Follow Up: Woman Tasered Last November At Best Buy Will Not Have Charges Filed Against Her

On November 26th, a 35-year-old woman was shopping at Best Buy in Daytona Beach, Florida when there was some sort of communication breakdown, and a police officer who was at the store tasered her. We wrote about it here, and it turns out there’s a video of the event here. At the time there were few details, but the full story has since been pieced together and resolved, and last week the Florida state attorney said “charges won’t be pursued because there is no evidence that Beeland committed a crime.”

From the Daytona Beach News Journal Online:

Elizabeth Beeland, 35, a yoga teacher and holistic healer, was shopping at the electronics store on Nov. 26. As she went though the check-out line to pay for a gift she had purchased for her father, she received a disturbing telephone call from her husband regarding the couple’s daughter.

Upset, Beeland stepped outside, leaving her transaction midway and her credit card with the Best Buy cashier. The cashier thought Beeland’s behavior was odd and she flagged down a police officer who was already in the store investigating another credit card fraud case.

The casher told officer Claudia Wright that Beeland handed her a credit card and she wondered whether the card was stolen because the customer had gone outside without finishing the transaction.

Wright encountered Beeland just outside the store and told her to come back inside because there was a question regarding a credit card.

According to the officer’s report, Beeland became agitated and began yelling and cussing at her.

At least one witness who saw both Beeland and Wright however, denied that Beeland screamed or cussed at Wright.

The police officer, Claudia Wright, has said that Beeland used the word “fuck” and was refusing to cooperate. But the same newspaper gives this account from one eye-witness:

Best Buy shopper Darwin Ingram said he watched the drama unfold. Ingram said he was no more than “five to six feet” from Beeland and the officer inside the store.

“I just froze in place,” he said recently. “She (Beeland) was frustrated and excited because she hadn’t done anything. She was just stepping back with her palms up. The police called it resisting, but I just saw it as exercising her rights.”

Ingram said Beeland was not yelling, and he never heard her cuss.

On December 21st, 2007, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that “[Beeland] was arrested on two misdemeanors, disorderly conduct and resisting a police officer without violence,” and that “Daytona Beach police used a Taser 10 times in November, but Beeland was the only person stunned who wasn’t acting violently or fleeing.”

Officer Wright has been supported by the police department throughout the incident. Again from the Daytona Beach News-Journal:

Police Chief Mike Chitwood, who makes it a habit publicly to brand as “scumbags” individuals in confrontations with police, not only defended the use of the gun, but defended using violence on Beeland as a matter of course: “I was never raised on Tasers,” he said. “I used nightsticks and slapjacks.” (SECTION A; Pg. 4A, December 27th, 2007)

(Thanks to Eric!)

“No charges will be filed against woman Tasered in confrontation at Best Buy” [Daytona Beach News-Journal Online]
“Woman Tasered by officer at store won’t be prosecuted” [Daytona Beach News-Journal Online]

RELATED
Video footage of Beeland being tasered
“Shopper Tasered After Using Someone Else’s Credit Card At Best Buy”

Comments

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  1. darkened says:

    SUE THOSE PIGS

  2. capstinence says:

    “Police Chief Mike Chitwood, who makes it a habit publicly to brand as “scumbags” individuals in confrontations with police, not only defended the use of the gun, but defended using violence on Beeland as a matter of course: “I was never raised on Tasers,” he said. “I used nightsticks and slapjacks.””

    That is the worst part, IMO. How can a police officer say that sort of thing and get away with it?

    Glad to see they aren’t pressing charges. Maybe she should.

  3. Landru says:

    Ah, Florida!

  4. stephenjames716 says:

    every cop that tasers someone when they shouldn’t should have their nipples tasered until they smoke.

  5. I expected the article would discuss HER lawsuit against the police and Best Buy!

  6. CaptainConsumer says:

    Make that check out to Beeland with SIX zeroes please

  7. DashTheHand says:

    @capstinence: They can say that kind of thing because they have to deal with insane people every day that seem normal and at the last minute decide they would rather fight the police than be arrested and pull out a knife, gun, needle, razorblade, shiv, etc. and try to KILL the officer instead.

    For one week put yourself in the constant danger of an officer that actually does arrests and trouble calls instead of the thought of a worthless highway patrol cop that writes tickets all day and your tune will probably change.

    I’m not condoning the officer that tased the woman here because I didn’t witness or hear the event and therefore can’t decide the course of action that a law enforcement officer should have taken.

  8. shadow735 says:

    Sick, so she got taisered for resisting without violence? What? So much for innocent untill proven guilty, why dont they just start clubbing random people to get all that anger out.

  9. LionelEHutz says:

    Sue the cops. Also, that police chief has no business being in the business of public safety since he obviously gets off on hurting people. I’d call that guy a thug, not a peace officer. I know a lot of officers and none that I know would tolerate that attitude. Maybe that “chief” should quit his current job (or get fired) and answer an ad for a merc in soldier of fortune magazine.

