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To Tase or Not to Tase?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Seattle Times carried an article yesterday about a Kitsap County Deputy Sheriff who accidentally shot a man in the leg. Apparently, this guy--whether high, drunk, or bored--wandered up a fig tree. Kitsap County must have a "no tree climbing" ordinance on the books, because their sheriff's office attempted to extricate this fellow from the tree. After a grueling two hour standoff, they decided that this guy was just going to end up ________ (hurting himself? starving to death?) if he remained in said fig tree. So, the deputies decided the best course of action would be to taser the perp out of the tree. And that's where our story takes a bad turn.
Officer A aimed his taser at the tree-bound perp and fired--and missed. He then asked his partner if he would attempt the same. Officer B reached for his taser, brought it up to sight, aimed, then fired. A loud BANG! rang out... followed by, "Ow ­ that hurt. I'm coming down; I'm coming down."
It seems Officer Friendly accidentally drew his .40 caliper pistol instead of his taser. At least that's the story that's being reported to us. Maybe they grew tired of babysitting this tree-dweller and decided to force his compliance with their demands to come out of the tree. We'll never really know for sure.
What we do know for certain is police officers SHOULD know the difference between their tasers and their pistols. While they both are similar, they are distinctly different once placed in the hand. Besides, one is clearly marked to help identify it quickly as a "less than lethal" weapon.
In closing, I want you to ask yourself the following question: Can you tell the difference between a taser, a pistol, and a story that smells like a steaming pile of bullshit? I know I can.


Blogger Mark said...

I'm sure that the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office either has already released, or soon will release a statement that they "will have to review their procedures". That, from their point of view, will be the end of their responsibility. The same will happen if they ever "accidentally" kill someone.

4:04 PM  

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