Perfectly Justifiable Taser Usage

NRT, true to form complains the Police used a taser “out of convenience”.

Senior Sergeant Garth Stockley, asked earlier by the Herald, said no officer had been assaulted. He said the 17-year-old was Tasered because police couldn’t bring him under control after the arrest.

“We were in the middle of the road and it was only a matter of time before somebody was going to get run over.”

But looking at a cellphone video of the incident on the Three News site shows no traffic and no risk of anyone being run over. Instead, they seem to have done it simply for convenience – they wanted to shut up the person they were arresting, and get the job over and done with. And that is not simply a good enough reason for the police to use force.

Ahem. The cellphone video does indeed show no traffic. That’s the point – you can’t get run over if the street is chock full of cars (ask any Aucklander!). It’s when traffic can travel at full speed that you get the big messes.

Of course, “convenience” is a bit misleading.

This was a situation where a large fight had broken out. With knives. The Police mission here is simple: arrest as many as possible, as quickly as possible before suspects flee and/or kill someone.

As it was, this guy was not involved in the fighting. He shouldn’t have been arrested . But he was. And he resisted. The video shows that quite clearly.

That is very, very stupid at the best of times. In this situation, that marked him as a likely armed suspect for starters. The Police were fully justified in continuing the arrest in the quickest way possible. I’m picking they didn’t have a feather duster handy too.

What he should have done is quite simple: submitted to arrest meekly. He would have been let go very quickly had he done this, since bystanders were testifying openly that he was not involved.

Update:  It now seems the man arrested was the guy causing the trouble, and was well-armed. There were 6 involved in the fighting.


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