  10. beavis88 says:

    That police chief should be fired, drawn, and quartered. He’s doing a disservice to the officers (you know, the ones actually doing the hard work) in his employ by being such a dickhead.

  11. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Huge. Lawsuit.

  12. mikedt says:

    The problem with these lawsuits, and I think she should file one, is that the penalty doesn’t come out of the dirty cop’s pocket. The city/town/state pays it so there is no incentive for the police force to think about their actions before they go off half cocked.

  13. Benstein says:

    Maybe the real problem is giving fat and lazy people badges. I think that a properly trained in-shape police officer would have handled this much differently (someone who wouldn’t be intimidated by a small 35 year old women). But I don’t fault Best Buy at all in this story.

  14. darkened says:

    @LionelEHutz: The majority of cops ARE THUGS. They’re high school losers with no intelligence that could do something productive society so they’d rather join the cops where they can get an artificial sense of power and superiority.

    Cops don’t intimidate me at all, anyone can act hard with a glock 18, mace, taser and hand cuffs on their belt. It’s because they need to make up for their inferiority in life they act this way.

    And to the 2 cops that this doesn’t apply to, well played.

  15. mmcnary says:

    It’s her own fault for shopping at Best Buy…

    There I got it in first.

  16. Saboth says:

    Welcome to the corporate overlords. “Officer, this person failed to complete a sales transaction with us! Best Buy Overlord commands you discipline her”.

    “‘Mam, once you set foot into that line, you are obligated to purchase all items you had on you. ‘Mam…come back inside…just buy a few things…it won’t hurt…backing away from your duty as a consumer ‘mam? That’s a’ tasering”.

  17. IrisMR says:

    Can she still be sued for the “holistic healer” part? Afterall, she’s a scam artist.

  18. Derp says:

    @darkened: Real origional argument. That’s what all the goth/skateboard/druggie loser’s say about the police. I applaude their conduct, they were in the right here.

  19. shan6 says:

    @DashTheHand:
    Best Buy shopper Darwin Ingram said he watched the drama unfold.

    Good enough for me, the cop was in the wrong on this. I’m not suprised it happened during a time where police went rampant with tazers all across the country, and nobody really punished them for it. I hope she does sue, and I hope she doesn’t work another day in her life because of it. F*ck that whole police department for going against the protect and serve credo.

  20. Erskine says:

    @DashTheHand: That has to be the biggest load of steaming pig crap that I’ve read all month!

    If the job turns you into a raving psychopath – get another job!!! There is NO EXCUSE for a person whom the population has placed into authority to have that kind of an attitude. NEVER.

  21. Szin says:

    Damn, that Police Chief just tells it like it is, doesn’t he?

    Seriously though, I hope she gets some kind of justice.

  22. lightaugust says:

    It’s Best Buy, so $54 million seems to be today’s going rate. Go for it, lady.

  23. vdragonmpc says:

    Hasnt anyone noticed that many police officers lately ARE thugs? They are not paid a lot of money and have to go through a lot of physical training. Many departments seem to emphasize weight and build over sense and honor.
    That the chief mildly suggests that he would have beat her down is very telling.
    I would suggest an evaluation of the department and staff as soon as possible before a young person is SHOT backing away with his/her palms up for asking some yahoo at Best Buy to fix their computer under warranty!
    Their was no reason given that a taser was needed and the officer only made an unnecessary confrontation WORSE.

    Although maybe she was sick of people ignoring her Authoritah.

  24. capstinence says:

    @DashtheHand:

    Pardon my French: but that is bullshit.

    His comment was in RESPONSE to this particular incident. In essence HE is defending the use of the taser on a woman who, as stated by an eye-witness (and apparently proven absolutely later), did nothing the police officer says she did.

    So the police officer tases her, lies, and then the chief of police defends the tasing (and again, in essence, the lying) and talks about using nightsticks and slapjacks. Again, he’s basically saying “She’s lucky we have tasers now, otherwise I would’ve condoned beating her with a nightstick for doing absolutely nothing wrong.”

    Abuse of power.

  25. sleze69 says:

    @mmcnary: It’s her own fault for shopping at Best Buy…

    Amen to that!

  26. StinkyCat says:

    Best Buy shopper Darwin Ingran said…

    “The situation just sort of evolved right in front of me. Hewre I was, stopping into Best Buy to purchase the God Father DVD, part one, not part two, you know..the natural selection.”

  27. statnut says:

    @lightaugust: Today only. Its a Tuesday special.

  28. ClayS says:

    @Benstein:
    Yeah right, she knows yoga; those people are always looking to kick ass. Tasering was the most prudent course of action.

  29. statnut says:

    Maybe tasers for cops is a bad idea? Yes its supposed to be a “humane” way to subdue a suspect, rather than depend on beating them with a nighstick or shooting them. But it seems like cops are more willing to use tasers in situations, where in the past, they wouldnt have escalated it to the point that physical violence was necessary.

