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Author Topic: Sleepless and Shamed South of Seattle  (Read 21821 times)
Syrbal
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« Topic Start: January 12, 2008, 02:33:57 pm »

Ok, after WTO, I did not go to Seattle for almost two years.  I will NEVER go back after seeing this video.  This happened new year's eve....AFTER the guy was subdued, immobile and on his hands and knees.  If THIS is what Washington has become, as soon as the war ends and I can leave my Labyrinth, I am GONE.

Please to go watch: http://www.komotv.com/news/content/12959042.html?video=pop&t=a

Spectators were shocked and screaming, and some were threatened and chased away.  WTF is wrong with people?

Edit to add: since some watchers are not "seeing" what happened: What happened is, they caught the guy, who was no longer fighting...THEN tasered him.  And pepper sprayed him.  And then threatened (with a taser) one of the questiioning spectators..a pretty woman holding a cup of coffee, until she RAN away, crying.  The "new years" party in Seattle is getting rougher and more cop 'managed' every year.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 03:19:51 pm by Syrbal, Reason: to add vital data, for those not familiar with the sound of a taser » Logged

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« Reply #1: January 12, 2008, 03:04:49 pm »

Ok, after WTO, I did not go to Seattle for almost two years.  I will NEVER go back after seeing this video.  This happened new year's eve....AFTER the guy was subdued, immobile and on his hands and knees. 

I've watched this a couple times and am just missing it. So, the guy was already down before the video started?  I mean, it just looks like a guy running away and the cops stopping him. They grabbed him, got him to the ground and then just checked for drugs/weapons. He made a break for it? Or they just started to stun him for no reason and he ran? I've got to be missing something or I just live in too bad a neighborhood. Looks like business as usual to me, not nice but not unnecessarily rough.

Just last night, about 4am there was all kinds of noise outside and I hear people running and gosh, about 12 cars driving off. I'm peeking out the window to see if any of this involves my vans and cars and there are already 6 cops cars, at least a dozen cops and they have a rifle trained on a guy in a car. No idea what this one was about, but they were arresting some Big Local Baddie I suppose. They didn't shoot anyone and it cleared up pretty quick.

I am happy to have the cops around here, they get right in there and take these guys on. I don't think it's wrong to have the odds in their favor, like six cops getting the guy to the ground. There is less chance of anyone getting hurt that way. I've called them on a few occasions and been grateful they showed up.

I did miss some sleep last night with all the commotion and am just having my first cuppa, so I am probably just missing something.
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Syrbal
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« Reply #2: January 12, 2008, 03:17:35 pm »

+++
I've watched this a couple times and am just missing it. So, the guy was already down before the video started?  I mean, it just looks like a guy running away and the cops stopping him. They grabbed him, got him to the ground and then just checked for drugs/weapons. He made a break for it? Or they just started to stun him for no reason and he ran? I've got to be missing something or I just live in too bad a neighborhood. Looks like business as usual to me, not nice but not unnecessarily rough.+++

Yes, you are missing it.  He was running, it was New Years Eve in DOWNTOWN Seattle Center Seattle.  Good area...party fun, fireworks, etc.  I dont' know what he did.  They had stopped him, he was not fighting. THEN they TASERED him, when he rolled over...hands up....saying he wasn't fighting, they pepper sprayed him.  Then, they threatened a questioning onlooker (the young woman with the coffee in her hand) for asking wtf they were being so rough for.  Tasers are for non-lethal control of incidents that threaten the cops or others.  This dude may have pissed them off, but he was at that point, not a threat to ANYone.  Nor was the woman, who RAN in fear of her own police dept.

J
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« Reply #3: January 12, 2008, 03:45:12 pm »

Yes, you are missing it.  He was running, it was New Years Eve in DOWNTOWN Seattle Center Seattle.  Good area...party fun, fireworks, etc.  I dont' know what he did.  They had stopped him, he was not fighting. THEN they TASERED him, when he rolled over...hands up....saying he wasn't fighting, they pepper sprayed him.  Then, they threatened a questioning onlooker (the young woman with the coffee in her hand) for asking wtf they were being so rough for.  Tasers are for non-lethal control of incidents that threaten the cops or others.  This dude may have pissed them off, but he was at that point, not a threat to ANYone.  Nor was the woman, who RAN in fear of her own police dept.

