I'd intended this morning to to write about yet another cop shooting yet another family pet (hat tip: Jag), but that's old hat, and anyway it's Atlanta, where the police shoot nonagenarian ladies. So what's another dog?
I'm glad I saved my outrage, or I wouldn't have had any to spend on this:
The tasing took place on July 24 at the Dollar General Store on Azalea Road. A store manager called police and said that a man was taking too long in a restroom. Antonio Love was using the restroom, because he had stomach problems. He is deaf and mentally handicapped. Police officers tried to get Love to open the door, but his mother said he could not communicate with them. Officers pried open the door, but Love kept trying to shut it. He told his mother he thought the devil was trying to get him. Officers then used pepper spray and tased Love to get him out of the restroom.
Mobile Police Officer [name unknown, but when it is I'll see to it that Google knows it forever] tased a deaf, mentally retarded man because he was sick and couldn't leave the bathroom. Sorry Mr. Love, it wasn't the devil. It was just your friendly neighborhood policeman.
TASER International, and advocates for the use of its products, claim that Tasers provide a non-lethal alternative to the use of firearms for officers who feel threatened. The nonlethality of Tasers is debatable.
But one thing is certain. The Taser also provides an alternative to the policeman's former alternative to lethal force: Talking. Asking a suspect, or just a troubled person who needs some peace in a rest room, what's going on, and does he need help? Calming people down. Defusing tensions, whether it's from violence, or from a ledge, or just getting a guy out of the bathroom.
There was a time when a policeman was expected to act as something of a psychologist, to talk troubled people through problems, because his only alternative was deadly force. With the advent of the TASER, "shoot first and ask questions later" is no longer a black joke.
It's standard police procedure.