  30. LorneReams says:

    “Beeland was then arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest”

    If you are arrested for only these two things, then 99% of the time, it is complete bullshit. It’s like being arrested for resisting arrest.

  31. smitty1123 says:

    Darwin Ingram? If ever there was a name that just screamed “pecker wood”…

  32. Buran says:

    Maybe if the cop had had the sense to wait until the woman hung up — if she was that upset it should have been apparent that she was getting bad news by phone — she wouldn’t have freaked out. I’m sure she was worried about her kid. Did they want her to freak out in the checkout? She was polite! She stepped away and had her (couldn’t wait) conversation away from other people and got tased for it!

    Maybe this asshole cop could have used a course in etiquette.

  33. Murph1908 says:

    @statnut:
    Ok, this may or may not be appropriate for the case in question.

    But every time I see one of these stories of someone getting tasered, they get the volts AFTER REPEATED INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE POLICE TO MOVE, NOT MOVE, OR OTHERWISE STOP DOING WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

    Are there bad cops out there? Yes. But there are many more bad civilians out there. People need to calm the hell down and follow the instructions of the authority. Fortunately, we do not live in a society where police abuse is rampant. Stop and think for a moment of the Darfurs of the world before you disagree with that statement.

    For every story out there where the person gets tasered, and we probably see every damn one of them, there are hundreds more where the person in question did as they were told, explained the situation, and went on with their business.

    Had this woman done that, she’d have been spared the shocks.

    As long as people continue to fight with the police, the police will need to fight back.

    Tell you what. If a cop says “stop, or your getting the taser,” you won’t see me moving.

  34. Xerloq says:

    @darkened: Are you going to be a police officer when you get out of high school?

    Tasers are non-lethal. The police chief needs to apologize, and the woman should sue – let the court work it out.

  35. clevershark says:

    WTF is wrong with Police Chief Mike Chitwood… one can only hope that one day he will find himself outside his jurisdiction and for whatever reason (even a mistake) subject to the same sort of violent abuse he seems to delight in inflicting to civilians.

  36. jbalsle says:

    Oh….it looks like the daughter’s college education just got paid for. Oh, yes, and the house mortgage too. This lady, if she plays her cards right, will never work another day in her life again.

    The cop in question should be hung out to dry. The department should endure scrutiny for it. And maybe, just maybe, we can treat the use of a taser like the use of a gun. Be damn sure you need it before you use it.

    At least the woman’s still alive. I hope she sues the dickens off both Best Buy and the police department/security firm this joker is affiliated with.

  37. @DashTheHand: You sound like my cop cousins every time a cop is caught on tape beating the shit out of someone lying motionless on the ground. You call it common sense. I call it brainwashing.

  38. Machete_Bear says:

    More alarming… “The police officer, Claudia Wright, has said that Beeland used the word “fuck”

    Since when did profanity become a tasable offense? I understand disorderly conduct, but this woman, f-bomb or not, was clearly taking a passive approach to the situation, anyone who knows anything about body language can tell you that.

    @Derp: And by the way, I would love to know how you feel that the officer was right for tasing an innocent, non-aggressive woman.

  39. statnut says:

    @Murph1908: And clearly, the cop in this case handled it wrong. The woman did nothing wrong, or did you miss that part of the story. I’m betting that if she didnt have a taser, none of this would have happened.

  40. bukz68 says:

    @Murph – People are not robots that can merely shut off their emotions at the instruction of a police officer. I believe the prudent thing to do in this situation would be to instruct this lady that she needed to calm down or she would be subject to arrest on the grounds of disorderly conduct. After ignoring 2-3 separate instructions then the officer should have called for backup and notified the customer that she would be arrested if she were not calm by the time backup had arrived. If the lady then resisted an actual arrest then she should have been tasered. Would it have taken longer and consumed addittructions as quckly as I deem necessary? ZAP! I don’t like the way you’re looking at me? ZAP! Fart in my direction? ZAP! Now, I think 98% of the officers in this country do things the proper way and tend to give people the benefit oional resources? Yes. But I think that’s warranted when you’re talking about using this kind of force against a citizen.

  41. Brad2723 says:

    Are any charges going to be filed against the pig who attempted to electricute this poor woman?

  42. Scuba Steve says:

    Have the police officer fired. Have the Cheif demoted as well, for lying.

  43. Pithlit says:

    @Murph1908: No. Cops do not have the right to tazer innocent civilians. No matter how much authoritarian types want to believe it’s true, it isn’t. The only part you got right is that the smartest thing to do is to follow directions from a police officer, and that’s true only because some cops are indeed incompetent. There are times when following orders could be difficult, as is the case with this woman. If I got a frightening phone call about my child, I’m not sure anyone could stop me from getting their as quickly as possible. And if I’m an innocent civilian you better bet I have the right to get there without being tazed by an idiot cop who doesn’t know how to do her job. And the authoritarians can huff and puff about it all they want to while I collect my hefty court award if it does happen.

