidable suspect, or step back and taser? In the struggle, if cops don’t use adequate force quickly enough, maybe he gets one of their guns; if they make sure they use enough force, maybe broken bones or a concussion. The situation wasn’t immediately life threatening, but potentially so, and tazing may have been safer than the guy needing to be conked over the head with a nightstick.

    Just saying. Like giving an infant a vaccine, you have to hold the child tight enough that it may seem crual, in fact some moms just can’t find the ability to do it. But that’s safer than trying to vaccinate a moving target. Maybe it’s a trivial side point. I mean the guy had a gun, wouldn’t show a hand, and bystander yelled, “He has a gun”. My son probably would have been justified shooting him in his exposed left side even without seeing the gun directly. So he’s lucky he only got tased, and my son is fortunate the victim took action.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  49. MD, let’s see.

    A police officer responding to a disturbance, then encounters a “youngish fellow over 6 ft, 250+ lbs ” who is armed — and is ultimately tazed.

    A traffic-stop of an elderly lady who initially refuses to sign a ticket and then subsequently changes her mind — and is ultimately tazed.

    Your son is a hero; the other guy, not so much.

    Pons Asinorum (737506)

  50. @MD in Philly: Your son’s situation is a textbook example of when a taser is appropriate. It’s reasonable for the officers to assume that there was an direct threat to the safety of the officers and the others involved in the incident and no other way to safely resolve the situation.

    I don’t even think they needed to wait for the gun warning — there was a strong perceived risk of serious harm if they let it go on and everything the suspect was doing reinforced the perceived risk. That’s enough of a threat for me. Shooting would have also been justified, but the taser presents a less-lethal option and minimizes risk to the victims standing behind him.

    Having watched the video, I don’t see that kind of imminent danger from the belligerent granny.

    Steve (81dc80)

  51. Lots of chuckles over “granny.” Seemingly off everyone’s radar is that an 88 year old “gramps” was sure capable of wreaking havoc.

    Frank (d9fa21)

  52. I appreciate and enjoy the discussions I read here at Patterico’s site. Thanks as well to the commenters.

    I agree with the idea presented here: the Officer should have made more of an attempt to de-escalate. I strongly disagree with the point of saying “granny” was not a threat. Any person who is willing to fight is a threat. Even though the Officer is larger, younger and trained to subdue a person, going hands on is not without serious risk.

    Examples:
    1. 64 year old grandma stabs a man in the chest and back with a screwdriver, killing him.

    2. 12 year old boy slashes mother’s attacker across neck with a knife, killing him.

    Even if the Officer got “granny” in cuffs without breaking her arm or wrist, or tumbling into traffic, it’s still possible for a person to struggle themselves to exhaustion leading to death. None of these options are good.

    As I said earlier I think the Officer should have made more of an effort to de-escalate. However, once the Officer determined that force was necessary, the tazer is lower risk even than grappling.

    Additionally the woman had several warnings of what was coming. For her own health and welfare she could have become compliant after any one of those warnings.

    bonhomme (8b73ba)

  53. Comment by Frank — 6/12/2009 @ 12:43 pm

    Whether the officer was right or wrong, there is no way the two incidents compare in terms of circumstances, danger, or illegal activity.

    “Gramps”: was armed, committed murder, was justifiably shot — very dangerous.

    “Granny”: not armed, traffic ticket signature dispute, was tazed — hardly dangerous.

    No parity.

    Pons Asinorum (737506)

  54. The video I saw didn’t include a weapon pat-down. Did the officer know the woman wasn’t armed? Did she comply with a pat-down?

    bonhomme (8b73ba)

  55. I don’t understand why the State of Texas allows a little boy who never grew up to wear a policeman’s uniform, to wear a badge, and to taser people. That’s not a man on that video. That’s a boy impersonating a man.

    Jack Bauer's Evil Brother (7109c3)

  56. SteveG, Jay Curtis, DMac, JRM and others expressing similar thoughts got it correct. In this instance, the police officer just plain used bad judgment. If this is the first time he is shown to exercise bad judgment, then a week of training and a pep talk would be the right way to deal with him. If this is his usual judgment, then I hope he is fired. That’s right. Fired.

    Of course, if the Obamaniacs get their way and then Obama gets reelected, you can expect a host of “civil servants” to treat us the same as this granny was treated.

    Ira (28a423)

  57. I think he was trying to get her out of range of a passing car, no?

    Clumsy, panicked, yes, but…just one of those things.

    Patricia (2183bb)

  58. bonhomme,

    Wouldn’t a weapons search be done after someone is handcuffed?

    DRJ (180b67)

  59. Weapons search, as I have heard it described, is initial when compliant suspect is spread-eagle against a wall, car, or on the ground. Easier for the cop to pull the gun out from the belt than the suspect at that time.

    I guess handcuffing first might happen when there was a struggle and officers had physical control of the suspect with arms in position behind the back.

    Again, this thread has two issues going at the moment, how the officer acted in this situation, and the relative merit of tasers vs other forms of physically subduing someone.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  60. My understanding as a non-lawyer is that police can do a “Terry stop” before an official arrest. This includes stopping a person, asking questions about the person’s recent whearabouts and destination, also a pat-down for weapons.

    Often the officer will ask for permission. Maybe a police officer or someone familiar with Terry v Ohio can clarify.

    bonhomme (8b73ba)

  61. Here’s a suggestion to any of you bleeding hearts who get stopped by a cop in Texas. When a cop tells you to step back away from the road three times….do it. Don’t stand there and argue with him.

    They were both standing on an extremely busy, wet and deadly stretch of highway, and “Little Miss Attitude” thought her age gave her some kind of free pass.

    Wrong. Not only did the cop tell her exactly what would occur if she didn’t comply, (several times), he then phoned in to dispatch and told them what he was about to do. Frankly I thought he let it go on too long as it was. She had ample warning which SHE chose to ignore, endangering both of their lives. If I see unwarranted brutality of any kind, it’s a different thing entirely, but like it or not, that cop may very well have saved her argumentative little ass. Any one of the speeding cars zooming past could have slid into a skid at any moment, killing her, or him, and if it had been me, I’d have cold-cocked her, 72 years old or not. He is NOT required to be a “touchy-feely nice guy” about it when safety is concerned. What the heck has happened to common sense? I’m so glad we’ve got all of you to sit in judgement of his actions from the comfort of your desk chairs. For your own peace of mind and well-being, please stay out of Texas. You would not like it here.

    JML (4e52c7)

  62. No Doubt “granny” was out of line. Contentious right from the beginning. But she was never a threat to the officer. When she asks to sign, he should have let her sign. Instead he yells at her and escalates the problem. He’s probably within “policy” because she was “resisting.” But this problem could have been solved with a little bit of politeness. I’ve got 23 years on the job and this guy is an embarrassment.

    Bart998 (e23639)

  63. […] incident happened in May 2009. I originally posted on it here with follow-up posts here and […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » No Indictment for Texas Constable Who Tasered Granny (e4ab32)


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