Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Idiot cops taser deaf man

ASL don't tase me broEyewitness News 12 in Wichita, Kansas reports that multiple police officers responding to an anonymous call about a shooting broke into the wrong house and tasered a naked deaf man. Donnell Williams had just gotten out of the bath tub, wearing only a towel around his waist, when he turned the corner to see guns pointing right at him.

"I ain't never been so scared," says Williams. Without his hearing aid he is basically deaf. "I kept going to my ear yelling that I was scared. I can't hear! I can't hear!" The cops, apparently deaf, blind, and stupid themselves, feared for their own safety because it appeared Williams was refusing to obey their commands to show his hands. I suppose he was holding up the towel with one hand and pointing at his ear with the other. So they tasered him.

The case is being reviewed by the Wichita Police Department. This is a lot like relying on the fox to review security measures at the henhouse. Nothing to see here, folks... move along, move along. Deputy Chief Robert Lee said, "The first few minutes getting control of the scene are very, very important. Do I wish there would have been some way they were notified in advance this gentleman was hearing impaired? I certainly do. No one is happy with the way it worked out." I imagine the tas-ee is just a little more distraught than the tas-ers. Officers repeatedly apologized, no doubt hoping to ignore a huge lawsuit.

Eyewitness News, shilling for the cops, actually published this sentence: “Police wish it never happened, but with the information they had at the time, their choices were limited.” Limited to shooting first and asking questions later?

The whole incident is one long string of mistakes for which no one will be held accountable. Eyewitness news will drop the story and never follow it up. Dispatch reported the wrong address for an untraceable shooting call. Inept cops failed to correctly evaluate the threat level of a dripping wet, naked, empty-handed man fresh out of the bathtub and decided their best option was to tase him. The excuse machine kicked into high gear and spewed twisted logic to justify the screwup; for example, I'm very sure the department has no written policy that explicitly forbids tasering naked unarmed deaf people, so the cops violated no procedures.

If this is handled like most unwarranted tasering incidents, the shooters are probably still working or on administrative leave with pay, waiting to be returned to active duty once the news storm blows over. With fresh cartridges in their tasers.