The recent tasing of an 86 year old bedridden grandmother is another in a long line of questionable usage of a weapon that has proven to be anything but non-lethal. In fact, less than 10% of the people who die from taser related deaths have any form of weapon on them. Missing from the account below is the allegation that the grandmother had a knife in her hand and was threatening the police if they did not leave her apartment. Regardless, police are now equipped with a weapon that they are trained to use in situations that otherwise may not call for force. It is hard to imagine a situation where 20 years ago, before the widespread usage of tasers in law enforcement, that 10 police officers could find any rationale to beat or shoot a grandmother in her bed. However, now the taser makes police brutality clean.
A situation that once called for an officer to actually asses the threat or attempt to resolve a problem without brutality can now be handled with a touch of a button. The police work has been taken out of the equation. Police these days are trained less like the constables from whom they originated and more like jackbooted paramilitary units. Every day we see more armored vehicles in metropolitan P.D.s, more “special weapons and tactics” and more “turtle men” in full black battle regalia rejecting their roles as public servants and acting more like slave masters. The only thing that may be missing is the whip, but in its place they have the high tech version called a taser.