14 April 2021

I Agree

Don't make tasers look like guns.

It's Murphy.

If a gun can be mistaken for a taser, a gun will be mistaken for a taser.

And they have been.

But I cannot help but think:

We didn't have all these problems with dead suspects when cops were burly men with nightsticks.

I know we pivoted away from nightsticks after Rodney King and the LA Riots BUT:

Rodney didn't die.

We still have riots from the Rodney's of the world interacting with the police.

What have we gained?


  1. Back when I was working for a local PD, we still had some old-school officers who just had that 'don't F with me' attitude that even the new wave of perps and mopes knew not to mess with.

    And, yes, tuning up a suspect with a night-stick pre-Rodney King was an art. Hard strikes to major muscle groups and if necessary a shattered fore-arm. Not the forceful pushing that and light strikes that the LAPD were using at the beginning of the Rodney King episode (you know, the part that's not ever shown, the beginning of the fight, when RK is beating on the cops and they're using the 'new' techniques to no avail, and only when they started going old-school on him did he finally be subdued.)

    Most agencies require tasers to be worn on the opposite side of the body from the gun, in a cross-draw holster. Though some allow almost center-carry, again in a cross-draw holster. Which should be enough, with training, for the officer of 25 years service to be able to differentiate between taser and gun.

    Of course, that requires constant training in those 25 years...

    We've also seen a draw away from big burly bruisers being hired as police. Now it's all about diversity and acceptance, and an emphasis on empathy and community. So more and more lightweight and small officers are being hired. Which results in the George Floyd situation where Officer Chauvin, weighing in at 140 lbs, was the largest officer on scene to subdue a 250 lb giant. Which has a lot to do with why it took so long to subdue George and why the original officers needed backup.

    Add to the whole mixture is the proven fact that, even discounting on-board street pharmaceuticals, tasers don't work on about 10% of people. Straight up. Add in drugs and adrenaline and it shoots up to 30%, or more. Tasers are great, when they work. Emphasis on 'when they work.'

  2. If the news media had shown the entire video clip, instead of the bits that were most likely to inflame feelings, there might not have been a riot. Before the cops started wailing on him, King had been fighting them off and generally acting like an out-of-control crazy man. I note that there were two other blacks in that car that night. They followed police orders to the letter...and they didn't have a finger laid on them. Maybe the problem wasn't "racism" so much as a black felon and parole violator stupidly thinking he could first outrun, then outfight, the police?


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