The jury just convicted former BART officer Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of Oscar Grant. I really want to hear what you feel about this verdict.
Give me your thoughts, and I will let you know what I believe after we have collected about 24 hours of comments.
Are you surprised?
Is this the right verdict?
Was it motivated by a fear of riots?
Should he have been convicted or murder?
Thanks and look forward to hearing your input!
I have no intention of making this a “police videos” blog. One of the reasons is that there are plenty of video blogs out there doing an outstanding job. Besides, I am more interested in conversation with all of you about policing.
Anyhow, one outstanding video blog is located here. In particular, watch this video (which would not embed for some reason.) Somevideos just have to be shared. This is freakin hilarious.
What do you think: Fake or real?
I wish we could all put this to rest, already. TASERs work. The Thomas A. Swift Electronic Rifle (named by the inventor, who was a fan of the children’s books) sends electricity through the body and incapacitates the recipient. In doing so, it saves lives — cops’ lives and suspects’ lives. Period.
However as a Canadian officer correctly points out, the alternative is often the use of a firearm — deadly force to be sure. Taser’s own website (admittedly a for-profit company) indicates numbers that are so drastically in favor of TASER deployment, that argument is difficult.
If you don’t trust the company that makes them, how about the departments that use them. In almost all major police departments, the TASER is considered “intermediate” force. That means it can be used when someone is fighting, charging, threatening to injure or kill, or displaying a non-deadly weapon at the police. With the TASER, that individual is immediately and effectively incapacitated. I was “TASERED” in the police academy. It hurt. But one minute later I was fine. The same could not be said of a steel baton to the knee (guaranteed lifetime injury), a bite by a police dog (arrgh), or a gunshot (duh!).
Watch the video here, and ask yourself the single, key, and only question about TASERS: Would I rather get hit with this, or one of the alternatives. The dog in the background of this video is ready to take care of business. I think the suspect himself explains the benefits of the TASER better than I ever could. That should settle the argument.
Sometimes police work is ugly. That is the suspects’ fault, not the cops’. Remember my favorite quote:
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
I know, I know, it did not look good at all. In fact, it seemed foolish to the lay observer. I would ask you to consider the cops’ point of view.
They have most likely been trained that the TASER (click here for their website) is for subduing “aggressive and/or combative individuals.” That means people who do more than disobey verbal orders, but not so much that they are a threat to life. It doesn’t look pretty, but is actually considerably easier on the suspect than prior methods.
So this genius refuses to leave when his time is up. No big deal. Then they attempt to escort him out, one cop on each side. Fine. Then he decides to physically struggle, and that struggle lands on the ground. Continue Reading