Friday, November 16, 2007

Taser Willie, will yeh, yeh cheesehead sherrrriff!

taser the janitorThe Green Bay (WI) Press-Gazette reports that on November 6, a Brown County Sheriff's Department resource officer “inadvertently and accidentally discharged” a taser, striking the janitor at Bay View Middle School. The officer was removed from the post at the school, given “remedial” training, and disciplined. Not canned outright.

How does this happen unless the taser unholstered and the cop is displaying it or playing with it? Cops nationwide have driven taser use to such a casual level that this department considers it appropriate for show-and-tell. This kind of liaison kids don't need- a poorly trained cop wandering around a middle school armed with a 50,000 volt electroshock weapon that law enforcement officials everywhere desperately wish to believe is universally non-lethal and without lasting effects. And she can't control it.

I hope the janitor has a good lawyer. There's no reason to believe that the neural and neuromuscular effects of taser electroshock won't manifest themselves later in his life. He should be able to retire comfortably on a judgment or settlement in this case. I hope the parents get a good lawyer to protect themselves from a sheriff and school district willing to expose their kids to the same poorly understood systemic damage.

A cop has an itch he wants to scratch? Out comes the taser. A sudden itch, a spastic twitch, you're on the ground. Gee, sorry.