  44. orielbean says:

    Raised on nightsticks? His mom must have been one tough broad…

  45. orielbean says:

    SUBMIT TO THE FEEDING.

  46. Gorky says:

    So what is a cop supposed to do when someone disobeys his order. Just say “well she isnt cooperating but isnt violent so Ill just stand here and let her not cooperate for 12 hours?” Does she expect him to let her go just because she said she didnt do anything? If that worked, then NOONE would get arrested.

  47. DashTheHand says:

    @capstinence: Way to not read my entire post. I’m done with you.

    @ceejeemcbeegee: I have several members of my family that were beat cops. You want to keep on thinking we live in candyland or an superhero movie where the bad guys are clearly labeled and the cops always take bullets and knife blades in the kevlar vest or easily mendable appendage, you’re the one thats brain washed.

    To reiterate my original post for the apparent reading impaired: I DON’T CONDONE WHAT THE OFFICER DID TO THIS WOMAN. However, MANY officers are under constant duress in locations and by confronting people that DO wish harm upon the officer because not every person is a smiling, happy, law abiding person and those that aren’t really would prefer not to be caught.

    One of my family members was seriously injured in the line of duty protecting harmless civilians by someone under the influence of narcotics. A second was injured by someone resisting arrest because they decided they didn’t want to pull over for a traffic stop because they would have gone BACK to jail on a DUI. So before all you decide to rip into EVERY officer for being a gun-toting redneck thug testosterone injecting ex-jock, maybe you should realize that they already have the most despised positions of authority.

  48. azntg says:

    @Derp: Just curious, do you just say things mindlessly just to spite others?

    I would say that this case was mishandled by the police. Given the circumstances, the officer seem to have a knee jerk reaction out of context and the Chief naturally did his job looking out for his own, but it was still a very mishandled case.

  49. Pithlit says:

    @Gorky: Yes. That’s what the cop is supposed to do. They don’t have the right to detain innocent civilians. She hadn’t done anything wrong. No one had observed her doing anything wrong. The cop hadn’t observed her doing anything wrong. So, yes, the cop should have let her go. Walking away from a retail transaction isn’t against the law.

  50. ARPRINCE says:

    She should have shouted….”DON”T TASE ME BRO!!!”

  51. wallapuctus says:

    @DashTheHand: If you think this cop was in the wrong, then what exactly are you arguing about?

    It seems like you’re trying to justify an attack on an innocent woman.

  52. Razzler says:

    @darkened: Slow down there, tough guy, your rippling man-muscles are distorting the Internet.

    So what was the deal with her daughter? I’m curious now.

  53. Murph1908 says:

    @statnut:
    As I said, my argument may not hold for this particular case.

  54. WhirlyBird says:

    @capstinence: How can cops say that? Because they have the guns, sweetie.

  55. WhirlyBird says:

    @DashTheHand: Hey, there’s no draft for cops. Those steroid-enraged donut-munchers willingly sign up for their so-called “dangerous” jobs, then want to use that “danger” as an excuse every time they brutalize some innocent civilian. No sympathy.

  56. Framling says:

    @Gorky: Man, if only there were ways to verbally de-escalate a confrontation. And man, if those methods existed, it’d be totally cool if police, the people most likely to find themselves in confrontations and with the greatest imperative to use those techniques, were trained in their use.

    Oh well, if wishes were horses, and all that.

  57. bukz68 says:

    I cringe every time I watch “Cops” and some dbag talks about how he joined the force because of the excitement. The excitement? Not to protect and serve? Those “excitement” seekers are the ones who end up tasing innocent civs.

  58. Brad2723 says:

    @Gorky: Have you ever heard of calling for backup? Try physical restraint.
    The Taser is supposed to be a non lethal alternative. With that in mind, it should only be used in situations where the use of a gun (deadly force) would be appropriate.

  59. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @mmcnary:

    It’s her own fault for shopping at Best Buy…

    Best comment of the day. Heh.

  60. ClayS says:

    @Brad2723:
    By backup I assume you mean a real cop? Because we all know just by looking at her, that “officer” should not be on a police force.

  61. lostalaska says:

    Don’t tase me bro! Don’t tase me!

  62. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    Derp:

    That’s what all the goth/skateboard/druggie loser’s say about the police. I applaude their conduct, they were in the right here.

    Pretty good – a simple declarative sentence expressing mindless support for the objectionable behavior being discussed, combined with a snide insult directed at everyone objecting to said behavior. The stupidly misplaced apostrophe is a nice touch, too.

    At first I thought the misspelling of “applaud” looked too much like a simple typo, but the extra letter at the end really brings it together.

