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links for 2006-11-02


 

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While the Jesus angle is mildly interesting, I'm more concerned about the stun gun angle. The manufacturers advertise them as a "totally safe" means of subduing an uncooperative person. They aren't.

Stun guns have their place, certainly. They are substantially less likely to be lethal than a firearm and superior to physical restraint in terms of officer safety. However, lulled by stun guns' advertisement as "safe, nonlethal" alternatives, police departments nationwide have failed to institute any substantial regulations on their use. Officers, believing there to be no actual risk to suspects, feel free to use stun guns as a shortcut around traditional confrontational techniques, resulting in cases where people who posed no threat to an officer, or no threat justifying the risks of electrocution, are in fact electrocuted, mostly as a means of making the officer feel more secure that he is in control of the situation.

Then, when the worst happens, investigators find themselves under pressure to claim that the victim was likely to have died anyway. Many times there's some drug use involved, and it's easy for the ME to declare an overdose. This case is a little tougher. Can anyone cite me a case where "excited delirium" was listed as a cause of death?

As unsympathetic as I am towards this teen's Jesus fixation, I am opposed to making it a de facto capital offense simply because the officers have been misinformed as to the risks associated with the weapons they carry.

I see where Gelf's coming from, but isn't it a 'requirement' of sorts that police are only permitted to equate to the level of force being used against them plus one? Maybe I'm under this impression as I'm from Liberal Canada ...

But that aside, wouldn't it make a shitload more sense to train police officers to at least some of the same extent done with the navy? There are two benefits to be had ... that is, of course, assuming these guys have the patience (which they don't). First, a smarter pair of hands results in fewer deaths. How many street hoodlums know anything beyond stamping jaws and swinging knives? A cop trained in manual disarmament, rather than only the kind promoted in our gaming industry, would also be beneficial for the cop because of reason number two: it's a lot healthier, both physically and mentally, to be able to use your body rather than relying on teks (sp?)

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I have to disagree about that Walsh spot. The Michael J. Fox ad was far superior. Trotting out the good looking actors, particularly the little girl, is an instant eye-roller for me. Plus the angle -- I'm healthy now, but I'll be severely afflicted in the future -- doesn't hit home to me. On the other hand, I remember Alex P. Keaton, and when I see Fox in the physical shape he's in, it makes me sit up and pay attention.

Pathetically, the reactionary talking point is now, "There's no guarantee that expanded ESCR will actually work, whereas existing lines have actually shown promise." That is the flimsiest, handed-down-from-on-high, scientifically and logically laughable argument I have heard since intelligent design.

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