Friday, December 04, 2009

This is crazy

Colorado sheriff's deputies resort to Tasering to subdue a 10 year old child.

This is crazy. Seriously crazy. What the hell did they dispatch out there, two Barney Fife clones eager to use their one (electrifying) bullet? Or just plain sadists?

Look. I've dealt with out-of-control 10 year olds before. *Seriously* out of control 10 year olds. As in, 10 year olds who were (excuse my political incorrectness) batshit fucking crazy in a day unit for kids with severe behavior problems, kids who would go off for reasons that made no sense because they were, well, batshit fucking crazy. And we didn't need a goddamned Taser when one of these kids went out of control and started trashing the center or attacked one of the other students. It didn't take a Taser to take one of these kids down to the floor and keep him there as long as it took for him to realize that he had a choice of following directions to go to the cool-off room or being there on the floor with someone sitting on his ass and someone sitting on his feet for longer than he had any desire. And crap, we were barely even trained on how to do this -- a single three-hour session using full-sized adults as the "children" to be restrained hardly qualifies as training. We were teachers and aides, not cops. Cops are supposed to be trained for this shit.

But I forgot, today's pussified cops have one bullet in their arsenal, and they can't handle shit that unarmed teachers can handle without using that one bullet. Kid lips off at ya? Taser'em! That's some crazy-ass shit. The batshit crazy kids I taught in that behavior unit made more sense than that. I guess Barney Fife really is cops' role model nowdays. Either that, or they're recruiting cops from mental wards!

-- Badtux the Been-there Done-that Penguin


  1. It's no accident that authoritarian regimes are called "police states." This not about justice, fighting crime, protecting people or property, or any other idealized concept. It's about fucking control, and in this case being god-damned lazy and incompetent about it.

    Just to be clear, I'm not saying all cops, or all questionable police incidents fall into this category.

    But some are obvious, and, obviously, this is one of them, and fucking grotesque, besides.

    On the other other hand, all authority needs to be questioned at all times.

    JzB The disrespectful tromboninst

  2. I blame political correctness. Just because a lot of teachers and principals were sadistic punishment perverts, it's no longer permissible to pull a child's pants down and use your firm, loving hand (or a woody implement) to pound on their tight, tiny buttocks as they moan and their flesh becomes hot and red and... Pardon me -- I think I was getting carried away there.

    Anyway, America is the land of instant solutions. Preferably done by someone else. Punishment adds bonus points to a solution.

    It takes time to discipline a child. You have to exercise some independent judgment. It's not a "one size fits all, zero skill-set" solution. Plus, if you're the teacher, someone might second-guess the way you handled the child. And your principal might hang you out to dry for what you did if the complaining parents yell loud enough.

    So you call the police. They taze the kid and go away, hopefully after terrorizing the other kids. (We know that terror breeds resentment and a desire to get revenge, but it feels so GOOD to see pain inflicted on someone who annoys you, so who thinks about the long term?) If someone complains, you get to blame the cops.

    And the cops don't care if someone squawks. "You got a problem with that, sir? You want me to taze your ass, charge you with resisting arrest and confiscate the car you drove up in?"

  3. Bukko, this particular incident was not in a school environment. The foster parents, who didn't even have the three hours of training that we got in how to deal with an out-of-control kid, called 911 for help. 911 sent the cops. The cops zapped the little brat with a high tech version of that favorite torture device of 3rd world dictators everywhere (i.e., the electric cattle prod) rather than restrain him and call a social worker, remove him to some other location, or whatever. I'm sorry, there's no (zero) excuse for zapping a 10 year old child with a torture device. Well, unless he has a gun or other deadly weapon, but that's a different story.

    As for tazing a kid in a classroom environment being a good idea, uhm, no. First of all, it doesn't matter that the kid's howls of pain and tears would be unmistakable, the little hardcase would get props from his peeps for making the pigs tase him and would boast about it for days. That's why the first thing we did when a kid went off was remove the other kids from the classroom, not only for their safety but to remove an audience. They got to go to another teacher's classroom and do worksheets rather than the interesting stuff we did in our classroom, bummer, so that made them mad at the kid who went off, which removed the props from the peeps bit. Secondly, that allowed us to do image control before the kid got re-introduced into the classroom (because he wasn't going to be back there for a while) so that he wouldn't get painted as either a villain or a hero but, rather, as a student who did an unfortunate thing and now was back to being a student.

