Tasering the Phillies Fan--Too Far?

Discussion in 'Marksmanship Arts' started by arnisador, May 6, 2010.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    The Taserification of America

    The whole justification for police to get tasers in the first place was to subdue potentially violent suspects -- but it's gone way, way, past that.

    He points out that the crime in question was a misdemeanor. I have mixed feelings. The officer could have injured himself tackling this guy, but I as I hear of kids being tasered at elementary schools I too wonder if the taser is shifting from less lethal than a gun to less hassle than wrestling. It's worth thinking about...especially since there have been deaths associated with its use.

    Here's a picture of the event (see this post for more details; click on the image below to see a larger version of this picture):

    The article also mentions that safety issues on the field are real--e.g., the stabbing of tennis star Monica Seles in 1993 and the beating of Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa in 2002.
  2. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    There have been deaths associated with all forms of less-lethal force.


    The TASER is one of many tools. From what I understand, LEOs have a process to follow with regards to how they escalate their force. One of the LEOs on MT has said that the TASER has, overall, shown to be one of the safer methods of force for the police officer and for the suspect.

    I don't know what that department's policy is, but that appears to be a judicious use of force to my untrained eyes.
  3. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    It's true that he may have ultimately been injured less than if he had been tackled and twisted an ankle or something. On the other hand, it's still a misdemeanor--and was clearly not intended to be harmful to anyone, however annoying it may have been. I share the writer's concern as to whether the bar is being set too low, but I'm not prepared to condemn this particular use of it.
  4. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    If this fan had had a congenital heart defect and died as a result of being tasered, we'd be treated to a different news cycle about the appropriate use of force. I agree that the bar's been set too low in this case. The argument that if officers might be hurt as a result of tackling an unruly fan, then the use of tasers is justifiable, just doesn't hold water, in my opinion. You could argue for the use of rubber bullets, etc. in that case, or some other "non-lethal" form of intervention.
  5. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Man what a waste..all those bats and they resort to tazering...LOL.....he gets what he gets..keep your ass in the cheap seats and smashing down dogs and you wouldn't get zapped..He is a special kind of stupid.
  6. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

  7. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    LOL. Although I suspect we may disagree on what he may or many not deserve that's still pretty funny, Mike. (Trolls take note: it is possible to disagree and remain friends at the end of the day.)

    Just wondering though: If a guy decides he's got the right to (illegally) tightrope walk between sky scapers, would you pick:

    a) a citation and a stiff fine
    b) pick him off with a Super Hornet


  8. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    If a citation is an option then he's just committed a civil infraction, and not a crime. So natch, citation and stiff fine is an easy choice.

    Although if that bugger comes charging across that tightrope at me it just might be game on!!! LFAO!
  9. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Pellet gun and a net followed by a swift kick in the butt for being a special kind of dumbass....lol......if he is doing it Texas well then it may be a 30/30 and a net..lol
  10. Steve,

    "Man on Wire" was awesome ;)

    That guy would make a great Martial Artist and IMO was an inspiration. He was breaking new ground and making what some would deem impossible possible.

    A fan running onto the field of play of whatever sport requires a lot less planning and intelligence quotient. Though it does help if you're drunk :)

  11. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Agreed. The weakness of reductio ad absurdum is sometimes a reliance on tenuous analogies...

    Anyhow, I was just having fun with Mike - although I am shocked, shocked, to discover that they allow nets in Texas to thwart would-be high wire artists. Unless this is what he meant:


    Hmm, maybe that's why Man on Wire was filmed in New York City...

    On a similar note, that bastion of New York liberalism, the New York Times, agreed with me in today's op ed:



  12. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    Who has made this argument?

    If it was directed at me, please re-read what I wrote.

  13. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Actually, the argument was made here. Specifically,

    It's worth noting that Arnisador does not seem committed to marrying the argument, and is probably just taking it out on a first date.

    The Times op ed that I cited does marry the argument:

    It's interesting to note that several posters to the original blog have described how, in the old days, stadium streakers were merely tackled, taken to a back room in the stadium, and given a good beating by stadium security guards. The blog also notes how, in the old days, t.v. cameras did not take note of the runner, on the grounds that if it was attention that they wanted, then why give it to them?

