Sunday, August 16, 2009

Means "Who Polices the Police?"

From AlterNet:

Cop Tasers Mom During Speeding Stop

"In January, an Onondaga County sheriff's deputy pulled over Audra Harmon, who had two of her kids with her in her minivan. A routine traffic stop escalated quickly.

The deputy, Sean Andrews, accused her of talking on her cell phone. She said she could prove him wrong.

He said she was speeding. She denied it and got out of the van. He told her to get back in. She did, then he ordered her back out.

He yanked her out by the arm, knocked her down with two Taser shots and charged her with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. His rationale on the disorderly conduct charge: She obstructed traffic when she got out of the van. The speeding accusation: going 50 mph in a 45-mph zone."

More here, including cop dashboard video of the incident.

As was much discussed during the recent Professor Gates "disorderly conduct" scandal, it's generally a bad idea to mouth off to a cop, or even to disagree with him in any way at all. So this woman wasn't being very smart; she should have been all "yes sir; no sir" and shit.

Having said that, Tasering her was a clear cut case of police brutality. If you click through and watch the video, it's obvious that she was no threat: the cop used his Taser on her, which is lethal in some circumstances, because he didn't like how she was talking to him. Indeed, as the above linked post goes on to relate, the DA's office dismissed charges after seeing the video; she committed no crime.

The only crime here was committed by a cop who, like an amazingly huge percentage of his fellow cops, believes mouthing off to a cop is a crime, to be punished violently, on the spot, with police officer as judge, jury, and executioner. That is, police culture, nationwide, doesn't accept the laws policemen are "sworn" to uphold. As an elite class, cops think they're the law.

Is this ever going to change?