Well, I see a woman saying WTF?!? to the cops, and the taser on her is way out of line, but then they just moved her quietly off the scene with her walking away, still complaining. When the guy was first on the ground he was still being belligerent, not jumping up or anything, but yelling at the cops and not listening to their instructions. Now if he had just run from them, they may have thought he would run again as he was still not being compliant, so they tasered him to get him to turn over and give up. If he was pepper sprayed when he held his hands up he took it very well, I can't see a reaction. You are right, peppering him at that point would have been unnecessary, cruel and stupid.

I am certainly ready to believe you know what you're talking about. Cops can get carried away quick. In an outdoor party situation, things can get out of hand very fast, often cops are told to shut any incident down hard and quick to keep it safe. I have seen a few good street parties go down after people just came in getting drunk and knifing each other and beating up strangers for fun. Usually spells the end of the event. People just take advantage of a fun scene, both cops and party goers, ruining the whole thing. What a stupid turn of events for everyone involved.
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« Reply #4: January 12, 2008, 04:31:34 pm »

Well, I see a woman saying WTF?!? to the cops, and the taser on her is way out of line, but then they just moved her quietly off the scene with her walking away, still complaining. When the guy was first on the ground he was still being belligerent, not jumping up or anything, but yelling at the cops and not listening to their instructions. Now if he had just run from them, they may have thought he would run again as he was still not being compliant, so they tasered him to get him to turn over and give up. If he was pepper sprayed when he held his hands up he took it very well, I can't see a reaction. You are right, peppering him at that point would have been unnecessary, cruel and stupid.


Yelling at cops is no excuse to taser, in fact verbally backtalking a cop is not a crime, but constitutionally protected speech.  And because someone 'might' run is not legally a taser-worthy event.  Tasers are for events deemed physically threatening, not for the convenience.  It is like the cop who tasered a woman in a Florida Best Buy for arguing and swearing at him...that was likewise uncalled for and illegal.

Basically, what seems to be happening is cops have decided tasers are perfect for use on any person giving them grief on any subject at all---since shooting them puts them on leave and under investigation.  So far, authorities barely look at tasering, which is why some watchdog groups are beginning to keep track.   Especially since some of the questionable taserings have resulted in the occasional death of the suspect. The Seattle cops have been losing ground as community guardians and acting more like junk yard dogs ever since WTO. 
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« Reply #5: January 12, 2008, 04:47:40 pm »

Yelling at cops is no excuse to taser...
Absolutely agree.

Quote
The Seattle cops have been losing ground as community guardians and acting more like junk yard dogs ever since WTO. 

Really sad, especially when it used to fun to go Downtown and bring in the New Year. Not what law enforcement is supposed to be about. My son (in Olympia) has said the same thing.

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« Reply #6: January 12, 2008, 07:12:22 pm »

Absolutely agree.

Really sad, especially when it used to fun to go Downtown and bring in the New Year. Not what law enforcement is supposed to be about. My son (in Olympia) has said the same thing.



It is sad.  But much of what was once rather typical Washington life has been degraded in so many ways over the last decade.  And the speed of decline is going faster....I will be ready, by the time the war ends, to take my center stone, my bead counters and leave forever.
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« Reply #7: January 12, 2008, 07:25:43 pm »

Tasers are for events deemed physically threatening, not for the convenience.
Yep - because they're not, really, non-lethal.  (Nor are any methods I know of for subduing someone - they all carry some risk of death.  Not necessarily a high risk, especially if the method is used correctly and with approporiate care, but it's there.)  I wish cops and such would stop thinking of them as "safe", and therefore something that can "safely" be used in non-extreme situations.

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« Reply #8: January 12, 2008, 07:56:31 pm »

Yep - because they're not, really, non-lethal.  (Nor are any methods I know of for subduing someone - they all carry some risk of death.  Not necessarily a high risk, especially if the method is used correctly and with approporiate care, but it's there.)  I wish cops and such would stop thinking of them as "safe", and therefore something that can "safely" be used in non-extreme situations.

