Friday, September 21, 2007

If I Get Tazered...

...please don't just sit there.


Aside from a little schauchenfraud (however you spell that) for a conspiracy nut mixed in with a lot of outrage over the response (Seems he did a lot more than shown), this thread is devoted to discussing useful anti-The Man measures.

17 comments:

Akusai said...

Well, what can you do? I hate to be a downer, because I love sticking it ad hominem as much as, or possibly more, than the next guy, but when cops start breaking out the excessive force the most you can do is hope you live through it and sue the shit out of them later on. If you fight back then they have you for assaulting an officer, a crime which, for some reason, puts policemen on a higher level than civilians (assault against an officer is a felony; normal assault is a misdemeanor unless it is aggravated).

"Assault" is one thing, but "Assaulting an officer?" You better watch you ass, you uppity little bitch. That was one of the Fraternal Order you hit. All this despite their official designation as "civil servants."

A couple of run-ins with overzealous fuckin' pigs have taught me that it's almost always best to say "Yes, sir. Yes, sir," until it passes over. Luckily I've never actually been in the wrong, but my tendency to want to argue the point has got me into hot water before.

In short, my anti-The Man strategy is to patiently plan your revenge after the fact. Otherwise you'll just end up in more trouble.

Of course, with a whole auditorium of people, more might be done. A cadre of students could attempt to stop the violence; they can't all get caught. Like in last fall's UCLA tasing, someone could attempt to get the badge numbers of the cops after the fact (though last year that simple, politely-stated request was replied to with "You shut up or I'll tase you, too").

The problem, though, is diffusion of responsibility. Everyone is hoping that someone else will pitch in to help the poor brutalized crackpot. They don't want to risk themselves getting in trouble. Either that, or they're just assholes who don't care at all.

It makes me think of Old Man Waterfall from Futurama. "I may disagree with what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it!"

"I request a Satanic funeral!"

Mechalith said...

Unfortunately I'm pretty much with Akusai on this one. The chances of a mass intervention suck, and doing it solo is just a good way to end up in high voltage distress yourself. I'd like to think I'd step up and try to help, but honestly I don't know if I could.

I think the problemis that the Word segment you've linked is more or less accurate, despite being satire. People rage against the man at long distance because we've mostly been taught that our protests and outrage gain us nothing but still feel like we ought to do something.

Bronze Dog said...

Of course, I didn't mean physical resistance. Mostly just standing up in some form or another, rather than trying to look like you don't know me, which was the impression I got from the guy's 'buddies'.

Not that I'm likely to do anything taser-worthy in the near future.

Still kind of fun to imagine the police getting mobbed for an unprovoked assault on their part, though. (I should probably take another few looks at the start of the moment, btw.)

Akusai said...

Whenever I lift weights I listen to Rage Against the Machine; as one of my lifting buddies said, "Rage makes me want to jump kick people in the face." It also gets the righteous, Fuck The Man juices flowing and makes that mob situation sound positively delightful.

xiangtao said...

I believe Schadenfreude was the word you were looking for.

Laser Potato said...

Me? I'd wait till the officer's head was turned and transform into a Buddah statue. Wait, you're not a Tanuki? Shucks.

Akusai said...

Change of subject but...

Does anyone have more patience than I do?

(Code Red Major Moron Alert)

JackalMage said...

I'm sorry, Akusai, but... I just can't touch that.

Joshua said...

Yeah, basically I just don't make myself a tazer target. Even that's no guarantee, but it's worked out for me so far.

Ranson said...

Hmm, according to my contacts at UF, this guy was known for his "Jackass"-style practical joking and self-promotion. The security at the school is deemed pretty tolerant, actually, and it's rather amazing how long they let the guy go on. To quote:

"I've been to UF speaker events like that, and both UF and the university police department are pretty damn tolerant. I've seen people on two seperate occasons more or less call Gorbachev and George HW Bush a murderer, then ask a question. From the looks of it, the cops were trying to be lenient in this case, but then they panicked when it seemed to be getting out of their control. Hell, they let the jerk speak for a minute or two before they did anything. The cops got suspended, which they probably deserved, and it seems the UPD is going to continue with its charges against the heckler, which he definitely deserves."

As for no one helping, well, if I thought the guy was acting like an idiot in person, I'd be more likely to applaud, because the campus police are doing something I wanted to myself.

Of course, I seem to be in the minority on this here, but all the same, it seems that the point of view has to be noted.

Bronze Dog said...

Well, the information you provided makes a lot of difference.

TheBrummell said...

I didn't think the people looking bored in the background were tazered-man's buddies, rather I assumed they were there to listen to the presentation by the speaker (I missed that part - who was it? Al Gore?).

I'm with Ranson on this one - absent other information, this doesn't look like massively excessive force by "fuckin' pigs" as much as it looks like one officer getting too frisky with an obvious jackass. Was the tazer justified? I don't know, but I think probably not, so suspend the officer(s) who used the tazers, conduct an independent investigation, and move on. Was the turn-off-the-microphone and remove the 'questioner' justified? Yeah, I'd say it looked like it.

To return to my initial sentence, I think the bored-looking guys really were bored; they were hoping this little incident would end quickly so things could get back to the reason they were there, i.e. the presentation and Q-and-A session.

JackalMage said...

Regardless of whether or not this guy was being a jackass, I'm coming more and more to the belief that we need to reclassify tazer use.

It's called a non-lethal weapon, but it *does* kill. Not a lot, but tons more than physical force or blackjacks do.

As well, it's just too easy. Point, click, tazed. Much simpler than wrestling a guy down. As such, it gets used a lot more than is necessary. There were several officers on this guy. He didn't have any weapons. He wasn't being violent, either, just disruptive. There was absolutely no need to go beyond ordinary physical force to remove and restrain him. But the tazer was just easier, and so it got pulled out.

It's scarier than physical force, as well. By this I mean that we innocent bystanders are more afraid of a tazer than we are of being wrestled to the ground by cops. Sure, there's police brutality, but that's rare. Your instinct is to *not* beat the crap out of people, and we all recognize this, so it's not as scary. Shooting someone with a tazer, though, doesn't work like that. Like I said before, it's easier. Thus, it's more likely to be used against us, and we know that.

Bleh. Every single time I hear something about tazer use, I hate it more.

Akusai said...

What gets me about taser is that, (as I understand it) they are theoretically used to replace such things as nightsticks for subduing truly violent offenders. Whereas to subdue someone with a nightstick, you might have to break their face before you get them into cuffs, with a taser you just zap then once or twice and then you're good to go. It's clean and easy and better, I suppose, than a broken face.

The problem with that easiness, as is becoming more and more apparent in the age of YouTube, is that many policemen use the taser as a first option, an easy out, whenever they don't feel like messing with someone or, hell, if someone looks at them funny. They're being used lazily and thus unethically.

When you see someone getting tasered, the way to judge whether or not it was justified is to ask yourself "Do I think he deserved a nightstick to the face?" If the answer is "no," then he was probably unjustly brutalized.

JackalMage said...

That's a much better way of putting it than I could muster. Thanks, Akusai!

Dunc said...

The thing that everyone seems to be overlooking here is that a tazer is an implement of torture. It forces compliance by inflicting unbearable pain. The main difference between a tazer and a nightstick is that the nightstick leaves incontrovertible evidence of its use.

Would people be as sanguine about it if the implement were, say, a red-hot brand? Inflicts pain, produces compliance, non-lethal...

Tom Foss said...

I don't know, it seems to me that most people who use the word "bro" in public deserve a little tazering.