Two things are clear. First, tasers are not nonlethal weapons
. They kill people. Further, they bring out the worst in a particular type of bad cop: the sort that is rather too quick to inflict debilitating, nightmarish pain on anyone who doesn’t immediately fall into line.
Last night, some cops repeatedly tasered
a student at UCLA’s Powell Library. His crime? Refusing to show ID. Does this sound right to you? It sounds scary as hell to me. It’s the sort of story that makes me want to stop using the word “cops” and start using the word “pigs.” I try to reject that urge, because I don’t want to fall into the mindset of thinking all
police officers as enemies. But these officers at UCLA? Pigs.
Another student caught the incident on video
using a cell phone. Hmm. Perhaps the increasing ubiquity of video cameras in people’s pockets will ultimately help curb police brutality?
(One more thought: When I was at Cal, most students I knew made a distinction between the Berkeley city police and the UC police. Berkeley cops were all right. The UC police were pigs, every last one of ‘em. I had a roommate who was beaten by UC cops one night, for trespassing in a construction area on campus after dark. It was his contention that the UC police force was comprised of power-trippy assholes who couldn’t pass the psych exam for a true cop job. I wonder.)
[UPDATE: discussion and interesting additional linkage at MeFi]