Sunflower

No joke, some of the folks tased HAVE died.  And really, the idea that a cop can do anything short of killing someone basically just cause they are pissed or don't want to 'deal' with anything....come ON, folks, so wrong.   This idea that the general populace is not something we are all part of, instead authority viewing "it" only as something to be controlled, well, if that isn't the pitter pat stomp of little fascist boots, I don't know what is.
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« Reply #9: January 12, 2008, 09:53:14 pm »

No joke, some of the folks tased HAVE died. 
I can see that if you object to the use of the taser that video would be very upsetting. They shot him with it several times. Still, I am just going to be a devil's advocate here and not quite accept your viewpoint. I really do not want to argue or be awful or anything, but I just see it a little differently. I certainly respect you view on it and would be happy to be wrong. But these questions just keep coming up in my head.

How would you recommend they stop the guy? Should they try? Police used to point a gun at someone running away and shoot bullets at them, at least around here. People did get killed, one a little old Grandma who was just waving a big knife around and being crazy. That is just wrong, wrong, wrong too. Had they had the taser at the time that woman would still be alive.

Also, I just do not feel I have enough information. I don't know what he did, why he ran, who the woman was, what happened. He could have just threatened/hurt someone with a knife/gun. He could have just been rude to a passing cop. How I'd feel about the scene would change a lot depending on what happened a few minutes before. Again, probably because I live in a bad place and see bad guys with guns (on the 4th of July one year a guy was shot right in our doorway, by another bad guy, not a cop) I'm a little on the fence about how much limitation we put on law enforcement. There have been gangs shooting at each other in our parking lot. I don't mind the cops being able to use a taser instead of a gun (when called for), the people around here are not playing nice and will kill you if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Last night, when I'm looking at a car surrounded by cop cars and cops with GUNS out and a RIFLE pointing at the guys head, people were running in all directions and cars peeling away, I just thought, good, looks like they are taking care of it and went back to bed.

I really don't know. The woman could be his sister/wife/friend who would of course be concerned, if that was my son I'd be screaming too, mainly telling him to stop fighting. She may just be a passer by who witnessed the cops being total assholes. Maybe he's on parole and now has to go back to jail, knows it and is going to fight. Maybe he's high, drunk or what ever and will react in irrational ways. Maybe he's never had to deal with the police and just is scared. I don't know. The minute the guy stopped fighting the cops backed right off, treating him gently even. I mean, from just the info on the video I, personally, do not see pissed off, lazy cops who do not want to deal with a problem collar. I see a guy determined to run and fight even when he has no where to go and is surrounded by police.  I'm just not getting they are tasing him to make life easy and because they are Nazis.

But I agree wholeheartedly that there are many many bullies, assholes and jerks who are cops to be just that. Giving them tasers and free rein to use them is wrong is so many ways. What would you suggest as a solution? I haven't got one, perhaps making piles of paperwork and documentation (as when they use a gun) requires so it isn't just an easy thing to do. Doesn't seem like much. Do you have any ideas?
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« Reply #10: January 12, 2008, 10:25:44 pm »

Spectators were shocked and screaming, and some were threatened and chased away.  WTF is wrong with people?

I'm not sure if you noticed, but the woman with the coffee was also escorted away by a police officer. I don't know where you got her saying WTF from, since I didn't see it as such, but two policemen were walking in the same direction as her down the side of the cars.

I didn't see any sign of capsicum spray either.

The problem with posting only a video with no further information is that we have no background to go on. For all I know (speaking for myself only here), the guy might have just knifed or shot someone, and his being on all fours on the ground still would give him ample opportunity to reach for a weapon and attack the police - if you were a police officer chasing down someone who was armed and resisting arrest, would you put your life on the line if he wasn't obeying instructions to lie down and roll over or would you take other actions to lessen the risk to yourself and bystanders?

OTOH, he might have been treated roughly. Personally, if someone is running from the cops I would usually consider them guilty as charged, but hey, that's from someone with no background of having problems with cops. All I'm saying is, we don't have enough information to go on and I'm not going to automatically condemn the cops as abusing their power and roughing people up without knowing the background story.