    But the multiple choice insult was weak. Next time pick one kind of loser. Unless you meant to string them all together into a single epithet? In that case use DASHES dude. Skateboarding-druggie-goth-loser. See?

    And while brevity is always good, the initial trolling comment should be just a bit longer – kind of a stream of consciousness sounding mini-rant.

    In all, I’ll give you a 6. Not bad, but you really need to practice. Maybe find a site that has some skilled practitioners you can learn from. Trolling is tougher than you thought, eh?

  63. vdragonmpc says:

    Anyone arguing the woman should have been tased or the cop was right needs to remember some things about the ‘incident’
    1. It wasnt 10-20-30 minutes it was less than 4-5 minutes TOTAL. There was no discussion
    2. The woman was tased while backing away palms up. It doesnt get more non-threatening than that
    3. No crime was committed or in progress at ALL. Other than the cop making a bad situation worse.

    My solution if it was me would be to sue the police department for millions and offer to settle if I got to tase the hell out of the particular officer and the chief who condones it followed by their termination of employment. Easy settlement money or equal punishment.

  64. dorkins says:

    Sounds like the cop overreacted, but … why are we all assuming D. Ingram is telling the truth?

    And suing the department – which might be well- deserved – will only exacerbate the situation, which is: well, cops write us those silly tickets because it gets money for the department, which I suppose actually needs money. We get pissed at the police for wasting own tax money to act as glorified meter maids. The police get pissed when we get pissed off at them. And round and round it goes.

  65. deVious says:

    @TinyBug: Bravo.

  66. smitty1123 says:

    @TinyBug: Feeding the trolls, however, is very easy.

  67. capstinence says:

    @DashTheHand:

    Ohhhh you’re done with me. :eyeroll:

    Your latest post is incredibly contradictory. In one paragraph you “don’t condone” what happened, but in the very next you’re making excuses for the cop.

    There’s no excuse. If a police officer is incapable of doing their job competently and exercising good judgment, then maybe they should consider a different line of work. We entrust our safety and lives to these people, the least they could do is not tase us when we’re backing away with our hands up.

    @WhirlyBird:

    I couldn’t agree more with you.

    If the police officer in question has been through traumatic/life-threatening experiences in the line of duty, then she should be given a thorough psychiatric evaluation to assure she’s capable of continuing to do the job.

  68. shan6 says:

    @DashTheHand: An officer working in a Best Buy in Daytona Beach Florida isn’t exactly a street hardened Judge Dredd if you know what I mean. She got trigger happy because tazers are advertised as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

  69. Derp says:

    @azntg: Much like you I suppose.

  70. kublaconsumer says:

    Lawsuit: BB, the city, the Chief, the officer, and the police department. $54 million seems to be a popular number.

  71. n8ivetxn says:

    Last I checked, police in Florida are only allowed to respond with ‘Like Force’ meaning if the cop encounters someone with a knife, they cannot pull their gun on that person, they can use a baton or similar weapon. Since this woman had a cellphone, the cop was out of line by using the taser. She should file assault charges against the officer and the lawsuit against the city should require every officer attend retraining. Too bad they don’t have an investigative arm like the Texas Rangers.

  72. miran says:

    @DashTheHand: I don’t think anyone want to rip on cops in general, we just want to know how are we suppose to tell the good ones from the rest. It’s got to the point that due to reports of police behavior(and a distinct lack of effective discipline or redress) that I’ve turned down a conference in Phoenix and scratched Chicago off my must travel list. It’s just not worth the risk.

  73. Difdi says:

    If tasers are so harmless, why do police respond to someone armed with a taser by pulling out firearms?

  74. Derp says:

    @TinyBug: Only giving a simple declarative counter-example to all the kids who hate cops that are just doing their job. Thanks for the English corrections professor. I give you a 1 for helping me be a better person on a site dedicated to shopping.

  75. Andy S. says:

    @Buran: I’m pretty sure that answering and speaking on your phone while you’re already engaged in a sales transaction in a retail store is a breach of etiquette. Not to mention then abandoning your place in line, leaving the register tied up midway through a transaction, and the cashier unable to either complete the transaction or help any further customers.

    If she had just ignored the phone (how novel!) for two minutes until she was away from the checkout, this entire situation would have been avoided.

    While I don’t condone the cop’s action for how she reacted to the confrontation, I do wish that more assholes who insist on yakking on their mobile phones at inappropriate times would be tasered on a regular basis.

  76. statnut says:

    @Andy S.: “she received a disturbing telephone call from her husband regarding the couple’s daughter.”

    Yeah, who does she think she is, answering an important call from her husband? I got a phone call, while at the bank teller, that my grandfather had died, and left in the middle of a transaction. Guess I should have been tasered too, huh asshole?

  77. Andy S. says:

    @Brad2723:
    “The Taser is supposed to be a non lethal alternative. With that in mind, it should only be used in situations where the use of a gun (deadly force) would be appropriate.”