    In other words, shocking the shit out of a kid in front of his peeps in hopes of terrorizing the other kids doesn't work. A kid that out of control either a) wants to be a hero to his peeps by showing that he's a hard case, or b) is too fucking crazy for it to make a difference. And after you shock him the first time and turn him into a crying cursing puddle on the floor, what then? It's not as if you can do anything worse to the kid after that. What, you're going to threaten him with being tasered again? You expect that to work? Really? It sure the fuck wouldn't work with the hardcases that I dealt with, that's for damned sure...

    What I can't figure out his how these cops live with themselves. I mean, c'mon. What, they go to the station house and, asked how was their day, reply "Great! I got to taser a 10 year old kid!"? Dude, that's just plain whack! I know I'd certainly be ashamed to admit that I had to use a taser to subdue a TEN YEAR OLD CHILD. It's crazy that there's poeple who would in all seriously feel *proud* of doing such a thing...

  4. When I was young cops didn't have tasers they had a gun and a "nightstick" baton. One was to kill, the other to apply force with out killing. Cops were taught physical defence as well as how to 'use' the nightstick.
    I believe the taser is called a 'non-lethal' weapon. The idea being that before a cop had to end someone's life they had one last chance to put them down.
    Unfortunately cops like all humans tend to take the easy way out of many situations. They also live with a fear of being a target.
    It is "normal" that they use a taser so easily but it was never the design of the device. It was designed as a weapon.
    So very sad that an "officer of the law" deems it necessary to use a weapon on an unruly child. The baton was too much and the child had no respect for authority itself and the cop just wasn't the tool needed for the job. When you are a hammer everything is a nail.
    So vey sad.

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  6. Uhm, purple. I don't know how old you are. But cops were no different 40 years ago when I was a kid. A cop's kid was my best friend growing up, and I heard more than a few tales that would make your feathers curl. Cops going "nigger-knocking" in "nigger town" just for the fun of it, deliberately rousting people they knew on parole to get throw-downs to use anytime they did an un-righteous shoot, and so on and so forth, cops were just as violent then as they are now. Only difference is that now they have fancier toys... instead of having primitive cattle prods to use to torture people (or, gasp, having to use RUBBER HOSES applied to the soles of the feet!), now they have these high-tech TASER things.

    Same old, same old. Americans are in love with the blackjack, and have been for some time. Nothing Americans love more than seeing violent policemen beating down "those" people (for some definition of "those" that does not include the person praising the cop's behavior).

    - Badtux the "Nothing's changed" Penguin

  7. Purple -

    Your basic premise is true, but I wonder if it is relevant.

    It might just be that your friends decided against a law enforcement career BECASUE they got a hint of what "To protect and to serve" really means. And, no - they can't be the only ones.

    There are lots of good cops, but way too many chose that profession because they are control freaks and/or bullies.

    JzB the sad trombonist

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  9. According to latest FBI stats as of 2008, there are 2.3 police officers for every 1,000 population in the USA. In 1975, the earliest year I can find stats for, that number was 2.1 police officers for every 1,000 population. So there has been an increase in the number of police officers, but not a huge one.

    So the notion that it's a watering down of standards that has led to the situation doesn't seem to be the case. Rather, our entire society seems to have become risk-averse -- "pussified", so to speak -- and law enforcement has followed in its footsteps. The police officers I knew growing up didn't need tasers or submachine guns or anything like that to deal with miscreants. Their nightstick and .38 revolver were plenty, and if all that failed, the 5 shot 12 gauge pump in their patrol car would seal the deal. Those guys had balls that *clanged* when they walked. Solid steel. Today? Marshmallows, dude. Marshmallows.

    - Badtux the Reminiscing Penguin

  10. Well, if you're going to talk about risk aversion, then the whole conversation becomes about Elliott waves . . .

    I don't think it's more cops or badder cops. Nah. I think bad cops just have access to badder toys. And we get to read about it in read time.

    Information is one thing - perception, something else again.

    JzB the occasionally over-informed trombonist

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  12. We live in a democracy, for better or for worse. Things are the way they are because the majority of the people *want* them this way. Take the TSA, for example. Please. People who grumble about the TSA while standing in line at the worthless security checkpoints (which would never stop a real terrorist attack and themselves create an opportunity for a terrorist attack, all it takes is one terrorist wearing a suicide vest ready to get his virgins to blast dozens of people bunched at the checkpoint into pink mist) find that everybody around them turns on them and accuses them of wanting terrorists to hijack another airliner. Apparently Americans love the blackjack, love black and white good and evil Manichean "logic". It makes them feel more secure. So we get what we want. Alas.

    - Badtux the "Democracy sucks, but everything else sucks more" Penguin


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