Wednesday, November 7, 2007

How little is Too little to Taser in Gwinnett, GA?

matroshka taser lineupThe Atlanta Journal Constitution (ajc) reports that police in Gwinnet, GA tasered a 14 year old female trick-or-treater last week. It's OK, though, because the department has a Policy that exempts nobody but pregnant women from taser shots. That exemption will stand right up until some testosterone-deficient cop feels threatened by a woman about to pop one out on the sidewalk.

Apparently the taserable offense was cursing. Loudly. Officer W.A. Bohn heard that, called for backup, and together these two studs managed to cuff the girl. She was tased when she continued to struggle. That took balls, W. A. Two on one, handcuffs, and a taser. Fun date. No roofies? Did you swipe her candy?

But they have a Policy. A WRITTEN Policy. "People who are handcuffed are still a threat no matter what age," said Cpl. Illana Spellman, a Gwinnett County Police Department spokeswoman and custodian of the department's lone pair of cojones. What about a 5- or 6- year old? That's OK according to the policy. Gwinnett police Maj. Keybo Taylor is reviewing the incident. "We are still reviewing it to see if any policies were violated, and so far we do not see any policies violated," Taylor said. Thank goodness.

Apparently Georgia cops statewide fear handcuffed teen girls. Frank Rotondo, director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, said his organization believes age should not be the deciding factor in use. "You have to look at the behavior of the individual rather than the age. And in the Gwinnett case, the Taser was able to stop the behavior." The young lady is lucky those cops had tasers, because that stop-the-behavior reasoning works for shotguns, too.

When is tasering justified? Georgia cops have answered the question: Any time they feel like it and have their blue asses covered with a nice, broad policy not subject to citizen review. And want some candy.