    Er… no. I’m pretty sure that the taser is intended to be a replacement for other non-lethal items, such as the nightstick which, even when used properly, can result in long-term damage. Trying to taser someone who has a gun will generally result in the person with the taser taking a bullet.

    However, Florida police guidelines also state that tasers shouldn’t be used on people who only offer verbal or passive physical resistance.

    So if she had been physically resisting the officer, or had presented any real threat to the officer or anyone else, using the taser would have been justified. She still wouldn’t have had to go so far as to be such a threat that deadly force would have been justified.

  78. Shevek says:

    @Andy S.:

    “While I don’t condone the cop’s action for how she reacted to the confrontation, I do wish that more assholes who insist on yakking on their mobile phones at inappropriate times would be tasered on a regular basis.”

    What a pleasant sentiment. I imagine that, in your world, phones and other electronic devices will come with tasering devices built-in to dissuade inappropriate behavior.

  79. kublaconsumer says:

    Another thing that bothers me about these situations is where the police encounters a distraught, ordinarily law abiding citizen, and then yells at the to CALM DOWN while pointing a tazer at them. Who’s going to calm down then? In times past it was either use you’re brain to talk to people or basically kill them with a gun. Now the tazer presents another option of “calmind down” a person.

    And the best part about “arrests” is that you’re screwed basically. You can be put through the hell of being arrested, and only afterwards can you dispute anything. If you resist or do anything like that then suddenly that’s the crime.

    I used to support the police but now, with all this tazer crap, I am suspicious of them mostly.

  80. Andy S. says:

    @statnut: Yes, you should have been tasered. I know it’s not going to happen, but it might have helped you break a very bad habit.

    You, like her, could have waited, and answered the phone when it wouldn’t have been RUDE to everyone around you. How did she know the call was important until she answered it? She didn’t. She couldn’t have (and, as a matter of fact, she never did. The article says “disturbing”, not “important”). She just answered it, as she probably always does. She’s developed that Pavlovian response — phone rings, answer it. Don’t even think about how your actions affect the world around you, just be a self-centered asshole.

    People used to be able to survive with only having a telephone at home, and they still can. Nothing — NOTHING — is such an emergency that you can’t wait a couple of minutes to answer the phone.

    Seriously — and I know this sounds callous, but the point is valid — could you have waited to answer your phone, in the end? Was your grandfather any less dead when you answered the phone than he would have been if you had called back two minutes later?

  81. Dibbler says:

    The cops in my city come two ways: Older with a huge belly or they look like their last job was the cell phone salesman at the mall kiosk (i.e. Looks no older than 18 with greased back hair and took the job to meet chicks.)

  82. Andy S. says:

    @Shevek: No, in my (ideal) world, the device that dissuades inappropriate/inconsiderate behavior is built into the user rather than the phone, and it’s called “common courtesy.”

    Yeah, I know. It’ll never happen.

  83. Shevek says:

    @Andy S.:

    Sheesh, man.

    Mistakes/crimes/errors have consequences appropriate to the issue at hand. Breaches of etiquette are answered by diplomatic consequences. For example, if someone is holding the line at a self-checkout station in a grocery store, I don’t shoot them. There are vastly more appropriate methods for dealing with the problem.

  84. statnut says:

    @Andy S.: You’re an asshat. I’m sure my mom would have loved to left that on a voicemail you callous jerk. Enjoy your soulless existence.

  85. vdragonmpc says:

    @Andy S.
    You need to get off the self righteous platform. Today we carry cell phones for just that reason: To be notified of an emergency or event that requires our attention. I do not walk the earth to appease others sensibilities. It only takes a second to void a transaction and she waited in line just as long as the person behind her.
    Your arguement would be valid IF it was a ‘hey girl’ call or a “whatcha doin Willis?” call. These were problem calls. But the cell phone usage was not the actual point of the post.

    The point is someone was tasered while not being a threat or committing a criminal act. Lets stay on topic.

  86. maztec says:

    Hey, are you having a bad day? “Yes Officer.”
    *ZZAPP!* Is it better now, you scumbag! “No Officer!”
    *ZZAPP!* Haha! Better now? “My daughter broke her arm!” Yah Right! *ZZAPP!*

    Ahh, I can just see it now. Give someone with power a tool that increases their power and has limited regulation and they’ll abuse it.

    The Stanford Prison Expirment more than showed this . . .
    [en.wikipedia.org]

  87. rolla says:

    police got caught and now are try to fix the situation by saying that we’ll let you off with no charges, hoping that will be the end of it. where’s johnny cochran?!!

  88. Robert Isbell says:

    she needs to sue that cop personally, and that cashier and best buy.

  89. bloodguy says:

    The larger issue here is that this behavior seems to be part of the culture of her department. Police departments have cultures and pratices that develop over time. Managements reactions to incidents such as this determine future actions by other officers. I believe the article mentions Daytona PD has circled the wagons around other officers. This officer used the culture of her department as much as anything else when making the decision to taser. A good lawyer should be able to point this out.

