Colbert Report On Taser Nation

by digby

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Current Events - Tasers
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMark Sanford

I'm ambivalent about joking about tasers. When I see movies in which cops shooting people with electricity is a punch line I can't say I find it all that funny. It's not because I'm above slapstick humor, but because it further trivializes a coercive tool that our society is allowing police to use for trivial reasons. (And truthfully, when I see people screaming in agony, writhing spasmodically on the ground in pain, I'm afraid it turns my stomach rather than makes me laugh. I'm just funny that way.)

But this is different. It's brilliant satire designed to expose the use of tasers for what they are. TGFC (thank God for Colbert.)

Maybe this issue is starting the seep into the mainstream. Unfortunately, I think it's going to take the tasing of someone who important people feel is above such tactics to change things.

Update: This man isn't one of those someones:

Police in Mobile, Ala., used pepper spray and a Taser on a deaf, mentally disabled man who they said wouldn't leave a store's bathroom.

The family of 37-year-old Antonio Love has filed a formal complaint over the incident on Friday.

Police tell the Press-Register of Mobile that officers shot pepper spray under the bathroom door after knocking several times. After forcing the door open, they used the stun gun on Love.

Police spokesman Christopher Levy says police didn't realize Love had a hearing impairment until after he was out of the bathroom. The officers' conduct is under investigation.

The newspaper says the officers attempted to book Love on charges including disorderly conduct, but a magistrate on duty wouldn't accept the charges.

Good for the magistrate.

The increasing use of these things on the non-dangerous, mentally handicapped is medieval. Using them on the deaf, who obviously can't hear their "orders," is sickening. But it's part of the culture which says that police can tase first and ask questions later because there's no lasting harm in it. (Except for the ones who die, of course.)