Then again, there are quite a few differences between the police force in the USA and the Australian coppers. 
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« Reply #11: January 13, 2008, 12:33:09 am »


link to news article about the video

http://www.komotv.com/news/12958102.html

http://www.komotv.com/features/kenschram/13009372.html

http://www.komotv.com/features/kenschram/13044772.html

Of note, a Taser is a lot less deadly than a night stick. Night sticks are classified as a deadly weapon and their use is classified as deadly force. You have to have special training to use a night stick. The suspect could have been beaten into submission or tasered. Much better to have been tasered, less chance of dying and very limited chance of spending weeks in the hospital.
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« Reply #12: January 13, 2008, 01:33:50 am »

I can see that if you object to the use of the taser that video would be very upsetting. They shot him with it several times.
I haven't seen the video (I still haven't solved my 'puter's sound probs, and from what Cyn says, it appears I'd be missing info to watch without sound) but I do have strong feelings about taser use.  One of those strong feelings is that I'm damned glad of not only tasers, but of pepper spray, tear gas, and the good old-fashioned nightstick; I like the police being able to do something less lethal than "shoot 'em all".

I intentionally omitted something from that list - I was going to include it, but realized it was in a different class: unarmed combat training.  (Civilian cops may use other terminology; I learned to "speak cop" as a reservist MP.)  It shouldn't be in a different class; all those things should involve training in how to use them correctly.  The difference is, any jackass can make incorrect but effective use of the other tools; but without training, unarmed combat is just brute force, not particularly effective.  I have serious doubts about how adequately cops are trained in taser use.  (Ditto pepper spray, tear gas, nightsticks, and for that matter their firearms - anything that can be seen as a Power Object.  "I don't need no steenkin' skills!  I got me a +3 magical wand of subdual!")

I'm not saying "all cops everywhere are inadequately trained in using their tools"; I'm saying there's a wide variation in training, and that not all of it meets my standards of "adequate".  And, even with top-notch training on those tools, many cops have attitudes that undermine or counteract that training - many police forces try, and mostly succeed, in screening these out in hiring, but it's far from perfect.

There appears to be a correlation between taser lethality and how many times the subject was shot.  "Excessive force", anyone?  That, IMO, is the biggest problem with the "non-lethal" descriptor; it implies that it's "safe" and therefore excess isn't an issue.

Where a lot of my strong feelings come from, here, is that smidgen of cop background.  An MP in the Canadian Forces Reserve isn't a whole lot more than a glorified security guard - we don't have "peace officer" status, as reg force MPs do - so I don't claim "I was a cop."  But it's not different, either, than what the reg force MPs do - there's some stuff that, depending on circumstances, we either don't have the power (as in authority/authorization) to do, or the power to do it comes from a different source.  We need to learn to think at least somewhat like cops (and it sticks, as witness these present-tense "we"'s, though it's been a quarter-century), and we meet a lot of cops, not quite on equal footing but as "part of the club".  I take police unprofessionalism not just seriously, but personally.

Sunflower
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« Reply #13: January 13, 2008, 01:40:19 am »

Of note, a Taser is a lot less deadly than a night stick. Night sticks are classified as a deadly weapon and their use is classified as deadly force. You have to have special training to use a night stick. The suspect could have been beaten into submission or tasered. Much better to have been tasered, less chance of dying and very limited chance of spending weeks in the hospital.
"Warning:  while you were typing, a new post has been made.  You may want to review your post."  Yep, but it's faster to make a new one acknowledging how this relates to mine.

Probably I should have made this distinction about nightsticks, but I was thinking about the way that they're considered, in many places, less lethal/forceful than firearms.

Since the bulk of my point had to do with training, I think its core still stands.

Sunflower
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« Reply #14: January 13, 2008, 10:12:38 am »

"Warning:  while you were typing, a new post has been made.  You may want to review your post."  Yep, but it's faster to make a new one acknowledging how this relates to mine.

Probably I should have made this distinction about nightsticks, but I was thinking about the way that they're considered, in many places, less lethal/forceful than firearms.

Since the bulk of my point had to do with training, I think its core still stands.

Sunflower

I agree with you. Less lethal, but as you pointed out, but still needs training.
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