Police and Taser Guns: A Bad Combination


taserTwo stories of police abuse/use of stun guns to share make me wonder whether an armed and polite society is better off without police.  Both cases should end up with all the law enforcement officers being charged with assault with a deadly weapon and removal from the force.  What do you think?

A Waffle House employee is suing the Gwinnett County Police Department over what he says was an unprovoked encounter with an officer who stunned him with a Taser.

The department’s internal investigation records reveal that the officer used the weapon like a toy with tacit approval from two superior officers.

Daniel Wilson, the 22-year-old waiter, spoke publicly about the encounter Wednesday at his attorney’s office in Snellville. The incident has already resulted in the arrest of Cpl. Gary Miles, 33, and the resignations of Sgt. Christopher Parry and Sgt. Joey Parkerson. None of the officers could be reached for comment this week because their phone numbers are unlisted.

Wilson said the officers often pointed the red laser from their Taser at him playfully. They would do so when Wilson picked a song they didn’t like on the jukebox or when telling him not to mess up their order, Wilson said.

“It was uncomfortable, but they are my customers and they tip pretty well,” Wilson said. “I just thought they were being foolish.”

Then on Feb. 16, Wilson was chatting with Parry and Parkerson when Miles sidled up behind him. Without saying a word, Miles zapped him with the Taser, Wilson said.

“I remember feeling the pulse go through my body,” Wilson said. “It hurt.”

Taser stun guns deliver a 50,000-volt electrical current capable of incapacitating a person. The weapon can fire barbed probes a distance of up to 35 feet, or it can be used in “drive stun mode” when pressed directly against a suspect. Gwinnett police checked the data recording from Miles’ Taser and found it was fired for one second at 2:48 a.m. on Feb. 16.

Miles told investigators that he only “spark tested” the Taser near the employee’s back “just to scare him a little bit,” according to the internal investigation file.

Parry, 41, and Parkerson, 39, witnessed the employee being shocked but did not report it. They laughed along with Miles, Wilson said. The sergeants later told investigators they didn’t realize the Taser made contact with Wilson’s body.

Wilson said he remembers telling Miles in the presence of the other officers, “Hey, you actually tased me.”

Wilson again sought an apology from Miles a few days later for accidentally stunning him. He said Miles replied, “Who says I did it by accident?”

This second story is even worse!

A 14-year-old Tucumcari girl is recovering at an Albuquerque hospital after being shot in the head with a Taser dart by Tucucmari Police Chief Roger Hatcher.

Now, her parents say they want the police department to review its policies for using the Taser.

The girl was hit in the head Thursday by one of two darts fired simultaneously as she was fleeing, Hatcher said.

The other dart lodged in her hip.

Hatcher said be believed he had no other option.

“There’s a lot of issues,” Hatcher said. “She committed a delinquent act. She was running from police across traffic without looking.”

Hatcher said he chased her, ordered her to stop and “then did what I had to do.”

Her mother, Stacy Akin, said her daughter underwent surgery Friday morning at University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque.

“One of the darts entered her skull,” said Akin, interviewed by telephone.

After a CAT scan, a hospital resident told her the dart was “in her brain a little bit, but not much,” Akin said.

She was in pediatric intensive care following the surgery, Akin said. “She seems OK, but she she’s in a lot of pain. Her head is hurting her real bad.”

Police were trying help Akin because she and her daughter had been fighting, Akin said.

Akin said while she could understand the use of a Taser on an adult, it shouldn’t be used on a child.

“She’s only 14, why?” Aikin asked.

Akin also said her daughter has epilepsy.

When law officers act like imbeciles they shouldn’t be police officers, and when they resort to tasers to stop a fleeing 14 year old girl who has epilepsy, they should get into a physical training class or give up their badge.   Is anyone else tired of these cliched expressions to justify criminal behavior.  “I did what I had to do”??!!  What kind of nonsense is that?  The lame excuses policemen and women use when they get caught are unbelievably stupid.  All four policeman in the two stories above should take their turns in the witness chair to explain their actions before doing time in their local prisons.   Oh, hat tip to Jonathan Turley’s blog.

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