    The use of deadly force within major metro areas served by different departments (city vs county)often shows this theory to be true.

  90. forgottenpassword says:

    Man, what cops often get away with is just insane!

    Seriously… look into it. Its amazing that they can screw up & mostly only get some verbal reprimand from the boss. And at worst… they are often allowed to quit instead of getting fired… this is so that they can easily get hired on at a differnt police dept. A policeman can assault you, take away your civil rights & because of influencial police unions & fellow cops (who basically police themselves) they rarely ever get punished beyond some slap on the wrist. Whereas any civilian that “acts up” gets the book thrown at them.

    I love how they say that the woman wont be charged with anything because she didnt break any laws (then why was she arrested & tased?), but they also dont say what actions would be taken against the officer who overreacted & tased her. I will bet my LIFE… very little (if nothing will be done).

    One thing I want to add…. it tkes more to being a cop than whipping out a taser at the slightest sign of non-compliance. Cops are supposed to assess & deal with the situation well & use appropriate action IF needed …. that means talking to the woman to get her to calm down instead of whipping out a taser. Tasers have made cops lazy & less understanding/empathetic. In other words “I’m tired of having to do my job well, when I can just tase this person & be done with it.”.

  91. MYarms says:

    LOL welcome to my hometown. Down here they call it “good ol’ boy” justice. Its where the cops band together and make up or otherwise fabricate evidence to support their cases. Happens all over Florida. In Daytona the chief is some “tough” ex-chief from New York or somewhere. They’re always hailing him for supposedly cleaning up the city.

    I can’t understand then why we still have a serial killer, crackheads and tons of prostitutes all along US1. Seems like the only thing he cleaned up was the donut counter at Krispy Kreme across the street from the station.

  92. miran says:

    @forgottenpassword:
    fellow cops (who basically police themselves)
    The problem is the fellow cops do NOT police themselves. It’s all nudge-nudge/ wink-wink then whine about the fact the public has lost all trust in them.

  93. Craig says:

    Rats, I thought this was going to be about the woman whom Best Buy lied to about losing her laptop tasering the store manager.

  94. forgottenpassword says:

    @miran:

    That’s what i was trying to say. Police policing themselves is a joke.
    Small departments are the worst of the worst. Did you know…. that a LOT of small police department’s officers have complete access to the dashcam recorder? SOunds insane doesnt it? There have been several incident here in Missouri alone where the recorder “malfunction” or just dissapeared after a stop where a cop was accused of abuse or inappropriate actions.

    I also just recently found out that police have no legal protectections under the federal whistlblower law…. meaning if they report their corrupt fellow officers or department to the press …. they can be fired for doing so. I dont understand how this is deemed a good idea. I understand that they are supposed to go thru appropriate channels, but often times they are unofficially punished for doing so by their bosses & fellow officers.
    I found this ou after reading a story where a police dept investigated several forum posts critisizing the police dept…. they tracked the isp & ound out that officers in their own dept were doing it & they were fired for it. So if you dare to speak out about corruption… you are punished for it.

  95. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Hm. Nightstick vs. taser. My feeling is that a taser should only be used in a situation where direct physical violence to subdue someone would also be appropriate.

    Would the cop in this instance have taken out her nightstick and beaten the customer into submission, based on her behavior? Somehow, I doubt it.

    It’s a lot easier to commit violence against someone when all you have to do is push a button.

  96. forgottenpassword says:

    @CumaeanSibyl:

    Completely agree.

    Using a taser against a nonthreatening, noncompliant person is just wrong IMO.

    “Dont do as I say fast enough?…. well then… THAT deserves a taserin!”

  97. AlphaUltima says:

    To think all this would not have happened if any of them bothered to ask her what was wrong. They all just assumed she was some criminal. Guilty until proven innocent. Hope she sues the city out of their hurricane insurance and gets the hell out of there.

  98. G-Dog says:

    I have never met a cop that I liked.
    I have never met a cop I trusted.

  99. asherchang2 says:

    How much longer will the public accept this crap? Seriously, there must be dozens of these stories from the past few years, each of them a clear abuse of power and a potentially lethal weapon.

    Gawker should do a compilation of all the occurences of taser abuse from this past year.

  100. Buran says:

    @Andy S.: WTF? If I get a call from someone who normally doesn’t call me, I WILL TAKE THE CALL, since it’s probably an emergency, and certain people I’ll know it’s an emergency right away. Emergencies mean that yes, you step away from what you’re doing and deal with it right now. If the cashier couldn’t hit the cancel button when I said “I have to take this emergency call” then she can just deal.

    Oh, and saying that someone who is upset but nonviolent and nonthreatening should have ASSAULT AND BATTERY committed against them is beyond appalling. If you even dare to try that on me you’re getting a kick to some very painful places and left in a quivering heap on the floor and then getting charges pressed against you. It’ll be called self-defense and you’ll be outed as the asshole you are.

