Cursing senior plod samples electric justice
'Aagh - bloody hell': top cop zap vid shocker
Video A top Welsh cop has posted video of himself being zapped with a Taser cattleprod stun gun. With a strangled cry of "Aagh - bloody hell," North Wales chief constable Richard Brunstrom tastes electric justice and pitches to the deck, towards the end of this Flash vid:
The stunt was intended to back up Brunstrom's decision to issue ordinary plods with Tasers. Thus far, in the UK, the crippling high-voltage cattleprod launchers have been carried only by specialist firearms units. The North Wales tactical squad has had Tasers since 2003.
However, Brunstrom - as he says on his blog - has recently decided that "the device has a wider application to provide better and quicker protection to ordinary patrol officers in remote locations faced with dangerous or violent people ... We have therefore just issued Tasers to a substantial number of officers based in the more rural parts of the force."
Rowdy sheep take note.
Plods in the US and UK often like Tasers, despite the fact that the devices are sometimes thought to have worrying health effects. Most people - for sure, now including chief constable Brunstrom - would agree that getting zapped is no fun. But coppers frequently contend that most of their other options for dealing with violent miscreants are worse.
If the police outnumber the scoundrels hugely, four or five officers can sometimes seize and cuff an unarmed opponent without much risk to themselves and - if they're lucky - without harming the perp too much. Even this, though, offers a chance for cops or their adversaries to be badly hurt as the braceletting is carried out.
If the malefactor has a knife, a bottle or whatever - or if the plods don't have several officers for each offender, or they've been eating too many cakes in the canteen - things get a lot worse. The cops will probably have to club, gas, pepper-spray or even shoot people in these situations, if they aren't allowed to Taser them. All of these things are arguably at least as damaging as being shocked, which is why policemen often like the electric option.
Manchester's boss plod Michael Todd sampled a spot of street shock-therapy a few months back, too:
There could be a trend starting here: if you want to be a chief constable you have to eat lightning. It does seem only fair.
"We're prepared to use this on members of the public when we have to," says Brunstrom.
"It's right and proper that the head of the organisation tries it out for himself."
"I very strongly advise you, if faced by an officer and a Taser, that you follow the instructions of the nice police officer, because you will not enjoy the consequences of disobedience."®
Several misunderstandings in this thread... :-(
Brunstrom clearly describes a situation where "... if faced with an officer and a TASER, that you follow the instructions of the nice police officer, because you will not enjoy the consequences of disobedience." Follow the rules of logic: no-one is going to be faced with a TASER until they have already presented sufficient threat to themselves or to others, to justify the drawing of the weapon.
And on that point, even when the weapon is drawn, only in a relatively small number of cases (here in the UK) is it then fired, because the "red dot effect" - where the subject realises that the TASER is being presented and is home in on him/her, ready for deployment, often results in them submitting to arrest.
I'm glad that you labelled your submission as BS, because I'm sure that it is: "I have a problem with the uniformed egotistical megalomaniacs that I tend to see using them..." How many deployments of TASER have you actually seen, and in how many of those cases was the weapon fired? Zero? I think so...
Ae you in the US or the UK? Here in the UK, there are Health & Safety laws that mean the "attendants" have to be there to minimise the risks from injury caused by the subject falling, in these demonstrations, daft as it sounds... although I'm surprised that no-one has yet mentioned that fact that the operation policies applying to use of TASER in te UK specifically forbid such "voluntary demonstrations", so Brunstrom is to be condemned for ignoring national firearms policy (set by the Association of Chief Police officers, of which he is a member). That is his truly unforgivable transgression!
And to everyone reading:
At least you can be assured that fewer and fewer officers in the UK will actually be carrying these over the next few years - because 53% of all current serving officers are due to retire or leave the Police Service for other reasons over the next five years - that's more than half of the entire service! Already, almost all "front line" response police officers, including their supervisors, have less than 4 years of service. The loss of expertise will have profound efects, but at least you now understand the current desperate rush to recruit Community Support Officers to attempt to avert the impact of these losses.
Another for the anonymous coward...
Mendes shouldn't have been illegal? That's fair enough... But it appears that in your world, the penalty for being illegal is death. Glad I live in the real world, instead of yours.
Back on subject - TASERing is no walk in the park, and probably hurts nearly as much as a tax audit, but considering the alternatives, I'm glad the fuzz *have* the alternative to zap first, before resorting to measures more stern.
North Wales Police's TASER video of Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom
On North Wales Police's web site a YouTube video of Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom lays down his warped idea of legitimate police conduct, saying "I very strongly advise you if faced with an officer and a TASER, that you follow the instructions of the nice police officer, because you will not enjoy the consequences of disobedience". If even the 'head of the organisation' thinks physical retribution of excruciating pain should be used against those who fail to comply with police instructions we definitely should not have TASER in the UK.
When police are confronted with a violent or armed person, Taser has a legitimate role to play in making an arrest - I am not decrying that point. My concern is that too frequently the Police - including at least this one Chief Constable - think Tasers legitimate use includes administering electric shocks to disobedient people who fail to obey verbal instructions. Taser should only be used on people who have made a violent response to an officer's attempts to arrest. Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom should resign!