Thursday, July 06, 2006

White people politely applaud

How to explain the lack of outcry after the Los Altos City Council's unanimous decision to arm all 38 police officers with Tasers? Perhaps it's that any high school student who ever went on a ride-along with the Los Altos police knows that the police spend a disproportionate of their time tailing minorities and people who drive beat-up looking cars.

Tasers, like all police weapons, tend to be disproportionately used on minorities. But police frequently fire them at non-violent suspects who are disobeying orders (the link is worth reading just for the story of "Dan-o" Curran). Imagine if they said that every time they asked for more.

Local police have a few handy stories that purport to prove the necessity of Tasers, disingenuously saying that the presence of a Taser saved them from shooting a suspect.

Sometimes, though, the stories appear to bear this out. When police did not have a Taser to subdue a crazed machete-wielding man in Los Altos Hills, they wound up shooting him. (The man survived, but the Palo Alto Daily did not get the memo, leading the next day with a story along the lines of "Police shoot, kill machete-wielding man." Instead of issuing a correction, the following day the paper ran an interview with the man. I believe the headline was "Machete-wielding man tells his side of story.")

As long as we're making fun of newspapers here, a Google search for Los Altos and Tasers turned up this barely comprensible article from the Town Crier's archives.

1 comment:

Kathy Schrenk said...

I think it's fine for every every cop in MV to have a taser, as long as every cop actually gets tasered on camera and a DVD of said tasering is sent to every resident of Mountain View.