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Police Brutality is “OK” to Mike Gallagher

[warning: rant ahead]

I usually like to use my drives to and from work as a time to think and problem-solve things. Today however, I listened in on a talk radio station which had a guy named Mike Gallagher talking. Little did I know that he would get me all riled up over police and their use of tazers. I don’t listen to Mike that often, so for all I know he could be a great opinion commentator on many issues – just not this one.

Mike was attempting to defend the use of tazers by police, his argument being that getting tazed was a whole helluvalot better than being shot. Agreed. After this, he made the classic logical argument mistake, which is that if you claim one thing is right then all forms and manners of it’s use are also right. That’s where he lost me.

Watch the following video:

The image, and video clearly show the woman was being uncooperative, yet the police clearly had the situation in control before the tazer was used. Mike Gallagher would argue that if you are ever in this situation you should just be glad they didn’t shoot you instead. What kind of idiocy is that? Seriously, think!

I could care less what the protesters are there for. This article isn’t about that, it’s about the use of force in equal measure to what is needed. Is someone jacked up on crack waving a samurai sword around the middle of the street, I can understand shooting them. If a big burly man is being belligerent with the police, I can understand tazing him. If a woman is already being held down by 2 police, I think tazing is excessive (the term “overkill” comes to mind).

Someone called in saying just that, that it was probably a little more than the situation warranted. Mike replied, “What do you expect the police to do?” I wish I had been on the line… Try this on for size, how about the police do whatever the hell they did for the last 200 years before they had tazers!? It’s not like this is the “old” way of doing things. I don’t remember policemen having issues with 68 year-old grandmothers that they couldn’t handle without brutal force in the “old days”.

Can we just have a little common sense?

[end rant]

8 Comments

  1. i think thats a bit idealistic and simplistic. I think each situation is unique and people need to stop playing with police becasue they have a hard job to do and face all sorts of stresses every day. Dont provoke them uneccesarily and when they begin to arrest you resitance is unnecessary. Be law abiding people. Im not justifying police brutality but most of them are doing a good job.

  2. Francis, thank you for your opinion. Of course we disagree, but that’s okay.

    You say that each situation is unique, I agree. Doesn’t that mean that the police’s reaction to that situation should be different too?

    Yes, a police officer’s job is difficult. Yes, people shouldn’t provoke the police. I’m in aggreement with you 100% on that. Their job however is to deal with that stress. As a community, we give them the authority to act on our behalf to keep the peace. This doesn’t give them carte blanche to use “whatever means necessary” to do their job though.

    It’s true, I could be oversimplifying this, but I just can’t get past the fact that overkill is overkill in any line of work. Just because someone is a police officer doesn’t preclude them from making mistakes, bad decisions or mean that their behavior can’t be considered abusive.

  3. Steam actually jetted out of my ears when I watched this.

  4. I agree with Hash completely. I had a pwersonal encounter recently with this sort of brutality. While my hands were still on the hood of a squad car I was tazored in the back of my left leg with burn marks to prove it. I am not sure what to do about it. Where to file a complaint?

  5. Law Enforcement is a branch of the government that has widest breadth of power. They are at the same time the most resistant to social reform. WHY? Because they maintain Law. In case you haven’t noticed, law is the second most resistant thing to social reform.

    A policemen acts without any restraint outside of the menial education they are given at an “Academy”.

    I personally despise policemen. It takes a special breed of bigot to make sure every one is playing by the state’s set of ideals.

    As an officer of the law you thereby agree that all aspects of the law are perfect and are with out defect, that all crime is immoral and that the criminal must be punished/apprehended, and lastly that his/her own judgment (as a police officer) is an extension of the law. The officer by virtue of his job can not understand that the law is unjust.

  6. one example does not make a good case.
    show me the norm, and then we can talk.
    otherwise stop generalizing isolated incidents.
    Brujo – I dount you are speaking from experience of being at an academy or taking the oath, or any other experience someone in law enforcement may have, so your assumptions are without merit.
    Hash, this is an interesting video, but you have fallen prey to the sensationalist culture of our times, rafiki.
    Of the thousands of taser-equiped officers, how many have actually saved lives, or diffused legit situations without bloodshed?
    There is always another side to you argument.
    This particular video cannot be argued with, obviously. And Gallagher’s talk is fairly extreme; basing your argument on this extremity though is fairly baseless.

  7. Wow. Disturbing video. Made me pretty upset. I agree with Brujo. Of course, if someone’s threatening my life, I’m probably going to a call a pig, errr… I mean a cop. argh! The irony of contradictions.

    Of course, police brutality in the West usually comes about because of the need to protect the private property of the “haves” from the “have-nots.” And, to squash protests over U.S. imperialism. If we lived in a society (or world) with greater equality in distribution of wealth, we wouldn’t have the need for such a large or violent police force. In Cuba, I hear, people don’t need to lock their doors…

  8. Well, in response to the tazer idea: I have epilepsy and a tazer could kill me, more painfully than a bullet would. in all honesty after having had both happen, i would rather be shot. i had a buddy get arrested a while back and he was completely co-operative, the 4 police officers continued to beat and kick him while he was on the ground with his hands behind his back. i see it almost every day where i live. here there is no such thing as a peacekeeper. And any person who makes a living out of screwing with people just because they can, should just go kill themselves. that includes police officers. way too many officers think they can write a ticket and get sexual favors for ripping a ticket that was issued for an offense that wasn’t commited. Every inxtance is different but violent police officers are everywhere and there is nothing you can do about it. approximately 32,000 UNARMED people are beaten to death by police officers every year. and that’s all i have to say.

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