"You Gotta Ask Me Nicely"

by digby

When a man questions why a policeman has pulled him over and refuses to sign the ticket, the policeman electrocutes him to make him comply:

The video shows the Utah Highway Patrolman pull over Jared Massey and his pregnant wife who also had their baby with them in the car and ask for Mr Massey's license.

Mr Massey tells the officer he does not understand why he has been stopped or what he is being charged with, at which point the officer orders Massey to get out of the car. The officer then puts down his clipboard and immediately takes out his Taser and points it at Mr Massey without any provocation whatsoever, yelling "Turn around and put your hands behind your back" as Massey attempts to point out the speed limit sign and engage the officer in conversation.

A shocked Massey asks "what the hell is wrong with you?" and backs away, turning around as the officer had demanded, at which point the officer unleashes 50,000 volts from the Taser into Massey's body, sending him screaming to the ground instantly and causing his wife to jump out of the car and yell hysterically for help.

Lying face down on the ground a shell shocked, Mr Massey says "officer I don't know what you are doing, I don't know why you are doing what you are doing" to which the officer replies "I am placing you under arrest because you did not obey my instruction."

Mr Massey then once again asks the officer several times why he was stopped and what he is being charged with. He then asks for his rights to be read and points out that the officer cannot arrest him without doing this. Instead of reading Massey his rights the officer then addresses another patrolman who arrives on the scene sardonically commenting "Ohhh he took a ride with the Taser" to which the other officer answers "painful isn't it".

The icing on the cake comes at the end of the video when the officer LIES to his own colleague about the encounter, clearly stating that he verbally warned Massey he was going to tase him, as is the law, when there was no warning whatsoever.

Mr Massey is planning to file a lawsuit against the Utah Highway Patrol. He says he was already slowing down as he approached the 40 mile per hour sign in the construction zone outside of vernal. All charges except for the speeding ticket have been dropped.

This amazing video reveals how eroded civil and constitutional rights have now become. The officer had no legal right to make Massey sign any document he did not understand.

Police in the country are now allowed to torture speeders by the side of the highway in order to get them to comply. The only difference between this officer slugging the speeder in the stomach and putting 50,0000 volts of electricity in him is that the latter doesn't leave any marks. The intent, the pain and the goose-stepping authoritarian message are exactly the same.

Word to the wise. Do not ever question the police, no matter whether they are violating your rights, ignoring the constitution or breaking the law. It is perfectly legal for them to torture you on the spot if you do.

I'm feeling so free I can hardly breathe.

many emails on this one.

First, I'm advised, correctly, that "electrocute" means death by electricity. So electrocute is an improper way to describe this incident. (Not this one, however.)

Also, former police officer writes in with this:

I forced myself to watch that clip, and as a retired peace officer, =my opinion is both the trooper and motorist were at fault.

The motorist was obligated to follow instructions, and appeared to be leaving, "resisting arrest. But the trooper's use of escalated force demonstrated a sad lack of training.

I've had similar incidents in my career where the subject refused to cooperate and turned to leave before we were done. In each case, I explained quickly and briefly the options and consequences of their leaving without completing the detention - warrant for arrest, incarceration, huge fines, etc. At worst, I'd have to have a warrant issued for them to be stopped farther down the road, including escalation of force. But in no case was I warranted to use deadly force in preventing them from leaving.

In my opinion, law enforcement has been issued tazers and told by the tazer companies and department leaders they aren't "deadly force", and now their use has become a replacement for good police training.

I think we'll see tazers eventually taken out of general use, but I doubt we'll ever see wide-spread adequate police training.