    The blog actually makes a much broader argument about the use of tasers in a post 9-11 environment:


    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  14. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I'm of two minds. It galls me to see LEOs injure their backs carrying away limp protesters, but on the other hand, some risk of injury goes with the job, and you can't use protecting the officer as an argument for the officer not protecting citizens--including imminent arrestees who have of course not yet been convicted of anything. I don't know where to draw the line, but I feel as though the taser is being used a bit too readily.
  15. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    So, that would be a lunch date, then...


  16. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    In my defense, I was told it would be a free lunch.

    I honestly don't know where I want to come down. A LEO one county over from me damaged his knee very badly when he tried to knee a resisting drunk and missed--he struck out with such force that his supporting knee gave out and he needed surgery and may not have come back. I wish he would've tased the guy, in retrospect--but the drunk was just refusing to cooperate and be cuffed, if memory serves, not swinging at the LEO, so in prospect I might have said that going straight to the taser was too much. I truly don't know where to draw the line, but I'd like to see some national associations weigh in on the matter.
  17. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    I tell you what, a shotgun blast full of rock salt would have dropped him and dang sure sent a message to any other further knuckle heads who wanna play the crazy fan position..LOL...is that extreme?...hmmm it's that dang Texanese in me I guess... ;)
  18. punisher73

    punisher73 Member

    If there is a police officer present and he gives the lawful command to stop and you continue to run it bumps the charge up to a felony (In Michigan it would be Resisting and Officer).

    Here is the footage of the incident.

    Notice that they run around TRYING to catch him prior to the deployment of the TASER. They did try to use other means and the suspect kept elluding them. They couldn't get close enough to tackle, so according to use of force policy when lower levels of force have not proven to be successful, you can up the level. In this case they used the TASER to subdue him without injury. With the video footage, anyone actually trained in the use of force continuum would know that the force was appropriate and justifiable.

    How about that phone call to dad asking for permission? This guy was an IDIOT!
  19. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Agreed - he's an idiot. And he is certainly faster than the officers trying to catch him. But I think the force continuum argument begs the question that the original "Taserification of America" article asked originally, i.e. "Is it legitimate to taser someone, who, at that moment of being an idiot, poses no direct physical threat to himself or anyone else?"

    Imagine a situation closer to home: You're at a wedding reception and your drunk uncle Charlie gets up on a table and starts to dance. He won't come down despite the requests of his relatives and guests, and the reception hall owner calls the cops. They ask him to come down and he won't, and no one wants to get close enough to him because Uncle Charlie weighs a good 300 pounds and would pack quite a wallop if he lands on you - so they taser him. Uncle Charlie's heart stops and he dies. It's rare but it happens. Now your average guest who doesn't know uncle Charlie thinks he's an idiot; the millions who see him get tasered on YouTube think he's an idiot; you think he's an idiot - but he's your favorite Uncle and now he's dead. I know everyone says, "Taser the idiot - he deserves it." But context is everything and if it was your Uncle Charlie you'd probably be thinking, "Why did they have to Taser him - he wasn't hurting anyone?"

    Following is a force continuum description that I found on the web:


    Notice that for Level Four it says that tasers should be deployed "when the suspect is violent or threatening..." and that it "can be especially useful for controlling non-criminal violent behavior (emphasis mine), such as persons who are mentally impaired, or under the influence of mind-altering substances. Tasers can be used (like batons and pepper spray that are also described on this level) after Level Three techiques (empty hand techniques that are either "soft" or "hard" depending on the level of potential injury incurred by the perpetrator) have been tried and have failed. Level Three techniques are designed to counter a suspects "aggression" and can include guiding, holding, and restraining techniques as well as punches and kicks to specific targets (the brachial plexus for example) that have a moderate risk of injury for the suspect.

    Running like an idiot through a baseball stadium is not especially violent or threatening or aggressive. It's annoying and frustrating and an inconvenience to all others who have to stand and watch and wait, especially those whose job it is to stop the idiot whose doing it.


  20. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    Personally, I think someone running through a stadium is threatening and aggressive. We know now that he was a stupid high school kid making a dumb decision, but the cops didn't have that knowledge. If LE had a way of knowing exactly who had bad intentions and who was just making a dumb mistake, their life would be a lot easier!

    At least this Phillies fan didn't vomit on anyone....

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