Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

With officers like these, who needs criminals?

This must be more of the "new professionalism" that Scalia had crowed about:
The suspect said that he was hit three times with a Taser after he was already handcuffed and face-down on the floor. Murphy's investigation found evidence that the suspect was hit twice with the Taser — once in the back before he was handcuffed and once in the buttocks after he was cuffed.

Murphy said the officer who used the Taser -— described as Officer #3 in the report — also coarsely threatened to use the Taser in the man's anus and genitals. Murphy's report says that use of Taser on a man's buttock's does not violate policy in and of itself; the question is whether it was "reasonable and necessary."
If the question remains open to the nature of water-boarding as torture (it is), then how is this within the realm of consideration for "reasonable and necessary" action?

Unsurprisingly, the review yielded these recommendations:
— Use-of-force investigation policy review. Establish specific standards and procedures needed for those tasked with investigating reportable uses of force by Boise police officers. "It is important that such acts be investigated and documented using consistent, best practices," he said.

— Training regarding positional asphyxia. During the arrest in question, the suspect was placed face-down on the ground and handcuffed with his hands behind his back and had the weight of three officers on his body. "None of the officers seemed to be aware of the possible danger posed by positional asphyxia," Murphy said.
More training and additional bureaucracy is the answer to persistent abuse of authority? If anything, it is demonstrably the antithesis of known solutions to the systematic abuse of power.

This is not law, and it is not justice, but both of them will out, legally or otherwise.

5 comments:

Elusive Wapiti said...

It is a shame that all mishaps and embarrassing events these days result in calls to "review procedures" and the like.

Here's an easy way to get some accountability back: simply hold officers to the same standards of behavior as the rest of us. Which means that Tase-happy Serpico would have to answer to a jury of 12 citizens for his actions of assault with a deadly weapon.

Now where are those pictures of Zooey Deschanel?

Something Feral said...

Easier said than done, unfortunately. The days where a "law-man" was held to a higher standard of behavior that befits his responsibility are long dead, no thanks to the progressive (fascist) model of the "G-Men" and the formation of police unions.

Alas, there is but one Zooey picture.

MikeT said...

I think it says a lot about our system that our system consistently expects better handling of weapons from gangbangers than from the police.

Doom said...

I must add this though, especially to a bunch of other p.o.'ed gents. Are you telling me you have never dealt with someone, who if you had the power (or requirement) to deal with, that you would not use a little extra force? Do not even fib to me. I know, from past experience with at least one of you, that running hot is in your veins.

There are some people who really need that extra something. Maybe the cops were completely off it, maybe they were a little over, but just maybe, just perhaps, the guy got less than what he deserved.

What was that old defense in Texas? Oh, yeah, "Well your honor (as defendant stands before the judge), so-and-so needed killing, and here are a dozen witnesses, a few police reports, and some pictures to prove it." *bang goes the gavel* "Innocent on all chargers!" sayeth the judge.

Just saying.

Something Feral said...

I've definitely been tempted to throttle several idiots within angstroms of their lives, but neither do I enjoy the privileges of being an armed agent of the state with the presumption of lawful behavior. By the nature of their jobs, they are expected to act with self-restraint and better-than-average judgement, neither of which were exhibited.

I'll venture that if the man in question was indeed deserving of more, it should be reflected in the officer's statement and testimony, not while restrained by two other officers with a coercive device applied to his nethers; Judge Dredd this officer ain't. Unfortunately, this attitude is becoming increasing prevalent, and those that believe that they are not "criminals" in the eyes of the government (at various levels) would do well to examine the very limited (and I daresay, non-existent) group of activities that do not break various overlapping legalities.

(Even if the activity is legal, a la open-carry, uninformed officers can, will, and have caused no end of headaches with unconstitutional searches. Furthermore, let's not forget the DEA policy on seizing cash in amounts greater than $10,000 on the presumption that one is involved in the drug-trade; no proof is required, merely suspicion.)

I do support the "Texas defense" for citizens, as it applies to the Castle Doctrine; the notable presumption is the immediate danger to life, liberty and/or property and responding in kind.