Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Police taser 76-year-old man during parade

In Wyoming, police tasered a 76-year-old man, driving an antique tractor, in a parade.

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

The man, Bud Grose, is fine. The two officers shocked him multiple times with the weapon in the midst of the county's Deer Days. Thankfully, citizens of the town are holding the city administration responsible. Even more remarkable, the city officials are responding reasonably appropriately, taking responsibilty and waiting for outside review.

Why would the police taser a septuagenarian, in the middle of a fun family event?

I don't know. But I would guess it has something to do with being drunk with power - loving the physical and psychological power, and lack of accountability, that holding a taser brings. I would also guess that the vulnerabiltiy of this man and ageism played a part.

I've covered before how Tasers are often a weapon of unnecessary violence. Since I covered Antonio Love, I set up a Google Alert for "taser". You would be amazed how often stories pop up that seem to mention "taser" and "death" or "kill" or "hurt" (though the selection above is manipulated), or how often they are used to ill effect.

1 comment:

  1. By saying "I would also guess that the vulnerabiltiy of this man and ageism played a part", I think you're really underestimating how widespread totally unnecessary tasering is.

    It takes ridiculous circumstances for an unnecessary tasering to make the news. So if you're 76, or just plain 6, pregnant, in a wheelchair, an old lady laying on your car horn, naked in your bathtub, trying to use an ABM, 14 and already maced, a 9 year old girl who's already been handcuffed, a 13 year old girl, handcuffed and in the back of a policecar, or having a diabetic seizure, it's just not news. As an able adult male (or probably female too), it's just not news unless it's a prank, you're sleeping, or you shout out "Don't tase me bro!" in a way people find comical. Routing taserings are par for the course, don't undersell how widespread it is. Something like this, a handcuffed adult man getting tasered, just wouldn't inspire any outrage at all, so it ain't news (except for the 20 000 witnesses, and the cheering for the wrong team angle).


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