- New Rule Number One: "Officers now are prohibited from using the weapons against anyone “known to be under the influence of drugs.”
Now, if you're wondering what that means, allow me to clarify. According to McManus, it means that "officers are prohibited from using Tasers....if they have “firsthand knowledge” that someone is on drugs." Still a little murky? He goes on to say, "You have to see them using (drugs).” Now, wait. They have to see them using drugs? How often does that actually happen? My guess is almost never. It's not like they're chasing the guy through the alley and the dude is trying to get rid of his last line of coke on the go. Or if the guy is getting pulled over and they just happen to see him trying to get rid of the rest of that joint he was smoking by inhaling the rest of it right as the officer approaches the window of the Pinto. So, basically, just Tase away. I'm fine with that. No problems at all with it.
I don't have any problems with it because, as a general rule, it's really easy to NOT get Tasered. It's so easy, it's frightening. I mean, look at you, look at me! Here we are. Both of us. NOT getting Tasered! Amazing.
Apparently, the reason for the change was something called "excited delirium", a condition which isn't nearly as pleasant as it sounds. Basically, "excited delirium" is an overdose of adrenaline to the heart. Sometimes, if you're high as a kite and then you end up getting kissed by Mr Zappy, it can kill you. So they don't really want you zapping those people. But the only way you're going to know if they're on drugs is if you personally witness them doing it. Thus, this will have little to no impact in things being done differently at all. (Nor should it.) So zap away, fine protectors of truth and justice. Zap away.
- New Rule Number Two: "No more than one officer at a time should use a Taser against a person."
OK, again, a fine rule. No problem with it at all. But seriously, how many officers were all Tasering one guy at one time? Is there a reason why one cop would whip out Mr. Zappy and another cop would whip out Mr. Clickety and another cop would whip out Mr. FryVolt and all three of them (and their buddies if they're around) would all let loose on the evil doer at the same time? I'm picturing a big electrical dogpile (and it's not pretty). You know, I guess that there probably are those who would just take turns a-zappin' someone, but really.....do you think that rule is going to make the sort of cop who would do that stop and think about it? "Hmmmm.....I really want to take turns with Bad Cop B and Bad Cop C at Tasering this guy, but the rule book says we can't do that. I guess I'd better not. Now come along, junior." That's not happening. You know, what say y'all try and weed out the ones that this rule would apply to before you hire them? How 'bout that?
Now, just because only one officer at a time can administer the jolt electrical voltage which will travel through the body of the evil doer and render him helpless, in excruciating pain and cause his testicles to explode (so I've heard), that doesn't mean that they can only do it once. Oh, there's no limit to the number of times that Mr. Zappy can be utilized. Though they do point out " it requires that police stop using the weapon when someone is in custody." And again, while a fine rule, is it necessary to spell it out? Was there a problem where the cops would arrest someone and have the suspect cuffed and in their car and then the cop just reached over the seat and zapped him on the leg for good measure (or for laughs)? Perhaps repeatedly? Again, this type of individual is highly unlikely to be greatly influence by the new rule change. Highly unlikely.
And again, don't get me wrong, it's a fine rule to have. But I just hope that they're not expecting any HUGE changes in how things go in Taserville. The kind of cops that are going to be Taser happy and keep jolting Steal-y von DrugRunner are the kind of cops that are going to do it regardless of rules. It's like last month after that train crashed into another train in Southern California because the conductor of one of the trains was text messaging and wasn't paying attention. Almost immediately afterwards, the California Legislature came up with a law that says you can't text message while you're driving a train! I guess they think that will help. I don't think it will. (And, frankly, I don't think the Legislature will help much either, so it's probably even all the way around.)
Mind you, this doesn't change any of the other rules. So that wooden nightstick that they carry around with them? Bonk the bad guys over the head with that repeatedly as if in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Wood shampoo - repeat as needed.
Oh, and a little side note here: The Taser folks are getting all fancy and stylish on us now. Yes, you can buy your Taser in a number of different designer colors and patterns now! How exciting for those of you who don't want to sacrifice style for safety! Now you can fight back against the forces of evil AND have your weapon of choice match your shoes and/or bag! Good Lord, people. Here's a sampling (just in case you're doing early Christmas shopping for those living in questionable areas).
Camouflaged Tasers (So in case you're being attacked in the rain forest, your attacker will never even SEE the Taser and will just assume that you have electricity shooting out of your limbs at will!)
Steel bodied Tasers AND a leopard print Taser! (Leopard print Tasers, for the stripper or lap dancer in your life that needs a little protection. Brass pole not included.)
Red, purple and blue Tasers. (Just like I said. Something for everyone.)
And finally, for that certain someone who just wants everything to match, but what everything is being matched to is pink, we have (surprise) the pink Taser. Yep, pink. (I'm always thinking about things like this lately.)
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