  101. RvLeshrac says:

    @statnut:

    What, he couldn’t hold on for the 30 seconds it would take to finish the transaction?

    Were you the one who had to go pick up the body?

    Seriously, folks. If someone is dying, they aren’t going to call you (I hope), they’re going to call 911. If someone is dead, you can’t do anything about it.

    In the words of Hagbard Celine, “Never Whistle While You’re Pissing.” Finish the job at hand before you start doing something else. Don’t drive with the cellphone, don’t talk on the cellphone in the store. Don’t talk on the cellphone in line. Don’t talk on the cellphone at the drive-thru.

    Holy hell, imagine how horrible it would be if your phone’s battery died and you didn’t find out that someone had an accident until you got home. You wouldn’t be able to rush in and perform lifesaving surgery on them in time, or write them that prescription for whatever medicine they needed. Of course, you couldn’t do that anyway, so WHY DO YOU ANSWER THE PHONE WHEN YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMETHING ELSE?!

    It is just rude. I’ve taken to simply walking away and ignoring any further comments or requests from anyone who answers a cellphone while I’m speaking to them (unless the call is directly related to the conversation at hand, which covers a percentage of time so incredibly fractional that it isn’t even worth tallying).

  102. timmmahhhhh says:

    @n8ivetxn:

    Yeah, apparently you don’t understand what happens when someone uses a knife. It is not a “non-lethal” weapon like a baton/night-stick/tazer. In the USA if you are attacked, you are more likely to die from a knife attack than a gun attack. It takes a lot of beating on a person to stop them reliably never mind kill them with a baton. With a knife, it takes one quick slash and/or stab to kill someone. Outside of “Die-Hard” type movies, a knife wound is at least as likely to be as fatal as a bullet wound.

    I do not feel this officer was in the right in this case. I will repeat that, I dont think she should have been tazered during this situation. However, in the completely different scenario of someone coming at an officer with a knife, I firmly believe they are entitled to draw and prepare to shoot their firearm when their assailant comes within 21 ft with an edged weapon in hand. A baton is simply not up to the task.

    If you feel that distance is extreme, try rushing your friends from 21 feet away when they have to draw, aim, and fire. Twenty-one feet is the legally accepted boundary. And remember, when someone is trying to stab you, the only hits that are likely to stop them are CNS or pelvis shots. So shooting randomly into the abdomen is unlikely to prevent someone from stabbing you, even if your shots will eventually kill them. After a shot to the heart, they will still have ~15 seconds of voluntary muscle movement.

  103. brent_w says:

    In most taser stories I side with the cops, like with that stupid “don’t tase me bro” kid.

    But in this case the police officer was clearly … unmistakably wrong.

    Also the police chief is the definition of a “scum bag”.

    .

    Officer needs a dock in pay.
    Chief needs his ass fired.
    Woman deserves compensation.

  104. Saboth says:

    @dorkins:

    Er…no, the police force does not fund itself through tickets. They are paid from our tax dollars.

  105. CaliforniaCajun says:

    Florida: The United States’ Crazy Uncle.

  106. asphix20 says:

    @vdragonmpc:

    I beg to differ. Starting salary for officers in my town (a local suburb of a not very large city) is 65,000-75,000. Thats not counting overtime. The average cop in my town, having been with the force for 2-3 years, with overtime will easily break the 85-90,000 a year barrier.

    That is not underpaid. Granted, I know not all places pay this well.. and I know a lot of places pay MUCH better.

    You tie that in with benefits (pension, retirement after 25 years.. etc) and being a cop is an attractive profession.

    They make nearly a third more than what I do as an I.T. specialist. If they really rack on the overtime, they could earn double ($100-110,000).

    Again, not all pay the same.. so the moral of this story: generalizing for the most part = BAD.

  107. Marcus says:

    It’s called the Force Continuum, and the officer broke it. Tasers and other less-than-lethal devices are usually the last step before deadly force. If there was no violence in the “resistance” (which everyone involved seems to agree on), then the officer unlawfully escalated the confrontation when she deployed her taser.

  108. SecureLocation says:

    This is why god invented lawyers

  109. zippyglue says:

    Funny, I now that I think about it I realize how similar being tasered is to shopping at Best Buy. They should just taser everyone that walks in the store to spare the trouble of administering their poor customer service, rules that they make up as they see fit, incorrect sale signs that they refuse to honor, accusing customers of thievery, etc. I hate Best Buy.

  110. synergy says:

    WTF. Cops need to stop using Tasers at the drop of hat. Seriously.

  111. dweebster says:

    @capstinence: That police chief sounds like a real scumbag. Someone ought to Taser him for resisting reality.

  112. dweebster says:

    @zippyglue: TRUE, oh so true.