Patterico's Pontifications


No Indictment for Texas Constable Who Tasered Granny

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 12:37 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Travis County grand jury has declined to indict a deputy constable who tasered a 72-year-old grandmother during a traffic stop:

“A Travis County grand jury has declined to indict Deputy Constable Christopher Bieze on a charge of injury to an elderly person after he used his Taser stun gun on a 72-year-old woman last year.

The incident, which was captured on a patrol car video camera, generated national attention. Kathryn Winkfein, who was stopped by Bieze on May 11, later appeared NBC’s “Today” show.

In October, Winkfein accepted a $40,000 settlement from Travis County, although she had sought more than $135,000.”

The incident happened in May 2009. I originally posted on it here with follow-up posts here and here.

The Travis County DA had mixed feelings:

“District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said Bieze was not blameless in the matter.

“While Deputy Constable Bieze may have followed the letter of the law, a more prudent use of discretion may have resulted in a different outcome,” she said in announcing the grand jury decision Wednesday. “In the end, they determined only that Bieze’s actions were legal. However, their decision was not an endorsement of either party to this conflict.”

I doubt there are many DAs who want to campaign on a ‘Taser Granny’ platform.


UPDATE: Police taser use a stun gun on a 10-year-old at a California Indiana daycare.

[NOTE: Update corrected to say the police used a stun gun on the boy, not a taser. — DRJ]

[NOTE: Update corrected to say Indiana, not California. Any more mistakes like this and I’m going to bench myself. — DRJ]

26 Responses to “No Indictment for Texas Constable Who Tasered Granny”

  1. i think i could make a solid run, once Chelsea Clinton has a kid….

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  2. It’s not like he shot her…

    JEA (0ccd61)

  3. The officer was drunk with power, but that lady was just begging to be slapped with her insane confrontation. Rule #1 for idiots – no matter what you may feel about the policeman’s actions, he’s the only one with a gun and a club. You may win the argument, but you’ll lose in the end.

    Dmac (21311c)

  4. Grandma got tasered by a Ranger
    Driving home by Mister Christopher Bieze
    You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
    But $40 thousand richer, Winkfein believes

    GeneralMalaise (c1b78b)

  5. I grew up in the Bronx of the ’50s and ’60s, back when the beat cop would come down the street flipping his nightstick on its thong. You kind of got the impression, especially after an application or two, that it was best to give the officer some leeway. Now, this procedure might not have be legal, but it did result in the imposition of some degree of order on the disorderly at a relatively low cost to the overall society.

    One of the results of our current societal fixations on discrimination and civil rights is the assessment of the amount of disorder or incivility that are authorized therein. It is apparent to me that there are segments of our population that believe that contesting the directions of police officers is both a wise and noble endeavor. A couple of New Year Days ago, a young Negro man was killed by a police officer in Oakland CA, perhaps mistakenly, perhaps not, as a result of such a contest. Either way, he is just as dead.

    I live in the San Francisco Bay area, where the politicians and police have developed procedures to allow demonstrators to verbally and sometime physically abuse our sworn officers and disrupt the commerce and travel of rest of the citizenry. Summonses are sometimes issued but convictions rarely seem to materialize. Lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually, order will result, but eventually can be a very long time.

    As to the pregnancy aspect, it seems to me in our advanced 21st Century logic, that we have assigned the police have a greater responsibility to modify their behavior than we have the offender. That a woman’s reproductive condition can require others to yield to her misbehavior may be an interesting philosophical question, but it is a secondary one. The primary question is, if she is indeed pregnant, why is she not modifying her behavior. These days, our military services have pregnant members, so no matter how quaint or chivalric our need to kowtow to an asserted pregnancy condition seems to us, it seems to me to be more of an excuse than a reason. And, as my dear old dad used to say, “The difference between a reason and an excuse is that an excuse is a bad reason.”

    11B40 (0b341c)

  6. I volunteer to be tazed for $40,000.

    JD (3b62be)

  7. If the cop had tried to control Granny some other way, the chances of an unfortunate outcome–she’s old and presumably frail and a fraction of his size–are still high.
    And the PR aspects of a big cop rassling an obstreperous seasoned citizen would still be horrible.

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  8. She was going to get run over. His mistake was in his behavior before the tasering. The tasering itself was a very good idea, IMO.

    He’s not a criminal. He’s a person with a tough job who screwed up a bit. The granny should be charged with some minor misdemeanor. It’s important, especially on the side of the road in the hill country, to just chill out and do what you’re told during a stop.

    dustin (b54cdc)

  9. “I volunteer to be tazed for $40,000.”

    – JD

    Maybe when you’re older.

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  10. JD, dude, you got **snap** good.


    SPQR (8475fc)

  11. I updated the post.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  12. The taser is the new billy club.
    99% of the countries in the world give their cops some kind of tool to whack you with and they apply it liberally, enthusiastically and without fear that their government is going to care.

    The cops in Tijuana used to club you silly and then if you still talked trash, they’d shake up a seven up and shoot it up your nose.

    I’d much rather be tased…

    On the bright side, at least the cop didn’t pepper spray the kid inside the daycare.

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  13. Confronting authority….

    A lot of people have forgotten the lesson of Kent State!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f793c7)

  14. Revolting.

    htom (412a17)

  15. My daughter got tasered. She also got maced with the real deal, military grade mace. And she reluctantly stood there and allowed it to happen. It was part of her training.

    John Hitchcock (03bf8c)

  16. Would a beanbag gun have been OK?

    On a side note, I’ve always wanted to see a economic summit held in Singapore… after three days the anarchists would be reduced to huffing nail polish through broken noses.

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  17. The 10-year-old was shocked by a stun gun (not a taser).

    el duderino (fedc3d)

  18. When you’re laying on the floor twitching, it doesn’t seem to matter which one it was that put you there.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f793c7)

  19. Do the Trout!

    GeneralMalaise (c1b78b)

  20. “Maybe when you’re older.”

    Comment by Leviticus

    I’m told lefties prefer the “mink treatment” to the taser.

    GeneralMalaise (c1b78b)

  21. Thanks, el duderino. I’ll fix it, but I thought it originally said a taser. I must need glasses.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  22. Indiana, not California.

    thebronze (85f1f2)

  23. They said taser in the video, so the story probably was updated.

    But then again, thebronze makes a good point.

    el duderino (fedc3d)

  24. The California mistake is my error. I must have California on the brain after doing several stories on it recently.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  25. DRJ…You just secretly long in your heart to be a Californio…or would that be a California (gender rules, you know)?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f793c7)

  26. California is a beautiful State with many great people, AD, but the only longing in my heart is that Californians come to their senses.

    DRJ (daa62a)

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