Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Set Tasers to Stun, Mr. Spock


I love living in Pullman. You just can't make up the kinds of news stories we get around here. For example, from today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Barbara Hammond, a College Hill resident and representative on the advisory committee, said she's not sure how she feels about TASERs being added to the Pullman Police Department's arsenal, though she is sure of one thing: "It beats guns. I think it certainly does that."

"I have to digest it more. It's new technology. It's new equipment. I really, truly haven't formulated what my stance is on that," she said. "I'm not comfortable with physical engagement. I'm certainly not comfortable with guns. I'm not thrilled with TASERS, but that doesn't mean that I don't think police should not use them."

Hammond admits she knew little about the devices before Monday's presentation.

"I didn't know how TASERs worked before," she said. "To me, the sound of 'TASER' is like, that sounds bad. And yet after listening to the presentation, I get it. If I was a police officer, I would probably want to be in possession of one of those. But if I was a student, I would be concerned and I would like a lot more information."

Hoyt said the WSU administration and the city - in this case the Pullman Police Department - need to provide more information to students about TASERs and their use in order to avoid stereotypes and stigmas. She also said she would like Weatherly to provide the committee with more information, such as the race of those who are TASERed and the circumstances leading up to the use of the device.

Hammond agreed.

"Over time, I would be very much in favor of the police keeping records of use of force and if there are any groups that are over-represented ... be it students, or people of color," she said. "When is it used and on what populations? The committee is interested in keeping up with this. If (TASERs are) going to be used more frequently, I think our committee is kind of a review committee to offer advice."
Barbara Hammond. Hmmmm. Any relation to PARDner Alex Hammond? I'm guessing yes.

"I'm not comfortable with physical engagement. I'm certainly not comfortable with guns." Luckily for us, the Pullman Police Department is comfortable with all those tools of the white imperialist oppressor like physical violence and guns. Ay caramba. As Scotty has repeatedly stated, how would you prefer to be subdued (assuming flowers and peaceful karma have failed), a nightstick, a 9MM round, or a TASER?

"To me, the sound of 'TASER' is like, that sounds bad." You mean , it sounds like phaser? Or laser? A killer death ray? What is it with liberals and words? For example, assault rifles. Oooooooooooooo. Do these people have any experience with the real world? Or is it all just NPR and PBS?

"If I was a student, I would be concerned and I would like a lot more information." Here's all the information you need if you're a student: "Do exactly what the nice officer tells you." Here endeth the lesson.

"...such as the race of those who are TASERed" Why? No, wait, I know why, but I have to ask anyway.

"...if there are any groups that are over-represented ... be it students..." As 70% of Pullman's population are students and the average age is 22, I'm going to take a wild guess and say that students are going to be over-represented.

"I think our committee is kind of a review committee to offer advice." I'm not really seeing the police asking the gentle left-wing lady who doesn't like physical violence or guns for advice on law enforcement.

3 comments:

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

I guess the only tool the cops should have is harsh language.

Ooh... wait, no, that might be considered "hate speech."

Scotty said...

Tom I had been in the process of writing about this article... you highlighted a lot of the things I wanted to point out. Sounds like what Barb wants is someone who has the same authority as a Hall Monitor in Elementry school... "Stop running, or I am telling on you".

The other thing that irks me is the whole race thing. If you look for something you will find it. We have been through this whole race thing with the police... TWICE! Let it rest. You're accusing the cops of being racist in their enforcement of the law.

voiceofthemajority said...

The whole taser thing is absolutely absurd. The question to ask people like this is "what do they do to you?" The answer is nothing really. It temporarily paralyzes a person, which is much better than a baton to your temple or pepper spray. What’s next, hand cuffs......they are too painful and unhumane.