Taser Torture as Summary Punishment for “Non-Compliance”

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The official rationale for issuing Tasers to police officers is that the electro-shock devices represent a “non-lethal” alternative to the use of a firearm in dealing with situations that threaten the life or safety of an officer or innocent bystanders.

In practical terms, however, the Taser — which is proving to be a reliably lethal weapon — has become an instrument of “pain compliance.” In unadorned terms, this is summary punishment through torture for those who pose no threat to anyone, but who refuse to cooperate instantly with orders issued to them by police officers.

The recent arrest of 72-year-old Austin grandmother Kathryn Winkfein, who was assaulted with a Taser during a traffic stop, illustrates this perfectly.

After a police officer stopped Mrs. Winkfein for allegedly driving 60 in a 45 MPH zone, the grandmother refused to sign the ticket stub. Under Texas “law,” motorists are required to sign traffic tickets under threat of arrest.

According to the police officer, Mrs. Winkfein not only refused to comply, but she “swore” and became “violent” with him. Palsied with terror over the threat posed by a frail septuagenarian woman, the officer hit her with a blast from his Taser. Mrs. Winkfein disputes every element of the official account, and intends to file a lawsuit.

 

Mrs. Winkfein might be encouraged by the $40,000 settlement reached between the State of Utah and Jared Massey, who suffered a Taser assault at the hands of Utah Highway Patrolman Jon Gardner during a 2007 traffic stop.

Massey refused to accept the traffic ticket. Under Utah law, he didn’t have to; Trooper Gardner could simply have shrugged his shoulders and mailed it to Massey. But following that approach would mean that Gardner had failed to compel a “mundane” to submit to his Authoritah:

 

In this dashcam recording taken from Gardner’s cruiser, it’s important to note how — beginning at roughly 11 seconds into the video — we see Gardner pull over to the side of the road, thereby obstructing Massey’s view of the sign announcing the speed limit of 40 MPH. After Massey passed, Gardner pulls him over almost instantaneously.

At that time Gardner pulled over, Massey was not speeding, and Gardner had no reason to pull over — unless he wanted to manufacture a traffic stop by preventing the motorist from seeing the speed limit sign.

Massey, who didn’t see the sign, was understandably outraged by Gardner’s asinine stunt, and his mood didn’t improve when the tax-feeder threatened his pregnant wife.

Predictably enough, the UHP ruled that Gardner’s unnecessary use of the reliably lethal Taser against Massey was “justified” — despite the fact that Massey was merely uncooperative, not “threatening,” and despite the fact that Massey had no legal obligation to accept the ticket from Gardner.

In a tacit admission that Gardner acted improperly by needlessly escalating the confrontation, the Utah state police did place him on administrative leave and ordered him to undergo anger management training.

Of particular interest in the Massey case was the reaction of the Provo Daily Herald newspaper, for which I wrote a weekly (then bi-weekly) column a couple of decades ago, long before its descent into unalloyed statism.

“Here’s a tip: when a uniformed man with a badge and a gun tells you to do something, shut up and do exactly what he says,” opined the Herald, which serves the reddest community in “Red-State” America. A more suitable example of the martial law mind-set would be difficult to find.

  • Victo r

    I think All Americans could do with being TAZERED every day as soon as they get up – it may just wake them up?

  • steve

    Cops are the real threat to American citizens. They have too much power and too little training. I don't need a cop to protect me from criminals, I need criminals to protect me from the cops.

  • Mr1096

    So… We have heard her HALF of the story, and we are easy to judge. What about the other HALF?

    Assuming she was booked into jail like the clip states, that means that she met the elements of probable cause presented to the judge to uphold the arrest. That means that charges were presented to the district attorney and obviously accepted (with the video) as the clip states.

    Wouldn't a reasonable person assume the cop was correct, or is common sense too much of a stretch for most of the people commenting here?

    It is easy to judge without facts because you puppets are blinded by the sensationalized version of the news. You believe anything your told without fact. That's the true problem here.

    If you hate the police so much, call a crackhead next time you need help.

  • cat whatever

    "Wouldn’t a reasonable person assume the cop was correct, or is common sense too much of a stretch for most of the people commenting here?"

    Ah yes….sensible thinking. If the police are attacking, tazing, brutalising or beating a citizen, then they must AUTOMATICALLY deserve it. This is the unquestioned assumption of the US police force and the 'Law and Order' crowd. If it weren't so pathetically sad, it would be funny.

  • Victo r

    What, someone with some actual braincells?

    Ah yes….sensible thinking. If the police are attacking, tazing, brutalising or beating a citizen, then they must AUTOMATICALLY deserve it. This is the unquestioned assumption of the US police force and the ‘Law and Order’ crowd. If it weren’t so pathetically sad, it would be funny.

    Think about it Mr1096, the Tazer is there to down violent criminals who pose a serious threat to the officer,just how is a 72 year old biddy ever a physical threat to a any officer EVER? did she beat him up with her tongue?

    Lets get this straight – the biddy was giving back chat & basically telling the filth were to get off. Now, if anybody thinks its ok to use a Tazer for back chat or even name calling then you really are the stupidest piece of fascist human dog shit aren't you?

  • Michael

    This is yet another example of how this apeish race, which dominates the police force of our country, has committed atrocities upon innocent Americans.

    This race that I speak of are the europoid, large-bodied, thick-boned, large-torso, brachycephalic type. Carleton Coon would probably classify them as being within the broad 'borreby' group. Wherever the geographic origin of this race, it has proven itself a cancer upon America. This race has an exceptionally aggressive, authoritarian temperament, as can not only be seen in their actions, but can also be heard in their tone of voice, which conveys the evil of their souls directly. It is this temperament that causes people of this race to seek out and attain positions of police authority.

    There is much criticism of the fact that this authoritarian man tazed the woman, but what about the fact that he shouted at her for no reason, and in that tone of voice? Take note of this man's tone of voice when he shouts, because it is in the characteristic authoritarian tone.

    Though it was an injustice that the woman was tazed, it was a far greater injustice that the man felt such authoritarian pleasure in doing it. Authoritarian pleasure is pure injustice, and must be frustrated wherever it exists throughout the world.

    So, what is to be done about this cancerous authoritarian race that infests the police force and thereby tortures innocent Americans so as to create authoritarian pleasure? For the future, I envision for our country a glorious utopia in which, within every house in the United States, there is a large slab of some kind, and chained upon said slab is an authoritarian (including the authoritarian individuals belonging to this particular race in question, and all other authoritarians as well), with their limbs amputated and healed-over, and a liquid food tube going down their nose into their stomach, such that they are kept alive indefinitely. And through the skulls of these slab-bound authoritarians, holes have been drilled, and through these holes, wires have been placed, deep into the brain. These wires serve to simultaneously stimulate the area that creates desire for authoritarian pleasure, and the area that creates suffering, and to degrees which make the two sensations of equal magnitude, such that there is the precise justice that is frustrated authoritarian desire. These wires shall always be active, except when the subject is in non-REM sleep. Thus, a vast amount of justice shall be created throughout the land.